I can pretty much justify eating almost anything: a fat wedge of thickly iced buttery banana cake – the potassium in those bananas is so good for you… that extra glass of pinot – you wouldn’t want to waste a good wine… chocolate – well it turns out it’s actually not too much of a stretch for me to justify the odd indulgence with that one!
We’ve known for a long time that chocolate makes you feel good – it’s known as the ‘love drug’
for its feel-good effects – and that it’s a good source of minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants, but
more recently there have been several studies that suggest that chocolate may have several other health benefits.
With findings that it may reduce risk of stroke, levels of bad cholesterol and memory loss while improving insulin sensitivity, blood flow and brain function it seems that chocolate really does have the potential to have positive effects on our health. The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute are even planning a big trial of a chocolate pill for heart disease.
Of course scientists are a long way off from declaring chocolate a health food (more’s the pity) and
as with anything else it should only be eaten in moderation. We’re also talking specifically about the good stuff here – dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa solids. But it’s still a boon to know
that the odd chocolate treat as part of a healthy, balanced diet could be delivering more benefits
than just deliciousness!
And when it comes time to treat yourself we’ve pulled out all the stops with a stash of chocolicious recipes in my new winter annual. Since Anzac day is such an important date to remember, I've had a go at changing up the recipe for that Kiwi and Aussie favourite, Anzac biscuits. I think my Double Choc Anzac Biscuits might just be my best ever.
There’s something for every chocolate fan with restricted diet-friendly options, such as a Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake and Flourless Choconut Ripple, and sheer indulgences, such as Hazelnut Mousse Layer Cake, Jaffa Swirl Meringues and Brigadeiro (Brazilian caramel chocolate balls). Oh and also my mother’s famous Chocolate Caramel Square – just the taste of it takes me back to being a kid again.