Just in time for Valentine’s Day, when around 48 million pounds of chocolate will again be purchased in the week, days and minutes leading up to Valentine’s Day (apparently 75% of which by men, whereas 75% percent of chocolate purchases the other 51 weeks of the year are made by women) draining over $1 billion dollars from our pockets (this seemed like an enormous amount, until I read that both Easter and Halloween purchases dwarf it), I found myself the lucky winner of a Foodie Blogroll contest and the recipient of The Healing Powers of Chocolate book by Cal Orey.
Not only does Cal clear up any lingering doubts that chocolate is indeed a healthy food: “Medical researchers around the world continue to find new health-promoting nutrients – there are believed to be at least 300 to 400 – in chocolate,” she provides information on the history, many varieties and grades, the medicinal uses and offers numerous great looking recipes. From the familiar chocolate biscotti, chocolate fondue, and brownies, to several I am looking forward to trying, such as a chocolate hazelnut torta with chocolate-chestnut frosting, ciabatta bread with dark chocolate and olive oil and two mole (a spicy savory sauce often served over chicken) recipes, to exciting new chocolate interpretations I can hardly wait to taste: cocao pasta, spaghetti with ricotta and chocolate and Hawaiian cocoa bean curry shrimp! My apologies if I have caused you to drool on your computer.
I was interested in the nutritious uses of chocolate before I started devouring this book, and can offer the following links to several recipes if you too are interested in trying something other than chocolate cake (for which the internet already offers many excellent recipes).
- Avocado-Chocolate Muffins
- Choco-Beet Cupcakes
- Chocolate Hummus
- “True Love” Black Bean Brownies (photo above)
- Nutrella – a more nutritious, homemade “nutella”
When I was a kid, being raised by a health food mom, carob was considered the more nutritious chocolate look-alike. Few of us were fooled, and I couldn’t be more thankful that researchers have now deemed real chocolate a health food, so that I (and you) may indulge in its many “healing powers.” Many thanks Cal for a great gift!