Ode to CHOCOLATE – "Food of the Gods!"
IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT GIACOMO CASANOVA WAS THE MOST INSATIABLE WOMANIZER OF ALL TIME. IT IS SAID THAT HE CALLED CHOCOLATE HIS “ELIXIR OF LOVE,” DRANK IT RELIGIOUSLY BEFORE EVERY LOVE MAKING TRYST AND USED IT IN HIS SEDUCTIONS—THE FIRST LOVE PRO TO TAP INTO THE TIMELESS ATTRACTION BETWEEN WOMEN AND CHOCOLATE. LOVE AND CHOCOLATE GO EVEN FURTHER BACK IN TIME. BOTH THE MAYA AND AZTEC OFFERED COCOA AS A GIFT OF LOVE TO THE GODS, PROMPTING CARL LINNEAUS, THE SWEDISH BOTANIST AND FATHER OF MODERN TAXONOMY TO NAME THE CACAO TREE THEOBROMA CACAO, LITERALLY, “FOOD OF THE GODS.”
Dark chocolate — with a high content of nonfat cocoa solids — is now the new guilt-free super food! The scientific evidence is stacking up linking daily consumption of deep, dark chocolate with phenomenal health benefits.
When it comes to choosing chocolate for health, the chocolate must be the flavonoid-rich dark variety. This is because dark chocolate has a much higher percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate and it’s the cocoa that contains most of the flavonoids—plant substances which provide your body with a host of health benefits.
Natural cocoa powders (ground cocoa solids, aka the words natural cocoa powder unsweetened on the product label) had the highest level of flavonoids followed by unsweetened baking chocolates, dark chocolates, and semisweet chocolate baking chips. Milk chocolate and chocolate syrup had the least amount. Do your heart good—choose your chocolate wisely and opt for making your own sweet treats from cocoa powder.
Dr. Janet’s Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts
A dark, moist chocolatey treat.
- One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup packed Splenda ® Brown Sugar Blend
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place black beans in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, oats, cocoa powder, olive oil, espresso powder, flax seed, vanilla, and salt. With an electric mixer blend the ingredients until the black beans are mushed up and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the middle of the brownies is firm. Let cool before slicing into 16 pieces.
NUTRITION PER SERVING (1 brownie): Calories: 140
Fat: 6 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, 1 g ALA) Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg Sodium: 89 mg Carbohydrate: 16 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g Sugars: <1 g Protein: 3 g
Excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack.