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DR. ELAINE'S NATURAL HEALTH BLOG
Dr. Elaine Gavalas~Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner~Yoga Therapist~Exercise Physiologist~Weight Management Coach~Menopause Specialist~Best-Selling Author

DR. ELAINE’S ROSE-DUSTED CHOCOLATE VALENTINE

Kick off the Valentine's Day countdown with a batch of Dr. Elaine's yoga-inspired

chocolate dipped strawberries with rose petals for your sweetie.

 

Great news - modern science is confirming what the ancient indigenous peoples

knew all along - chocolate is good for you. Since the time of the ancient Mayan,

Olmec, and Aztec Indians who worshipped chocolate as food of the gods,

chocolate's been consumed for pleasure as well as its healing properties. Over the

centuries chocolate has been used as a remedy for conditions ranging from

indigestion to depression to heart problems, as well as an aphrodisiac.

 

Chocolate Studies

 

Studies show that dark chocolate has health benefits worthy of a yogic food. Along

with an incommparably seductive taste and texture, chocolate has potent

antioxidant flavonoids called proanthyocyanidins, found in fruits, vegetables, red

wine, and green tea that may contribute to heart health and boost immunity.

Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine and theobromine, bioactive substances

that may be natural antidepressants; stearic acid, a unique fat that may lower

cholesterol; and magnesium, a mineral important in preventing hypertension and

heart disease.

 

Choose Wisely

 

All chocolates are not equal, so choose wisely to enjoy their health benefits. The

best type of chocolate, from a yogic point of view is a dark, bittersweet or

semisweet chocolate with at least 60 to 90 percent cocoa mass, and no added

fillings, additives, sugar, or fats (such as butter, hydrogenated fats, or oils). The

cocoa mass, also known as cocoa liquor, is the pure, unsweetened content of the

cocoa bean, where the beneficial nutrients reside. Due its higher percentage of

cocoa mass and therefore more healthful flavonoids, dark chocolate has

significantly more antioxidant power than milk chocolate (which only has 5 to 50 percent cocoa mass) or white chocolate (zero percent cocoa mass).

 
Chocolate Calories

 
Of course, dark chocolate shouldn't replace the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables

of a well-balanced yoga diet. Dark chocolate is also loaded with calories, so you risk

gaining weight if you add it to your diet without making some caloric adjustments.

However, moderate amounts of dark chocolate (about half an ounce to one ounce

daily) can be good for you if you eat a healthful yoga diet and enjoy regular yoga

practice.

So go ahead and boost your prana (life force energy) with chocolate's not-so-guilty

pleasures! 


RECIPE:

ROSE-DUSTED CHOCOLATE VALENTINE 

Succulent organic strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with rose petals is a decadently delicious

and healthful dessert to share with your sweetie. Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Ingredients

8 to 10 large (preferably long-stemmed) ripe, organic strawberries

8 ounces dark or semisweet bar chocolate with 60-70% cocoa content, broken into

pieces

dash of cinnamon

organic food-grade dried rose petals

 

Directions

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the strawberries with cold water

(keeping the stems and leaves intact) and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Place the chocolate pieces in a double boiler set over, but not touching,

simmering water, and melt while stirring. Once the chocolate melts, stir in a dash of

cinnamon. Remove the pot from the heat.

3. Grasp the leaves or stem of a strawberry or insert a toothpick into the stem of a

strawberry. Dip the strawberry into the melted chocolate to coat the berry's lower

three-quarters. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and then place on the baking

sheet. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Sprinkle on rose petals.

4. Refrigerate the chocolate-dipped strawberries for at least 30 minutes or up to 12

hours before serving.

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