#CHOCOLATE – IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR YOU?…

#Chocolate – is it good or bad for you?

There has been lots written in the tabloids about the benefits of eating #chocolate but is this true or false?

Well, according to Medical News Today, #chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. … #chocolate’s antioxidant potential may have a range of health benefits.

Some studies have suggested #chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.

Researchers who studied cyclists doing time trials in the U.K. found that “After eating dark #chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.”

Antioxidants can help reduce free radical damage linked with premature ageing. It can be found in foods such as beans, fruit and dark #chocolate.  Dark #chocolate ranks higher than many fruit and vegetables for its antioxidant power.

Healthline says dark #chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark #chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.

So, I guess eaten properly the answer is a definite ‘yes’  #chocolate can be good for you. How appropriate is that with #Chocolate Week this week from 15th – 21st October. ENJOY

 

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CHOCOLATE WEEK 15-21st OCTOBER, 2018…

Chocolate Week, the nation’s favourite themed week, returns for a 14th consecutive year, celebrating the world of fine #chocolate from 15 to 21 October 2018.

Hundreds of events are expected this Chocolate Week around the UK, with the country’s top chocolatiers and #chocolate companies, as well as hotels, bars and restaurants celebrating by hosting talks, tastings, demonstrations and sampling, as well as creating exclusive products, new launches, offers, #chocolate meals, cocktails and recipes using some of the best #chocolate brands from around the world.

Chocolate Week aims to promote fine flavour #chocolate, the independent artisan chocolatiers and the #chocolate companies who work in direct partnership with cocoa farmers, encouraging consumers to pay a fairer price for their #chocolate.

A list of participants can be found on the Chocolate Week website. 

 

GIFT IDEAS FOR CLASSY WOMEN…

If you are thinking of ideas for the women in your life this year, you might have a few different things on your mind. Classy women need classy gifts, and there are a huge wealth of things you can buy for the elegant lady in your life this year. If you are stuck for birthday or Christmas ideas, here are some essential ones for you to try.

WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE…

One of the best things you could buy for a woman is a wine tasting experience. Most women love wine, and going for a tour of a vineyard followed by an afternoon tasting different wines is like heaven. You can make a day of it and go for good beforehand to soak up the alcohol and you can have a relaxing afternoon trying lots of wonderful drinks together. It can be a really fun experience and you will learn a lot about different wines too.

CHAMPAGNE HAMPER…

If you are looking for a gift idea for your Nanna or your aunt this year, there is one really great idea which you can put together yourself for maximum impact and class. Buy yourself a basket and some crepe paper, and then you can buy a bottle of Odd bins range of vintage champagne. alongside some chocolate, a cheese selection and some cheese knives. It can be a wonderful classy gift and one which looks impressive when you hand it over to them on the day.

AFTERNOON TEA AND A MUSICAL…

A great idea for a day out with your Mum, sister or your partner would be to take her to an afternoon tea in the city and then follow this up with a musical of her choice. It can be a great way to catch up and spend some quality time together while enjoying some lovely food and drink. You can make a holiday of it and stay in a hotel afterwards so that you don’t have to worry about getting home after!

JEWELLERY…

The easiest thing you can possibly buy for a woman is jewellery. There is always jewellery to suit any woman, and you can find lots of amazing styles online and in stores which will suit the woman you are buying for this year. You could buy a pedant for them to put on a chain, a pair of earrings to wear on special occasions or even a ring if you are buying something special for your partner. It can be a fun thing to buy because the choices are endless so you can really have some fun.

FLOWER SHOW…

An ideal gift for your Mum or your Nanna this year would be a trip to a local flower show. There are many flower shows which take place during the summer and they can be vast and expansive with what they have on display. You can book the tickets and enjoy a day trying gin, cheeses, beers and ice cream and you walk around and view some stunning flower displays as well as art and crafts. You can even buy some plants while you are there so make sure you have some room in the car!

CLEAN CAKES BOOK REVIEW…

Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman – what a beautiful name for a cookery book. When I browse Amazon for cookery books I do find that it’s the front picture that promps me to find out more about the book.

This cookbook is for anyone who enjoys baking as well as experimenting with new and alternative ingredients. It provides a wealth of ideas for cooking everything from spectacular cakes, energy-boosting muffins and wholesome loaves to stunning raw desserts and scrumptious tarts and pies, with distinctive flavour combinations and original twists on established classics.

It’s great for anyone who for health or lifestyle reasons wants to eliminate gluten, dairy or refined sugar from their diet but who still wants to satisfy their sweet tooth and create their own nutritious guilt-free masterpieces.

Henrietta Inman embraces nutritious whole food ingredients that are unprocessed, unrefined, natural, seasonal and local wherever possible. The first section shows how to stock your Clean Cakes larder, as well as including foundation recipes such as cashew cream, nut butters and homemade jams. She goes into great detail on dairy free alternatives to yoghurt and buttermilk, dairy free alternatives to cream and cream cheese, and dairy free alternatives to milk.

Next come over 75 beautifully photographed recipes, from rich chocolate brownies, a show-stopping courgette, basil, lime and pistachio layer cake and raw desserts to five grain omega mix granola bars, spectacular fruit pies and enticing savoury tarts. These recipes are for everyone and show that cooking healthily doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavour.

 

 

HOW TO CRAFT CHOCOLATE …

If you love chocolate like me then you need to know about craft chocolate online.  They say chocolate arouses our passions and tempts our senses. Chocolates are loved by most and they come in various forms ranging from dark chocolates to milk chocolates and they leave memories of happy moments.

Chocolate is tasty and delicious but making your own chocolate at home can easily be done if you know where to buy your ingredients. Before making your own you need to check that you have the right equipment to make your chocolate in.

Some essential tools include digital thermometers, various sizes and shapes of molds, a dipping fork and other utensils. Buying the right products to make your chocolate is also something that you need to investigate. Principally start your chocolate making with buying cocoa beans from a reliable source.

With so much chocolate available on the high street you will have to think outside the box and develop a recipe that will be unique as well as tasty.

I made my first batch of homemade chocolate after reading articles on how sugar is bad for your health. I decided that if I made my own chocolate using honey as a sugar substitute it would be a healthier option for me. I am a true chocolate lover and if I could have chocolate for breakfast lunch and tea, I would have it.  I’ve even been on a chocolate diet – don’t ask ☹

I decided to give it a go and put some ingredients together and just popped them into a lined baking tray. I then put it into the freezer and waited for it to set. When it eventually set (almost) I took it out and broke it into pieces but before I had time to eat some it was already melting and falling apart.  I now know that the most important ingredient is cocoa beans.

If you get the right ingredients and utensils, making edible gifts really doesn’t get much easier than making craft chocolate bars. Just like we have seen Craft Beer and Craft Coffee the next big thing will be Craft Chocolate. Get your juices working on handmade gift ideas you could make with your own chocolate. You could start a new trend and even put kits together for people to create their own chocolate. After making the chocolate, the next challenge is where to store it as they advise you not to store in a refrigerator full of other foods. They suggest you store the chocolate in a tightly closed container away from direct sunlight. This will help your chocolate to last longer.

Chocolate making is an art and a science. The best way to create your own delicious chocolate whether you want to make it for personal use, for friends or even to sell is to go to Craft Chocolate UK who say they ‘make the dreams of chocolate lovers to come true’ by teaching the art behind the chocolate making. For anyone looking for a place in the craft chocolate art, Craft Chocolate UK are the ones to contact.

Anyone can put a few ingredients together (just like I did) but learning how to make it the correct way has to be the best way forward.