Christopher Columbus is believed to be the first European to discover cocoa beans. However, the history of chocolate seems to go as far as 4000 years. It has now become one of the most popular food ingredients and flavours in the world. Gifts of chocolates moulded into different shapes have become traditional gifts on certain holidays. Chocolate bunnies and eggs are on Easter, Chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Chocolate doves or elves or little Santa Claus on Christmas and Chocolate hearts on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is used in cold and hot beverages to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate. Most of us know chocolate as a deliciously decadent sweet that we eat in cookies, cakes, and candy bars but around the world, many people have prepared chocolate as a bitter, frothy drink or even as part of the main meal served at dinnertime. Over the centuries, many cultures have used the seeds of cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, as a sacred symbol in religious ceremonies. Plus, medicinal remedies featuring chocolate or cocoa have long been used as household curative across the globe.
The Intense Affair
Dark Chocolate is more than a familiar product, it is affordable and consumed worldwide. It is today a part of our daily alimentation. If you think Chocolate is heavenly, you are not alone. In fact chocolate means the 'Food of the Gods' according to its botanical name. Just before sitting down to write this blog, I ate a couple of pieces of dark chocolate. In terms of ingredients, this bespoke handmade artisan chocolate that I’m eating boasts 100% cacao. Well, we all adore chocolate in all its forms, from the humble chocolate chip cookie to hot chocolate, wintry hot chocolate fudge and decadent desserts. And to make chocolate even more drool-worthy, researchers are discovering that this ancient treat may have some modern health benefits.
There are no added flavours, salt, sugar or vanilla when it comes to dark chocolates. The solitary ingredient is organic, unsweetened chocolate. Talk about intense!
So, can chocolate be part of a healthy diet or should it be avoided? When writing, I want my brain to be supremely alert. At the same time, I don’t want to feel agitated or stressed about the task at hand. In recent years, a growing body of research has found that dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, reduces fatigue and stress and may even, counteract some of the symptoms of age-related cognitive decline.
Portion size is important. Eating a king size block of chocolate while watching a movie isn’t going to help your gut health. The good news is that there are still some “clean” cocoa products from which you can choose. It turns out that chocolate bars are much lower in heavy metals than cocoa powders. That is why it is recommended to eat a small daily serving of high cacao chocolates instead of using cocoa powder. If you find it a bit too bitter or intense, you can try one of the handmade chocolates available on Suvo.co or you can use the following recipe.
At home, make hot cocoa by combining three squares of an organic 100% cacao bar, a few ounces of coconut cream, a cup of purified water, a pinch of sea salt and sweetener to taste. Then add in some liquid stevia to keep the sugar content low. Heat and mix the ingredients well and enjoy it hot or cold!
This serves all the health benefits of chocolate along with satisfying your taste buds because it has antioxidants in large quantities and can reduce free radical formation. Dark chocolate also has functions to reduce the possibility of a heart attack when consumed regularly in a small amount.
This could even help you lose weight when eaten every morning before breakfast, now you have the little secret. So, why the delay? Go grab some homemade dark chocolates and enjoy them melting away in your mouth as it melts away some health issues too.
In Indonesia, one of the largest producers of cocoa, it is said "Coklat Membuat Hidup Lebih Sehat".