Where I live, it was 71 degrees while I raked the leaves out of my yard yesterday, and last week I comfortably wore flip flops. All of this warm weather is backed up by a new report from the National Climatic Data Center that says 2012 will go down as the hottest year on record. It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than four weeks away when we’ve yet to pull out our winter coats!
While any other winter we’d be stirring up hot chocolate by now to stay warm and cozy, this year we need something to keep us cool. That’s right, we’re making Frozen Hot Chocolate and think you should, too!
It’s still creamy, chocolatey, and topped with marshmallows, but it’s blended with ice and sipped with a straw instead. Our Frozen Hot Chocolate was inspired by the original at New York’s Serendipity. As delightful an experience as that candy shop trip can be, their version has 340 calories. Ours, however, makes 140 calories sound pretty indulgent! (more…)
Many have heard that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is actually good for your health. Specifically, the word is that the antioxidants in cocoa are the beneficial components to chocolate. Studies do back these claims, but is it a license to eat chocolate all in the name of health? Probably not. CocoaWell is a product that aims to provide the benefits of cocoa without all the sugar and calories of chocolate.
Hershey recently conducted a study that found that the antioxidants in cocoa powder are at a higher level than any of the major “super fruits.” Acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate are often renowned as the highly powerful antioxidant fruits.
Harvard research has also documented that the Kuna Indians from the San Blas Islands near the Panama Coast consume more cocoa than any other people in the world. They typically consume about 6 cups a day or 40 cups of cocoa a week. Additionally, the Kuna have 1/9 the occurrences of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.
The case study seems to provide a lot of evidence for the benefits of cocoa. However, cocoa’s natural taste is very bitter which is why it is often mixed with sugar and cocoa butter. By that point, the health benefits have been largely negated. That is why CocoaWell created their cocoa supplements. The company puts pure cocoa in capsules allowing one to get large doses of the antioxidant rich cocoa without all the sugar and calories of chocolate.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, women everywhere are wondering their significant others will get them. My husband has never given me chocolate for Valentine’s Day. (I guess I’m just sweet enough already.) But don’t worry, I am sure to get my fair share of chocolate year-round.
For people trying to lose weight, thinking about sweets and Valentine’s Day can be a source of stress. The mere thought about “self control” around the tempting boxed hearts can seem to take the all the fun out of Valentine’s Day.
Watch this video to learn about why avoiding chocolate can be more harmful than indulging and get three simple tips for enjoying chocolate without feeling guilty!
How do you fit sweets into your eating plan?
Cocoa, antioxidants and your health
Chocolate, which is made from nutrient rich cocoa beans, has naturally occurring, cancer-preventative antioxidants that we all know have great benefits for your body. Cocoa beans contain the antioxidants called flavanols which studies have shown to have protective health benefits (flavanols also found in berries, apples, beans, nuts, purple grapes, red wine, and teas). Antioxidants, as we know, fight off dangerous free radicals in our body, which can cause serious heath problems. Research shows that flavanols found in cocoa and chocolate have health benefits beyond fighting free radicals. (more…)