February is the month of love, and it’s also National Heart Month, so what better topic than a lovable, heart-healthy treat. Yep, you heard us right: dark chocolate is good for you.
Multiple studies have now shown that dark chocolate can benefit your heart, including one study that found that daily chocolate consumption could reduce heart attacks and strokes in people at high risk for these problems.
The findings applied only to dark chocolate (so this isn’t an excuse to grab your fave milk chocolate candy bar daily), meaning chocolate made up of at least 60-70% cocoa. It features a slightly more bitter, and sometimes acquired, [we think delicious] taste. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids called polyphenols, which can have a positive effect on blood pressure, clotting, and inflammation.
Other than eating it straight from the bar (find out which brands of dark chocolate bars are the worst and best for your health here!), here’s a super-simple, healthy recipe you might just want to give a try, well, immediately:
***Gourmet Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas***
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 6 popsicle sticks or wooden skewers
- 2 bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into thirds
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds (or nut of your choice)
- Place your chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of gently simmering water. Stir just until melted.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Insert a skewer in one end of each banana piece. Dip banana, one piece at a time, in chocolate, spooning on additional chocolate to cover.
Sprinkle each banana with the nuts, and set on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, 20 minutes, or up to 3 days.
Delish & super healthy (maybe we’ll cover bananas a different month)! Want more amazing dark chocolate recipes? Try these from Cooking Light Magazine.
And while you’re munching on your scrumptious snack, check out this link to the American Heart Association, a great resource for all things heart-healthy (and this month, you’ll find a few love stories too).
Here at The Cabinet Store + Culina Design we know your kitchen is more than just a room. It’s a new-recipe-testing-lab, homework hang-out, and family entertainment area. If you’re ready to update this ever-busy room in your home, stop by our amazing showroom and we’ll help you create a free layout of your potential new space. Now that’s something to feel good about. The Cabinet Store + Culina Design is located in Apple Valley, and serves the entire Twin Cities metro area and beyond!