Eat More Chocolate

standard June 3, 2014 Leave a response

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Especially after a meal, there is no better dessert than a bit of sweet, tart chocolate goodness. The only way I can usually keep myself from eating it every day is to not keep sweets in the house. Thankfully, there is a healthier version of the traditional chocolate bar that is just as delicious.

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Cacao nibs are broken up pieces of roasted cacao beans. They have a tart, bittersweet chocolate taste and pack a greater nutritional punch than the standard dark or semi-sweet chocolate you find in the grocery store.  In each ounce of these little crunchy pieces are 130 calories, 9 grams of fiber, and a healthy dose of minerals including magnesium, copper, calcium, and iron. They are definitely an acquired taste, especially if you are used to super sweet, processed chocolate. However, when mixed into smoothies, added to baked goods, or sprinkled on granola, they become an addicting, versatile ingredient.

The nutrients in cacao make it a great alternative as well. In addition to being an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, and iron, cacao nibs are also high in flavonoids (antioxidants) that prevent cell damage and increase circulation, neurotransmitters that affect mood, and monounsaturated fats that help raise healthy cholesterol levels. Easily a healthier alternative to the candy bar!

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The next time you have a chocolate fix, try out one of these sweet recipes: