The Four Most Important Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Chocolates are savories that are relished by people of all ages and are something no one would reject. It is eaten as a dessert or is added to varied sweet savories. It contains cocoa, milk, sugar and other flavors. It is known to have calories and shouldn’t be consumed every day if one intends to lead a healthy life. There is an alternative to satisfy the sweet tooth by gorging on dark chocolate. It is manufactured using less sugar and thus doesn’t add on to the calorie content of the bar. After necessary research, it has been concluded that it is said to have varied benefits to the body. There are varied questions that crop up in people’s mind when they get to know about the existence of it alongside the normal bars.

• How is it beneficial to the health?
It is known to have plenty of minerals in it as well as soluble fiber. Minerals like magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorous, zinc, etc. help the body to develop well and keep it healthy. The fatty acids found in the cocoa that constitute it are saturated and thus easy to digest leaving no harmful traces in the body. It is also known to be rich in antioxidants that rejuvenate the cells the body and curbing diseases.

• How does it affect the heart and the blood flow?
It contains flavonols that are known to induce the lining of the arteries in the heart to produce nitric oxide. This gas lets the arteries relax and thus inducing normal blood flow without having high or low blood pressure. The essence in cocoa powder is known to reduce cholesterol levels in men. It neutralizes the cholesterol levels and thus protecting the heart. The study has revealed that men who consume it are less likely to face cardiovascular diseases and would have a longer life with a healthy heart.

• Will the skin have a better texture?
Well, yes it would have a great effect on the skin where the presence of flavonols protects the skin from sun damage. Skin when exposed to the sun frequently has chances of tanning or the harmful UV rays can induce skin cancer. The contents in the it are known to hydrate the skin and improve the blood flow thus making the skin supple and making it look young.

• What are the other uses of it?
It can serve as a great gift to adults as well as children though it may not go down well with children due to its bitter taste. It serves both purposes of gifting as well as letting people have a healthy body and lead a good lifestyle.

Sweet Memories Of British Chocolate

British chocolate bars are amongst the best tasting chocolate in the world. For those of us who grew up in the UK, we have been privileged to have this gorgeous tasting chocolate on our door step, so to speak, every day of our lives, and for as long as we can remember it has been almost a staple in our diets.

Since before we could even say chocolate button, we have had the taste sensation of a British chocolate bar blessed upon us, and this amazing chocolate became an almost essential part of our lives. Whether it was a daily or weekly treat, British chocolate bars have been an important mainstay of British life.

When we take a trip back to the days of chocolate past, in the great green pastures and cobbled streets of Britain, those days of old when we were all snot and marmite, our chocolate treats were the single most exciting privileges of being a child. A visit to Granny, or Nanny to which name you prefer, would almost guarantee a chocolate haven.

Now Grannies home was always a wonderful homely place, a place filled with so much affection and love you would almost have to brush it away from your face, and much of this affection and love was shown none more so than through the joy of food. We all loved Grannies home and some of our fondest memories are of the food.

What child or teenager didn’t have immediate thoughts of being showered with food when going to Grannies. Whether it be beef roast dinners or sausage and mash you would be guaranteed this love filled food as soon as you walked through the door and into her special hug. This wonderful food would warm our heart and soul (and our bellies) but it wasn’t just the hearty good meals, the treats, oh the treats would be in abundance.

There’d be biscuits and sweets, but best of all chocolate. British chocolate classics would be piled up in an old Cadbury roses tin, and in this tin would be so much chocolate, you would think your were Charlie Bucket holding a golden ticket. You were always allowed more than just one, in fact Granny would insist “go on darling have another ” and so it would be the whole time that you were there, tasty meals and treats given with unconditional love and care.

Continuing to look back to those chocolate childhood days, we have many more wonderful joyful recollections of being given these wonderful chocolate treats. Every trip with Mummy or Daddy to the shops would finish with us choosing a pack of sweets or a bar of chocolate because after all, we had been “so good”. Even after a trip to the dentist, this ‘frightful’ trip every six months; would be softened with the knowledge that when it was over we would have a wonderful chocolate bar for the pure bravery that we had displayed.

There is also the trips my father would make every Sunday morning for the paper; every Sunday he would buy me and my sisters a British chocolate classic, it could be Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons, a Wispa or a Curly Wurly, or any of the other bars and those Sunday morning chocolate treats always tasted that extra bit special.

As the years went on the trips to the shop with mum or dad would start to be less, replaced with trips on your own; with your friends after school or on Saturday morning, relishing in your new found sense of freedom. With pocket money in hand or with money earned washing Mrs Davies car, you would have this money to spend on whatever you pleased, and what pleased us the most was being able to buy as many sweets and chocolate bars as we could.

In adulthood the love of this famous tasting British chocolate would continue or even prosper. As well as ourselves, we now have our own children and/or our siblings children to indulge in this magical chocolate.

There is also mother’s day; with the gift of Cadbury Milk Tray and Fathers birthday; for whom you were never quite sure what present to get, would always take great pleasure when he received a great big slab of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate. We have Christmas day; with the aforementioned traditional tin of Cadbury Roses and Easter Sunday; with the great British chocolate Easter eggs.

The special times we relate to this wonderful chocolate are plentiful; far too many to write here and to each of us they hold a special place within our memories and our hearts.

Chocolate Is Not an Aphrodisiac

Since the myth has lasted for centuries, scientist began doing studies to see if the claim was true. One such study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine wanted to see if women who ate chocolate for a period of time would become sexually aroused from eating chocolate. They studied a random group of about 163 adult women whose average age was 35. They divided them into two groups and found no significant difference between the first group who had one serving of chocolate versus the second group that had three or more servings a day.

Most researchers have discovered the two natural chemicals found in chocolate that is supposed to make it an aphrodisiac is tryptophan, a building block of serotonin and phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine. Because they are in trace amounts they are not significant enough to turn a flicker into a flame sexually. If anyone claims otherwise it is probably more psychological than physical.

Taking a closer look at the myth under a microscope, if chocolate was truly an aphrodisiac; it would be treated as a drug and…

… would come with a warning label.

… would make a person feel sexually aroused after eating it.

… would make a person feel strange, become hyper active or act as if they are high.

… would be sold behind the counter at the pharmacy.

… you would have to have a prescription.

… would be sold on the street as an illegal drug call “aphrodisiac candy”.

… would be advertised as a multivitamin or herbal remedy.

… prescribe as a medicine by many physicians and psychiatrists.

… would be sold in every supplemental and health food store as an energy booster.

… would be in every household medicine cabinet like as aspirin.

… would be mixed in dishes or served with many other foods like seasoning salt.

… used to seduce or drug unsuspecting victims.

… would become addictive and people strung out on it and do whatever than can to get it.

Now if you are still not convinced that chocolate is not an aphrodisiac go out and get you some. While you’re eating it, think of this list and note if any of the things applies to you. Many people, who find a food, drink or drugs that elevate their mood will find a way to consume it anyway possible on a regular basis. They love the euphoric, happy buzz they get from it and feel it helps them get through life. True, there are a lot of chocoholics but they will tell you it is the wonderful smooth taste of chocolate that makes them feel mellow and in no way it is sexually stimulating.

How We Came to Know The Cadbury Flake

Cadbury Fake is one of the all time best British candy bars and this classic British chocolate bar has been a favourite in Britain for almost a century. From the first moment it was produced, Cadbury knew it would be a hit, and so much so they knew that they would have to keep its formulation a closely guarded secret, and so it remains to this day.

This delicious chocolate bar was first developed in 1920 and was founded by accident by an employee of Cadbury. This clever employee noticed that when excess from the moulds drained off, they fell off in a stream and created a folded flaking chocolate.

In 1930, every childs dream was realized, Cadbury began to produce boxes of loose half-length Flakes that were distributed to ice cream vendors across the UK. The premise was that the Flake could be placed at a 45-degree angle at the top of an ice-cream cone, and this would become known as the ’99 ice cream’. Although there have been many different claims as to where the name ’99’ originated, its origin is unknown, and some vendors now often refer to it incorrectly as the ’99 with Flake’.

“Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate, tastes like chocolate never tasted before.”

Cadbury Flake has a long history of sensual advertising. The line above was first used in 1959 and was continually used for many years. Cadbury’s marketing have always stuck to their guns and claimed that the advertising campaign has been about the sensuous nature of eating chocolate.

Cadbury Flake girls have included 1969 Miss World, Eva Rueber-Staier, who also starred in The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, and For Your Eyes Only. Singer Joss Stone was also a Flake girl in 2008. In 2010 Cadbury finally pulled the plug on the Flake girl. The new advertising campaign was to focus on the “beauty and delicacy” of the Flake bar rather than the Flake girl succumbing to the chocolate. The new ad featured Russian model Yulia Lobova in over two hundred metres of yellow fabric. The fabric twirls around the beautiful model as a yellow dress, in an analogy of the Cadbury Flake wrapper.

Cadbury Flake has had many variations.

In 2000 the Cadbury Snowflake was launched.This chocolate bar being a 12.5cm (five-inch) version of white-chocolate flake wrapped in a milk chocolate coating.

In 2003 and 2004 Cadbury launched three more Flake variation products. The first, in 2003, was the Dipped Flake, which like the SnowFlake was only 12.5cm long.’The ‘Dipped’ is wrapped in a coating of Cadbury milk chocolate, which holds the Flake firmly together, making it less crumbly and easier to eat.

The next Cadbury Flake variation appeared in September of 2004, when Flake Moments were launched. This was a boxed selection, with two layers, each containing 11 milk and white miniature Flakes, with added garnishes. These chocolates have different names such as Heaven, Delight, Obsession and Reflection.

Cadbury introduced their own Flake Ice cream. It is a Crisp Biscuit Cone Filled with Vanilla Flavour Ice Cream,topped with Milk Chocolate Curls and of course a Milk Chocolate Flake. It also comes Strawberry flavour. Also available is the 500ml tub of soft vanilla ice-cream, scattered with small pieces of flake.

Too Much Chocolate Cake

“Eating breakfast with desserts fights obesity”

Scientists have found that people who eat their largest daily meal at breakfast are far more likely to lose weight and waistline circumference than those who eat a large dinner. They also had significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides throughout the day, translating into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

Morning is the best time to devour desserts since that is the point at which the body’s digestion system is most dynamic – and we have whatever remains of the day to work off the calories, another study appears.

Eating treats or chocolate as a major aspect of breakfast that incorporates proteins and carbs likewise stems the longing for desserts later.

Scientists split 193 clinically obese, non-diabetic adults into two gatherings who devoured either a low-carb diet that included a 300-calorie breakfast or a balanced 600-calorie breakfast that included a chocolate cake dessert.

Part of the way through the 32-week study both groups had lost an average of 33 lbs. per person. However, in the second 50% of the study the low-carb bunch regained an average of 22 lbs. per person – while the dessert lovers lost another 15 lbs. each. Toward the end those who had individuals who had consumed a 600-calorie breakfast had lost an average of 40 lbs. more per person than their peers.

Although both groups consumed the same day by day all out calories – the men 1600 calories for each day and the ladies 1400 – “the members in the low-starch diet group had less satisfaction and felt that they were not full,” said Professor Daniela.

Their cravings for sugars and starches were more intense and in the long run made them undermine the diet plan. This likewise recommends the dessert group will be more successful at keeping the weight off, said the researchers whose findings are published in journal Steroids. Whether you hope to lose weight or just stay healthy, what you eat is a crucial factor.

The right nutrients can trim your waistline, but also provide energy, improve your mood, and stave off disease. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher has found that it’s not just what you eat — but when.

Metabolism is impacted by the body’s circadian rhythm — the biological process that the body follows over a 24-hour cycle. So the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food, says Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center. In a recent study, she discovered that those who eat their largest daily meal at breakfast (including dessert) are far more likely to lose weight and waistline circumference than those who eat a large dinner

Prof Jakubowicz said: “Yet the group that consumed a greater breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any yearnings for these foods later in the day.”

Prof Daniela Jakubowicz a renowned MD professor of Biology, Tel Aviv University said attempting to avoid desserts completely could make a psychological dependence on these same foods in the long- term.

A meal in the morning gives vitality/energy to the day’s tasks, helps in brain working and kick-begins the body’s digestion system/ metabolism, making it significant for weight reduction and maintenance.

Also, breakfast is the feast that most effectively directs Ghrelin, the hormone that increases hunger, said Prof Jakubowicz While the level of Ghrelin rises before each meal, it is suppressed most viably at breakfast time.

Base their study with respect to this; the analysts would have liked to figure out if mealtime and structure affected weight reduction in the short and long term, said Prof Daniela, Tel Aviv University; or in the event that it was a simple matter of calorie count.

She said one of the greatest hurdles that people face is keeping weight off in the long term. Ingesting a higher extent of our every day calories at breakfast makes sense. It’s useful for body capacity as well as alleviates cravings. Exceptionally prohibitive weight control plans that forbid sweets and sugars are at first successful yet regularly make health food dieters to stray from their food plans as a result of withdrawal-like symptoms.

They end up regaining a significant part of the weight they lost amid the proper diet.

At last this demonstrates an eating routine must be practical to be embraced as a major aspect of new lifestyle. Controlling yearnings is better than deprivation for weight reduction achievement, said Prof Daniela Jakubowicz.

Dark Chocolate – A Boon

Chocolates, as we have perceived so far, are known for their awful reputation. Deemed as detrimental to our health, bad for our pearly whites, crammed with high calories and saturated fats, chocolates have typically been undervalued. But you know what? The fine little secret is that they are not actually that bad as they are believed to be. If truth be told, regardless of some unfavorable effects, it is packed with plentiful health benefits. So don’t stop craving for chocolates, instead, indulge and spoil yourself in some.

Given that chocolates, in general, are in some ways, beneficial for us, the one which aces the list is the Dark chocolate. This one certainly has double wholesome value than the others. Look into its recesses; you are bound to dig up its healthful edge:

• A mood enhancer:

Devouring a Dark chocolate, which is rich in cocoa, makes you feel relaxed, as it generates endorphins in the brain, a type of chemical which is known to uplift your mood and energy levels.

• A heart healer:

It contains Flavanols, the antioxidants which help improve blood flow to the heart, thus putting off the threat of a heart ailment. They bring down the blood pressure by increasing the suppleness of your nervous system.

• Skin guard:

The flavonoids present in dark chocolates soak up the UV rays coming from the sun, thus, shielding your skin from damage. It also improves blood circulation, giving you a better complexion.

• Tooth health:

Can a chocolate really maintain the health of your teeth? Hard to believe but it’s true that dark chocolate, which is rich in cocoa content, is good for your teeth. Cocoa acts as an antibacterial agent which holds back the growth of plague- causing bacteria from damaging your teeth.

• Reduces weight:

Chocolates are usually known for putting on weight on your body, but, dark chocolates perform the contrary function. Eating these makes you feel full. Their bitter-sweet taste will minimize your appetite for other foods. So, in addition to hitting the gym, you can grab a bar of dark chocolate to keep your weight in check.

• Control diabetes:

Being low in sugar and high in cocoa content, the bitter flavor of dark chocolates on your tastebuds will scale down the blood sugar level instead of intensifying it.

Treat yourself with a mouthful, yet moderate amount of dark chocolate. And, always keep in mind that the surface might be dark but it has a sunny side too.

Quick Double Chocolate Chip Cookies From a Mix

Thousands of recipes are available from the Internet. When it comes to free recipes, however, downloading them is a buyer beware situation. Many recipes are excellent, and some are not so good. As I discovered, these recipes can have missing ingredients, confusing typos, and spotty directions.

I like to customize recipes so I rarely make them as written. Years of cooking experience help me do this. But baking is the exception to my rule. I know I must measure the ingredients carefully, use the recommended pan, and set the oven to the correct temperature. Ovens vary, and sometimes I have baked cookies longer than stated in the recipe.

Family members were coming for dinner and I needed a quick dessert. I am my disabled husband’s primary caregiver and don’t have much time for cooking, so I turned to the Internet for help. Amazingly, I found a recipe for chocolate cookies made with a brownie mix. “Sounds good,” I mumbled to myself.

Besides, I had just purchased a brownie mix on sale. A diagram of my thought pattern would look like this: sale brownie mix > pressed for time > quick solution. According to the recipe I downloaded, I only needed a large bowl, a mixing spoon, and measuring spoons to make the cookies.

All of this sounded good, but I realized the directions in the recipe were sparse. If I hadn’t been an experienced baker I might have been in trouble. But experience rescued me and the cookies were good. Below is the basic recipe that I downloaded from the Internet.

I changed the recipe in several ways. First, I added some vanilla to bring out the flavor of the chocolate. To compensate for the vanilla I added less water. I also added an eight-ounce package of chocolate chips. Unlike the downloaded recipe, my preparation and baking instructions are detailed. Get ready to bite into a warm, double chocolate, gooey cookie. You’re going to like these!


1 box (18.3 ounces) fudge brownie mix

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola.)

1/4 cup regular flour

1 package (8 ounces) chocolate chips (regular or sugar-free)


Heat oven to 350 degrees.Coat baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Dump brownie mix into a large bowl. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Add water, and vanilla extract, and beat well with fork. Pour this mixture over baking mix. Stir in chocolate chips with spoon. Make sure the chips are distributed evenly in the dough and there is no dry mix in the bottom of the bowl. Drop teaspoons of dough onto prepared baking pan, leaving two inches of space between each cookie. Set pan on middle oven rack. Bake 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and cool for 30 seconds before removing from pan. Transfer to wax paper to finish cooling. (Cookies will set as they cool.) Store cookies in air-tight container. For a delicious dessert, fold broken cookies into vanilla or coffee ice cream or make ice cream sandwiches with cookies. Yield: About 3 dozen.

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. Her latest releases: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, The Family Caregiver’s Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, and A Journal for Family Caregivers. Visit her website and learn more about this busy author, grandmother, and caregiver.

9 Surprising Foods To Pair With Chocolate

Can’t decide on the food you want to serve at your party?

Chocolate is always a good starting place, but what should go with it?

You can mimic the techniques of gourmet chefs to make even very simple party food memorable. The main goal is to pair foods that bring a variety of flavors and consistencies together so that the individual foods enhance each other. Consider foods with a flavor that is nearly as strong or a little stronger than the chocolate. You don’t want either food to overpower the other. Salty, tart, and spicy foods compliment chocolate well. Also, think of foods that can be described as crunchy or crispy.

These 9 Surprising Foods Compliment Chocolate

#1. Herbs and Spices

Cinnamon, ginger, and rosemary enhance the flavor of chocolate in unique ways. Flavor chocolate with ground spices, serve other foods seasoned with herbs, or offer whole items such as cinnamon sticks, depending on the type of chocolate being served. It could be fun to serve chocolate candies flavored with or paired with each spice so people can try them out and see which they like best.

#2. Cheese

The love affair between chocolate and cheese seems to be really hitting it off, according to gourmet specialists on the internet. I haven’t personally tried it yet, but I think I need to. Cheeses are tart and have a distinctive taste, so this would pair well with chocolate.

Want a real shock? If you had asked me which cheese would pair worst with chocolate, I would probably have guessed parmesan cheese, but people are raving about it.

Again, this would be a great opportunity to lay out a chocolate and cheese bar and let people try out their own combinations. This way guests receive food, fun, and new experiences.

#3. Potato Chips

Most of us have probably stumbled upon this delight on our own because so many parties include chocolate cake and potato chips. These salty, crunchy and oh-so-lovable snacks make a delicious and fun food to serve with chocolate in all forms. Chocolate fountains, candies, cakes, and ice cream benefit from the taste and shape of potato chips.

#4. Peppers

Yes, hot peppers will dazzle partygoers. The strong, spicy flavor of the peppers enhances the smooth, sweetness of chocolate. This taste sensation is particularly powerful because your tongue gets a little numb from the peppers and leaves typically unnoticed taste buds ready to fully appreciate the chocolate.

#5. Salt

It seems to be easy for our mouths to enjoy salty and sweet things at the same time. You actually taste both of the items more.

Did you know that you can put salt in or on chocolate?

#6. Popcorn

Drizzle chocolate on popcorn or serve them next to each other, and your guests will be delighted. This could be another great food bar opportunity. It would be amazing to serve several types of popcorn, different kinds of chocolate, and toppings of diverse candy and nuts.

#7. Vegetables

This is another one I haven’t tried, but apparently people have been pairing vegetables and chocolate together. You can dip vegetables in a chocolate fountain, serve vegetables covered in chocolate, and pair chocolate and vegetables together in a snack plate.

#8. Bread

Chocolate tastes delicious with sweet and savory breads. Vegetable based breads such as zucchini, cheesy breads, and nutty breads taste great served with and dipped in chocolate. Also, chocolate spreads make great party sandwiches.

#9. Mushrooms

Save this one for a party with very adventurous guests. Apparently, mushrooms and chocolate are something we are all missing out on, but you wouldn’t want to force the pairing on someone. Cook them together, serve them together, maybe even dip it.

Pairing unexpected foods at your party will make your party stand out from the crowd, and it will add an extra element of fun when people get to try to new things.