Chocolate is one of the most versatile dessert flavors in the world. You can pair it with so many different foods including fruit, nuts, nut butters, caramel, cinnamon to name a few. But aside from all that, dark chocolate is an amazing super food that has many health benefits.
It is easy to see why we have a day set aside just for this amazing flavor. World Chocolate Day is on July 7, every year.
Originating with the Maya and Aztecs in Central America, the product made it to Europe with Columbus in 1502 but nobody was interested in the bitter substance. Seventeen years later the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes brought some to Spain, sweetened and flavored.
Later, in the 1700s, a Swedish naturalist known as Linnaeus referred to chocolate as “food of the gods” and the rest is history!
There are three types of chocolate: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Dark chocolate is made of chocolate liquor (a thick paste made out of the cacao bean) and cocoa butter. Milk chocolate contains dark chocolate plus milk fats and milk solids. White chocolate contains everything that milk chocolate does except the chocolate liquor.
Eaten in moderation, chocolate boosts the production of feel-good hormones and contains serotonin, which helps to reduce depression and regulate anxiety. Theobromine, an ingredient in chocolate, also acts as a stimulant to increase blood flow and oxygen supply.
Chocolate is a good heart health food. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains flavonoids that are thought to be effective in helping prevent cancer, heart disease and strokes.
They have been known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent blood clots, decrease inflammation, fight cell damage and lower the risk of irregular heart rhythm problems. While chocolate can be good for your overall health, eating too much of it can cause health problems.
The recommended portion of chocolate would be about 2 ounces of a day. Try this amazing recipe for chocolate mousse and enjoy World Chocolate Day on July 7th.
Simple chocolate mousse
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract (optional)
In a well-chilled bowl, add your heavy whipping cream and whip until it becomes frothy and slightly thickened.
Add your powdered sugar and cocoa powder and carefully mix until soft peaks form.
Add your almond or vanilla extract if desired and whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a plastic bag or piping bag with a piping tip.Pipe into serving bowls or glasses. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.