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Good news for chocolate lovers, high quality dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cocoa) is full of nutrients shown to have protective effects on your heart and mood and may even aid with weight loss.
5 reasons you should eat more chocolate.
- Dark chocolate is good for your heart and circulation. A recent study found that dark chocolate prevents blood cells from sticking to the wall of blood vessels while also restoring flexibility of arteries.
- Dark chocolate is packed will beneficial minerals – potassium, zinc, selenium and iron.
- It reduces cholesterol – Consumption of cocoa lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising the level of good cholesterol in the body.
- Chocolate can help you lose weight. Neuroscientist Will Clower says finishing a meal with a small square of good chocolate triggers the hormones in the brain that say ‘I’m full,’ reducing subsequent snacking.
- Chocolate makes you feel better. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel good endorphins.
Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake
This rich dark bake is healthier than your average chocolate cake and lighter on the calorie count. The beetroot adds a pink earthy tone and lots of moisture for a succulent deep brown chocolate cake. A perfect healthy dinner party dessert to take the bite out of winter.
50g (2oz cocoa powder)
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g (7oz) caster sugar
250g cooked beetroot
200ml (7floz) sunflower oil
100g (3 1/2oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4 then grease and line the bottom of a 23cm (81/2 – 9in) springform cake tin.
- Sieve the cocoa, flour, baking powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
- Drain and halve the beetroot.
- Blend the beetroot, eggs and oil in a food processor until the liquid is just smooth.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix in the chocolate. Pour into the tin and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Turn out and dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.
You’ll get a double whammy of antioxidants from the beetroot and the dark chocolate in this cake.