chocolate chip brownie bites

by Dani on July 3, 2013

It’s no secret that I love chocolate. And why wouldn’t I? Chocolate (the good kind) has many amazing benefits including:

…its delicious and satisfying taste
…it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
…it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants. Caffeine acts on dopamine and adenosine receptors in the brain, which then release their respective pleasure-producing chemicals.
…has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 10%

Chocolate comes from the dried seeds of a South American evergreen tree called Theobroma cacao which is used in making cacao and chocolate.

Chocolate makes people happy and that’s a good enough reason for me to like it. When you purchase chocolate, here are some things to look for to make sure you get the best quality:

The cheaper the price, the cheaper the chocolate – there’s a reason some candy bars are $0.79…they’re crap! Shell out more money and get the good stuff.

Read the label – good chocolate has cocoa solids (the actual chocolate) and cocoa butter (the creaminess of the chocolate) as top ingredients. Avoid chocolate with sugar as the first ingredient.

Avoid added ingredients – if there is added refined sugar, additional fat, artificial flavours and ingredients you don’t recognize, skip it.

Choose fair-trade – about 90% of the world’s cocoa (a key ingredient in chocolate) comes from small producers in third-world countries. Certifying fair-trade bodies ensure that farmers receive reliable wages for their work and get a social premium to invest back into their communities. Fair trade also encourages sustainable farming, so when purchasing a fair-trade products you’re also helping the environment.

Avoid milk – if there is dairy in chocolate it could prevent the antioxidants in chocolate from being absorbed and used by the body.

chocolate chip brownie bites

Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
8 large Medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients into food processor and process until well combined. Note – processing nuts for too long results in too much oil being extracted resulting in oily brownie bites. Shape into balls and refrigerate until ready to consume.

Health Benefits of Chocolate by Mark Stibich
Guide to Buying Fair-Trade Chocolate by Kathryn Dorrell

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