A guest post by Larissa Fullagar-Read.
“Easter is just around the corner and if the copious amount of chocolate eggs or spiced aromas of hot cross buns wafting from bakeries aren’t an obvious sign then here’s a little reminder.
So how can you stay healthy and still enjoy Easter?
Well…you could try and avoid all supermarkets in order not to be tempted by the sweet treats on offer…or you could have a major melt down and end up scoffing a whole decadent chocolate egg in one sitting. I know which option I’d prefer!
But this need not be a season of torture, chocolate is not the devil in sweet form, like they say – everything in moderation. This being said, there are some healthier options available.
And I have some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there. A study that investigated whether high-flavanol cocoa supplementation would improve the moderately photo-aged facial skin of females found that regular cocoa flavanol consumption had positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity. Although this studys participants were moderately photo-aged Korean women with visible facial wrinkles age between 43-86 years old, I think we should all give it a go. Consuming a couple of pieces of your favourite dark chocolate bar every day for 24 weeks, about 100 calories worth, could be that skin pick me up you need!
Warning! Don’t be “dutched”
The method used to process the raw cacao bean can affect the amount of flavanols in the end product.
If your chocolate says “processed with alkali” on the nutrition label, then it’s going to have a whole load less flavanols. Processing with alkali is called “dutching“.
So what are the best options to get my chocolate fix?
Well cocoa nibs are the best options as they haven’t been processed they are the raw deal.
But if you want something closer to a chocolate bar;
Pascha – Organic, fair trade, non-GMO dark chocolate. No soy lecithin. Range of 55%-85% cocoa and discounted on Amazon.
Ghirardelli Intense Dark -72% Cacao and 86% Cacao Chocolate Bars. They have bars as well as small squares. Again, can be found discounted on Amazon.
Lindt– 70%, 85%, and 90% Cacao bars. They also make a 99% cacao (this is hard to find). NOTE: Some of the bars are processed with alkali. Check labels carefully. As of writing, the 90% is processed with alkali, but the 85% is not.
Green & Blacks– 70% Cacao and 85% Cacao bars. Organic and sometimes fairtrade (e.g. Maya Gold). The 70% includes Soy Lecithin. There are no genetically modified ingredients.
Moser Roth– 70% Cacao and 85% Cacao Chocolate Bars. A German chocolate. Available at Aldi stores.
But Easter only comes once a year though, so should you find yourself on the eve of Easter with no treats awaiting you tomorrow, why not make your own Easter Egg. Rawberry Fields’ recipe looks absolutely sumptuous for a ‘raw chocolate egg filled with caramel and chocolate mousse’.
However you decide to indulge, I hope you have a very Happy Easter!”