Hi everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Sukkos.

Who doesn’t like chocolate? Raise your hand if you don’t. I don’t think I see many hands raised. You see, chocolate is a very popular food.
Now if you wondering if I got confused between blogs- (why is she writing about chocolate in a “health and nutrition” blog??)- then I didn’t.

I want you to close your eyes (ok, you don’t really have to close them), and think chocolate. Rich chocolate cake, creamy chocolate ice cream, chocolate bars, hot chocolate. There are endless products made out of chocolate.
Now, what if I tell you that chocolate is… healthy?
“WHAT?” you scream. But before you run and grab a chocolate bar- wait.
Chocolate is healthy, but ONLY if it’s more than 70% cocoa. You don’t have to be too disappointed though, dark chocolate is delicious as well- it just might take some getting used to. (If you’re used to milk chocolate, that is.)
Dark chocolate (remember- more than 70%) is actually considered a superfood, along with kale, blueberries and some others. The health benefits in dark chocolate are mainly that it’s very high in antioxidants. (It also lowers HDL- the bad cholesterol, and raises LDL- the good cholesterol, among others.)

In our family, we don’t eat sugar. So we eat a type of chocolate that is made of- don’t faint- it’s made of 100% cocoa. And, mind you, it’s BITTER. I’m not exactly sure how they make it into a block of chocolate, but it’s hard, it smells like chocolate, and it even tastes like chocolate! (Uh, maybe because it IS chocolate?)
I don’t really like it by itself, I like eating it together with a date. (Or something sweet like that.) My parents and brother however, eat it PLAIN. And they like it!

You can wow your family by eating super healthy 100% chocolate that you can probably find in most health food stores. (Just remember not to have it right before bed, as it contains caffeine.)
If you can’t eat it plain though (like me), here are some quick and easy recipes that contain 100% chocolate:

Hot chocolate: (makes 2 cups)
– 2 cups milk (or substitute unsweetened soy milk, rice milk or almond milk- that way you can drink it after eating meat!)
– 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
– 3 cubes 100% chocolate
– 1 heaping teaspoon honey (pretty important because the chocolate is bitter. But if you’re using rice milk, you can lower the amount of honey because rice milk is naturally sweet.)
Simmer in pot and stir until ready. Then pour into two mugs.

Chocolate bites:
– Approx. 15 cubes of chocolate
– honey (adjust according to taste)
– dates
– slivered almonds
– desiccated coconut
Melt chocolate and honey in a double boiler. Cut the dates and put them in the holes of an ice cube tray with the nuts. Fill with the chocolate mixture and garnish with coconut.
Leave to set in the refrigerator for an hour (or until hard).