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With Easter just around the corner, it's very hard not to go on the obligatory binge: chocolate anything, hot cross buns and — let’s be honest – everything in sight to compensate and offset the sugar comedown that could come after a holiday.
Now, I'm not a heartless wench who expects you NOT to indulge, but let’s get a grip before the weekend begins. You'll eat chocolate, that’s a given; let’s talk portion control and quality.
First, step away from the cheap and cute foil-wrapped bunny and exchange it for some dark chocolate! Ideally you should select your Easter treats with at least 85% dark cocoa, but if your taste buds aren't at that point yet (I understand, it's an acquired taste if you're used to milk chocolate), 70% cocoa will be just fine and will taste just as good. The antioxidants are much higher in dark chocolate, and it may help lower blood pressure due to its large amounts of flavonoids.
If you want to take your health kick a step up over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some raw organic cacao nibs. These cocoa beans are straight from the source and are the origin of all chocolate and cocoa products.
The nutritional benefits of raw cacoa products include: being a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), omega-3s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of stress-relieving magnesium. Other good news is that it's only 92 calories and 0.54 grams of sugar per 15 grams!
You can eat the nibs raw, or add them to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans.
If you'd like to make your own healthy, dark chocolate Easter eggs, then check out the below:
Raw Homemade Chocolates
Place liquid coconut oil in a bowl – if hard, melt beforehand.
Mix all ingredients together with a hand blender until smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into molds, or pour into a baking dish lined with baking paper.
Place moulds into freezer to be set in the freezer (approx 15 minutes).
Options: add goji berries or peppermint oil for a flavor change.
Enjoy your chocolate, whether it is dark chocolate from the store, a few nibs or a homemade batch of eggs, and use the extra time to move your body on at least one of your days off!