Chocolate. Such Passion. Once an indulgence of royalty, now accessible to all and even a healthy treat.
The cacao tree, whose pods contain seed that can be processed into chocolate, was discovered 2000 years ago in the tropical rainforests of the America’s. The first people know to have consumed cacao were the classic period maya ( 250-900A.D.) they mixed ground cacao seeds with seasonings to make a bitter, spicy drink that was believed to be a health elixir. To the mayans coco pods symbolized life and fertility (i can see a connection here with me)
The aztecs believed wisdom and power came for eating the fruit of the cocoa tree. Europeans first tasted chocolate in 1519 in a drink brought back a Spanish explorer and in France, chocolate had a reputation for being seductive and Casanova made a habit of drinking chocolate before his romantic escapades.
In 1780 the first machine made chocolate was produced in Barcelona and chocolate went global with the first solid chocolate bar developed by the British in the 1800’s.
Chocolate bars have a place of importance as rations in the U.S army and also been taken into space as a diet for astronauts. Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), a.k.a. the “love drug,” and it’s been linked to the regulation of physical energy, mood, and attention. A tiny amount of PEA is released at moments of emotional euphoria, elevating blood pressure and heart rate.
Dark chocolate (as opposed to milk or white chocolate) contains healthful flavonoids similar to those found in tea, red wine, fruits, and vegetables. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can improve blood vessel flow and may improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity to help reduce the risk of diabetes. But beware, chocolate candy has plenty of saturated fat and sugar, so enjoy small portions of as part of a healthy diet.
I will say it again, you do not have to give up you favorite food. Just make it healthy.
Here is my recipe for Chocolate Truffles inspired by Danette May but with my twist.
1/2 cup chocolate chips (60-70% cacao)
1tbs almond butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened coco powder
a few almonds and pistachio flakes
1 tsp cardamom and fennel seed coarsely blend
1. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave at 20 second intervals ( i took about a minute and a half)
2. stir in almond butter till well mixed
3. carefully fold in yogurt and mix it well
4. refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes until it starts to harden
5. form truffle balls 1 tsp at a time
6. roll them in unsweetened cocoa/almond and pistachio flakes/spice blend
7. refrigerate till you serve it
FEEL IT MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. …………DIVINE!