CHOCOLATE WITH ALL THE GOODNESS BUT NOT THE CALORIES…

I am a chocoholic and proud to be one. From an early age when away at school all my chocolate in my tuck box would be eaten first then I would do a never-ending amount of jobs for senior girls in order to get some more. I really should have opened a chocolate shop before now. I’ve even been on a chocolate diet ! and ‘no’it did not work but it was rather enjoyable.

However, we all know it’s not good for our waist line nor our teeth but over the years it does get some good press as being good for your heart in the right format and the amount you eat. Chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains polyphenols, which may work as antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and reduce blood pressure. Some experts suggest that eating some chocolate every day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cocoa contains epicatechins and catechins, which are similar to the polyphenols found in green tea; and quercetin, which is found in fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than milk chocolate because certain processing methods remove the polyphenols, which have a bitter flavor.

Dr. Arebi on Net Doctor wrote “Fermentation in the bean and subsequent extraction generates cocoa butter and releases a variety of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and anti-oxidants,” she explains.

“Cocoa beans also contain dopamine, phenylethylamine and serotonin, chemicals with powerful antidepressant properties that also promote wellbeing. In addition, theobromine is another component of the cocoa bean and has caffeine like properties.”

And she says that many more healthy chemicals are released when chocolate is fermented in our intestines by our gut bacteria, citing research that showed the antioxidants released are similar to those found in green tea.

So, where can we buy chocolate that is that bit healthier but tastes as good as ordinary chocolate? Well there are many companies out there with healthier chocolate treats for us in fact far to many for me to write about in one post so instead I am going to write a regular post on it with all the information I have found about each company.

To start off this regular slot my first post is all about a company called The Skinny Food Company, The Skinny Food Co. was founded in May 2018. James Whiting and Wayne Starky (Directors) have previous experience in the food and beverage/health and wellness market and have discovered the need for great, tasty, and healthy products. It is promoted by diabetic family members who avoid so many favorite foods. This brand was born with the release of zero-calorie syrups, healthy, almost zero table sauces, and shortly thereafter.

Some of the products which I cannot wait to try are-

The Chocolate Flavoured Zero Calories Syrup at £3.99

The Prodigy Chunky Chocolate Low Sugar Vegan Chocolate Bars at £1.99

The Skinny High Protein Milk Chocolate Crispies at £1.25

The Double Chocolate 3 calories a cup drink at £2.49

The 92% less sugar Chocolate Spread at £3.99

I don’t need to go any further as I am sure your mouth will be watering by now but I promise I will follow up after I have tried some of these and another post on chocolate for fewer calories.

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.