Guest Author - Katherine Tomlinson
As the season of indulgence winds down and the New Year dawns, you may be thinking about chocolate. Specifically, you may be wondering how chocolate fits into a healthy lifestyle. The answer is…chocolate can be your ally in attaining and maintaining optimum health. When you’re making your resolutions, resolve to include a healthy dose of chocolate in your diet.
Cocoa Powder is your friend!
Unsweetened cocoa powder is high in antioxidants (higher than both black tea and red wine in fact). Stir a tablespoon into oatmeal or yogurt to add a cancer-fighting chocolate boost without adding significant calories or sugars.
Cocoa powder is also rich in flavanoids, natural compounds that have been found useful in keeping the circulation system healthy. So in addition to the apple a day you eat to keep the doctor away, why not add cocoa powder to your daily intake? A quick cup of cocoa made with skim milk, the sugar substitute of your choice and a tablespoon of cocoa powder is a healthy treat you can enjoy without guilt any time.
If you feel like you need something a little more dessert-like, try this light chocolate mousse recipe. The texture is silky and the flavor is rich.
Light and Luscious Chocolate Mousse
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup water
½ cup evaporated skim milk
1 envelop unflavored gelatin
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, cocoa, water and gelatin in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and pour mixture into a deep metal bowl and add the milk.
Cover and put the mixture into the freezer until it firms up. (This will take 45 minutes to an hour.)
Remove from freezer and use an electric mixer to beat the mousse until it’s thick and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla. If you like, you can also add a dash of your favorite chocolate-friendly liqueur, a shot of Kahlua, say, or rum or Amaretto. (If you do add liquor, remember that makes this mousse X-rated because the alcohol won’t be cooked.)
Spoon the mousse into four small bowls and dust with additional cocoa powder. Serve immediately or refrigerate (covered) for up to a day.
And speaking of chocolate mousse…
If you’ve got a child in your house, you might want to pick up a copy of Fred Gwynne’s hilarious A Chocolate Moose for Dinner. The well-known character actor wrote and illustrated a couple of gentle, genial books riffing on well-known phrases and this one is especially delightful. (The companion book, The King Who Rained is amusing as well.)