Give me chocolate for Valentine’s Day and I certainly won’t complain (especially if its dark and studded with almonds). But a box of candy isn’t the only way this old-school superfood has the power to make me swoon. By now most of us know that chocolate is “good for you”—packed with antioxidants, minerals and nutrients that boost mood with every blissful bite. But did you know your favorite treat also has prettying powers?
When it comes to dessert, it’s OK to be greedy. Make this single serving of chocolate pudding to spoil yourself with something sweet after a long day of sticking with a tricky diet. Your taste buds won’t know it’s anything other than a little bowl of bliss, but your body will thank you for the extra protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3s.
On Valentine’s Day, chocolates are often exchanged as gifts of the heart. From a health perspective, however, chocolates may truly be regarded gifts for the heart. Cocoa beans, from which chocolate is made, are rich in nutrients known as flavonoids. These natural chemicals—found in many other plant foods, from fruits and vegetables to nuts and seeds—function as antioxidants, or protective agents that work to defend the body’s cells from free radical damage.
Looking for something sweet to share with your sweetie? Skip the ice cream sundae and serve up a healthy smoothie instead. These recipes combine decadent, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate with fruity, fiber-filled raspberries for the perfect blend of irresistible flavor and nutritional benefits. Each makes enough for two—surprise your workout partner, or save leftovers for a second sweet treat later in the day.
Baby, it’s cold outside! Bundle up and brew a mug of minty hot cocoa to keep your belly happy and hands toasty warm. Powdered packet mixes don’t compare to this delightful steamy drink, made with almond milk, rich cacao and a pinch of pure peppermint. Simmer on your stovetop until bubbly, and let the chocolate-mint bliss begin!
Before peeling back the foil seal on another tiny plastic tub of pudding, give this recipe a try. This creamy, chocolaty dessert is not only divine, it’s packed with superfood nutrition from organic cocoa, raw cacao nibs and chia seeds. A whirl in the blender and a quick chill in the fridge are all it takes to transform five simple ingredients into a dessert that’s always OK to splurge on!
Delight your mitten-clad crowd with a cup of creamy, homemade hot cocoa the next time they come in from the cold. This twist on everyone’s favorite winter drink is made with organic cocoa powder and dairy-free almond milk, with a hint of citrusy-tropical flavor from orange extract and coconut oil. Artificially flavored powdered packet-mixes are about to become a thing of your past!
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