Nothing says love like chocolate – at least in my heart it does. With Valentine’s Day upon us, let’s indulge in some chocolate. The velvety, smooth and rich flavor of the confection excites the senses – and the darker the better for your health. The cocoa in chocolate is the healthy part as it contains plant-based nutrients called flavanols, which have been shown to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and possibly memory.
Unfortunately, that is not a green light to eat unlimited amounts of chocolate – even if it’s dark. You’d have to eat a lot of chocolate (and calories) to get enough of the good stuff, that it’s not worth it to your waistline! The best bet is to sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder in coffee, oatmeal and chili. Be choosey about your cocoa powders as some contain contaminants and are overly processed. Read more research on cocoa here.
With that said, I still love to indulge in small amounts of chocolate. Savor each bite and eat it mindfully. A little goes a long way when you dip and drizzle it. Today, I am going to dip an assortment of fruit in melted chocolate – it’ll make a great Valentine’s Day sweet treat. Also, it’s a simple, fast and colorful dessert to make right before the kids get home from school or before your guests arrive for a dinner party. Enjoy!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Blueberries and Pears
Makes 6 servings
1 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup blueberries
1 ripe pear, sliced
Put chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and place into microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir.
Wash and dry fruit well before dipping in chocolate as water will make the chocolate grainy and it will not adhere to the fruit. Dip you fruit into the chocolate individually. For the blueberries, use a toothpick to twirl them in the chocolate more easily (and there’s less mess!). Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information (per 2 strawberries, 5 blueberries & 1 pear slice chocolate-covered): Calories: 247, Total Fat: 16 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 8 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 13 g, Protein: 3 g
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Enjoy eating simply,