What do you feel when you think of chocolate? Love? Joy? Satisfaction? Happiness? Delight? I can hazard a guess that it’s a strong, positive response and there is very good reason for this!
But before I get into chocolate’s delicious mood-enhancing qualities, let’s make sure we are both on the same page… There is a world of difference between real, quality, dark chocolate, and the modern-day, sugar-laden, highly-processed products lining our supermarket shelves.
Eaten in moderation and along with healthy food and lifestyle choices, quality chocolate will bring about improved wellbeing. This includes better mood; better sleep; improved PMS; a stronger immune system; being more alert & focused; and improved cardiovascular health.
Raw cacao – found rich in the kind of chocolate we are talking about – is one of nature’s most fantastic “superfoods” due to its mineral content and wide array of unique properties. On top of its abundance of minerals and high concentration of antioxidants, cacao has an abundance of critical chemicals, including the ones released by our bodies when we fall in love (phenylethylmine) as well as the “bliss chemical” (anandamide: an endorphin our bodies produce after exercise) and the powerful mood-enhancing nutrient (tryptophan) which helps to decrease the symptoms of depression.
To be honest since the beginning of my interest in whole foods, it is cacao that has captivated me and – quite often – kept me sane! I thoroughly enjoy working with this little hero of nature and I find many of the cacao-based recipes so rewarding. Sarah Wilson (of I Quit Sugar) has published many an ebook with so many fabulous recipes. One of my favourites is her take on chocolate in The Chocolate Cookbook*.
If you’re looking for some chocolate inspiration – healthy enough to eat any time of the day or night – then The Chocolate Cookbook includes:
- 74 fructose-free cakes, fudges, truffles and brownies, smoothies, cheesecakes, mousses, ice-creams and barks.
- Info on safe sweeteners and how to use them.
- Cocoa v cacao: An explanation, plus how to use them both.
- Handy conversion widgets, substitution charts plus a shopping list generator.
- 9 chocolatey chapters.
- Printable recipes.
- An introduction by Sarah Wilson as to how you can include sugar-free chocolate in your diet.
- Recipe contributions from well known foodies, bloggers and cooks.
The I Quit Sugar, “The Chocolate Cookbook”, is an ebook selling for AUD $19 and can be bought here.
*I am a proud ambassador of Sarah Wilson and I believe that her “I Quit Sugar” message is a key message for our community and my subscribers. As such, I am happy to promote her products and I do receive a small payment for any books sold through my website.