With Easter just around the corner it is very hard not to fall into the obligatory binge: chocolate (anything) hot cross buns and, let’s be honest – everything in sight to compensate and offset the sugar come down.
Now I am not a heartless wench who excepts you NOT to indulge.. but let’s get a grip before the long weekend begins.
You will eat chocolate, that’s a given.. but let’s talk portion control and quality.
First, step away from the cheap and cute foil wrapped bunny and exchange it for some dark chocolate and for god’s sake, splurge a little!! Ideally I would like you to select your Easter treats with at least 85% dark cocoa (I love Green & Black’s), but if your taste buds are not at that point yet (I understand it is an acquired taste if you are used to 100% sugar, I mean dairy milk chocolate) so 70% cocoa will be just fine and taste just as good. That means there is only 30% sugar in the remaining (better than 90%!), and the antioxidants are much higher in dark chocolate – where regularly has none. The high levels of cocoa have also been shown to lower blood pressure due to the large amounts of flavonoids.
If you are being ‘good’ and want to take your health kick a step further over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some Raw Organic Cacoa NIBS – these cocoa beans are straight from the source and is what all chocolate and cocoa products are produced from.
According to http://www.powersuperfoods.com.au/cacao-power-raw-nibs.html the nutritional benefits of raw cacoa products include: being a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing and also stress relieving magnesium. Other good news is that it is only 92 calories and 0.54grams of sugar per 15grams serving!
Suggested uses – eat as raw nibs or add to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans. You can even make the Almost Chocolate Bliss Ball (see older posts for recipe) and add the nibs to the mixture – delish!
If you would like to make your own healthy dark chocolate Easter eggs (ambitious yes but it is a long weekend so you have time to try something a little different) then check out the below:
In a blender:
- Add 5 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder
- Add 5 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil
Blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Add 5 tablespoons of raw cacoa nibs (Power Super Foods Cacoa Power Nibs is one good brand but you will be able to find several different brands)
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of a sugar substitute (honey or palm sugar)
- Add a pinch of Himalayan Salt
Place the mixture into Easter egg moulds and refrigerate.
You can also add a few drops of stevia, vanilla essence or cinnamon to your mix.
Enjoy your chocolate whether it is dark chocolate from the store, few nibs, homemade batch or almost chocolate balls, and use the extra time to move your body on at least one of your days off!!!