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.

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. 

 

SOME OF THE BEST HEALTHY CAKE RECIPES FILLED WITH VEGETABLES…

Not all cakes need to be fattening. Shape website has a list of seven healthy cake recipes. From Cherry Coconut Cauliflower Ice Cream Cake which sounds amazing to Kale and Apple Cake with Apple Frosting.

Shape say that as a superfood favorite, kale is everywhere, and now it’s even made its way into a cake. “Kale has a slightly bitter taste, so if you use it in dessert, you may need an extra tablespoon of honey or agave to even out the flavor,” says Rizzo. “But it’s huge in the nutrition department, with tons of vitamin C, A, and K, and antioxidants.” Plus, here’s a tip: If you’re struggling to break down that tough, fibrous kale, use a bit of applesauce to help with the puréeing process.

One of my favourites is the Pumpkin Orange Mini Cakes with Powdered Sugar. This pumpkin cake blends pumpkin purée with cinnamon and vanilla, plus citrus from navel orange zest. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and a little bit of sugar on top helps finish it off.

Being a true chocaholic I cannot resist the Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting

Woman & Home have some delicious Healthy Cakes recipes and my favourite from their list is a gluten free and sugar free carrot and coconut cake from Eric Lanlard uses stevia, instead of sugar and rice flour, instead or regular wheat flour.

My next choice from their list of 16 Healthy Cake recipes is one I want to try soon which sounds delicious, Almond, polenta and honey cake.

GH say “Polenta is a really great way to add texture, bulk and depth to flour-free bakes. It’s low GI so provides slow-release energy without the white carb crash, and also boasts more protein than a large egg!”

Almond, Polenta and Honey Cake

 

 

#NATIONAL CAKE WEEK – 2nd – 8th OCTOBER…

It’s National Cake Week this week in the UK so get out your scales and pop on that Pinney to make your special cake this week.

A movable feast that is always celebrated in the first full week of October. National Cake Week was founded by Lynn Hill in 2011, with the sole purpose of celebrating and sharing a whole cake together with family and friends. You will find a cake at the heart of almost every formal and informal gathering, whether in the office, a family birthday party, or a wedding and who doesn’t love a slice or two?

Cakes come in all shape sharing sizes, round, square and rectangular. Semi-naked, the cake of course, not the baker, with a feather-light sponge, filled and topped with fresh fruit, or a chocoholic overload that is sure to send you into a sugar rush high.

Whatever the occasion, National Cake Week is the time to celebrate the humble cake in all its glory. Share your creation on social media using the hashtag #nationalcakeweek

Also, share in here for us all to admire.

 

TEA AND CAKE AT HOUSE OF FRASER…

It’s been a while since we popped into House of Fraser in Nottingham so while we were there I suggested we gave the Restaurant a try.

I chose the Bakewell Sponge and my husband had the Rich Fruit Cake, both were delicious and reasonably priced.

The reason we had not been in for such a long time was because John Lewis offers rewards with their My John Lewis card which just for creating an account with John Lewis you are rewarded with free coffee and cake every month and you needn’t spend a penny!

It’s quite obvious that this get’s you into the department store and sometimes we have just gone in to use the voucher up before it expired. It’s just a shame other department stores don’t offer the same service as you nearly always end up buying something from the store you pop into.