Did you know 70% of dark chocolate is made from bitter cocoa nibs? And these bitter cocoa nibs have a high concentration of flavanols, which are known as the good kind of sugar and help promote healthy blood flow.
If you’re not convinced yet, studies show that eating dark chocolate can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your blood pressure. But like with everything else, there are different grades of dark chocolate – from the cheap stuff that tastes artificial to artisanal bars where you can actually taste the difference.
This article will teach you how to make healthy dark chocolate at home, what ingredients go into it, and give you some recipes for making your own batch!
What’s so good about dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is produced from grinding and mixing roasted cocoa beans with a small amount of sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and other flavourings. Since cocoa beans are naturally low in sugar, most commercial brands have added sugar to give the chocolate a sweeter taste.
In fact, many bars are high in sugar, which can increase the risk of tooth decay, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids — plant compounds which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Research has also found that cocoa flavanols, which are found in cocoa beans and form when they are roasted, can increase blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function.
This means eating dark chocolate regularly may be good for overall health and quality of life as it could help protect against cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals like iron and magnesium which are important for regulating blood pressure and aiding muscle function.
What are the benefits of eating dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, specifically flavanols, which are known as blood flow boosters because they improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
There’s a lot of evidence suggesting that eating dark chocolate can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your blood pressure. It can also increase your serotonin levels and reduce anxiety, making it a great snack for anyone stressed out and needs a break.
Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, and copper as well as proteins and fibre, making it a great snack for boosting your energy and improving digestion.
As well as being low in sugar and calories, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. It’s also a great source of fibre and protein, which can help keep hunger at bay, maintain a healthy weight and boost cardiovascular health.
There’s also some evidence to suggest that cocoa flavanols may have neuroprotective properties. This means they can protect the brain against cognitive decline and, in some cases, neurodegeneration.
This may be especially useful for people at risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Eating dark chocolate may also improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the risk of stroke.
Ingredients and recipe: how to make dark chocolate
– Cocoa beans: Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cacao tree and, when roasted, ground into a powder called cocoa. The cocoa tree is native to South America, and it’s the main ingredient in chocolate.
– Cocoa butter: Cocoa butter is a fat that’s extracted from cocoa beans. It’s used in many types of chocolate, including milk chocolate and baking chocolate.
– Cocoa nibs: Cocoa nibs are roasted and shelled pieces of the cocoa bean. They contain more antioxidants than cocoa powder, and they’re really high in fibre too!
– Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder is made by grinding roasted cocoa beans into a fine powder. It’s the most common form of chocolate, and it’s high in antioxidants, fibre, protein, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and copper.
– Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that’s extracted from the sap of coconut trees. It’s low on the glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and is a great healthier alternative.
– Dairy-free milk: Choose a dairy-free milk like almond, cashew, or coconut milk, or a combination of both.
– Maple syrup or honey: If you’re going the maple syrup or honey route, make sure you use pure and unrefined coconut sugar.
How to make healthy dark chocolate
Making healthy dark chocolate at home is actually quite simple!
First, you’ll want to select the highest quality cocoa beans possible. Ideally, you want to use cocoa nibs and a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
Make sure you choose a high-quality cocoa powder and use only the amount needed to make the desired flavour.
You’ll also want to use cacao butter, a fat that’s naturally saturated, or coconut oil, a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily digested by the body and a healthy fat that’s great for your heart.
Finally, use a high-quality dairy-free milk or water to bind it all together, or a mixture of both.
Before making your own dark chocolate, it’s important to buy the best quality ingredients. Look for bars that are high in cocoa solids, have no sugar added, are low in sugar and have no added flavourings or emulsifiers.
You can also use cocoa powder, which is just the ground-up roasted nibs of a cocoa bean. For a healthy homemade chocolate, the best recipe is with 70% cocoa solids, a small amount of coconut sugar, a small amount of coconut oil and a small amount of vanilla extract.
You can use a double boiler to melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth. The chocolate will need to set in the fridge before it is ready to eat.
– 150 ml milk
– 220 grams cocoa powder
– 160 grams unsalted butter
– 150 ml of water
– 120 grams powdered sugar
– Chocolate mold
1.2. Instructions on how to make pure dark chocolate from cocoa powder
Butter is melted and mixed with cocoa powder, then put in a blender to create a puree. Next, add 150 ml of water to a larger pot, turn on low heat and heat the mixture until it is hot, then turn off the heat.
Note: It is important not to let the mixture boil, or else the chocolate made from cocoa powder will have a slightly burnt aroma.
When the chocolate mixture in the pot is hot, remove from the heat and add 150 ml of milk and 120 grams of powdered sugar. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely and forms a homogeneous mixture. If you want to save time, you can put it in a blender until there are no more lumps, then stop.
The chocolate mold is washed and dried. Next, pour the mixture you just made into the mold. Depending on your preferences or purposes of gift giving, you can choose different types of molds with different shapes.
Place the chocolate mold in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 hours to harden, then you can take it out and enjoy. Or if you want to give this gift to your loved one, put them in a beautiful box.
What’s the difference between dark and regular chocolate?
Dark chocolate and regular chocolate are both made from the same base ingredients, but the colour, flavour and health properties will vary depending on the amount of sugar and other additives used.
Regular chocolate will have more sugar than dark chocolate and the cocoa percentage in dark chocolate is much higher than regular chocolate.
Regular chocolate has a higher fat content than dark chocolate, but both are still great sources of fibre, protein, and minerals.
Dark chocolate has most of the health benefits associated with regular chocolate, but it also has an antioxidant boost thanks to the cocoa percentage.
Dark Chocolate Recipes: DIY Healthy Dark Chocolate
– Dark Chocolate and Coconut Oil Truffles: These truffles are great as a treat or as a gift! They’re easy to make, they’re vegan, and they’re gluten-free too! You can also make them with vegan-friendly truffle papers, or even a silicone mould if you want to keep them looking pretty.
– Dark Chocolate Almond Butter: Almond butter is high in protein, fibre, and vitamins and minerals. This recipe is easy to make and so delicious. It also goes great on crackers, toast, or apples. You can also make it into a dessert by adding chopped walnuts and maybe some cinnamon for extra flavour!
– Dark Chocolate Paleo Cookies: These cookies are soft and chewy, with a slight crunch on the outside, and they’re full of healthy ingredients like coconut flour, coconut oil, and dark chocolate. They’re great to eat as a snack or even as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream!
Dark chocolate is made from grinding and mixing roasted cocoa beans with a small amount of sugar. While it’s low in sugar, it’s rich in antioxidants and minerals like iron and magnesium. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids — plant compounds which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and there is some evidence to suggest that cocoa flavanols may have neuroprotective properties.
For best results, use high-quality ingredients and melt them together over a double boiler before mixing with other ingredients. This will help you make your own healthy homemade dark chocolate with minimal effort.
The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help improve your overall health and lower your risk of disease. But most commercially available dark chocolate is high in saturated fat and sugar. In fact, some popular brands have more than 20 g of sugar per bar! Eating too much saturated fat from any source increases your risk of heart disease, so it’s important to keep the volume of dark chocolate you eat to a minimum.
When choosing your next bar of cocoa, look for a brand that has around 70-90 mg of antioxidants per serving (at least 70% cocoa), no more than 10 g of sugar, and minimal fat (ideally less than 10 g per serving). Read on for our easy tips on how to make healthy dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is a real superfood! It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is great for heart health. It’s also a natural mood booster that’s great to include in your diet if you’re feeling stressed. That’s why we suggest making your own healthy dark chocolate at home. It’s easy, delicious, and you know exactly what goes into it. You can make it as healthy or as indulgent as you like and blend different flavours together to make your own unique recipe!
Making your own homemade dark chocolate is easy and affordable. You can control the type of fats and sugars that go into it, which helps you make a healthy version that also tastes great. Here are some tips on how to make healthy dark chocolate that is just as good as the store-bought version.