Chocolate has been making a statement in my life a lot lately. No, it’s not by way of Rocky Road in front of The Bachelorette on Monday nights or through Fudge Pops out by the pool in the July heat. Chocolate is continuing to come up both in conversation and in articles I have come across about it’s many health benefits. I have added some articles of interest to the Relevant Reads page which I encourage you to check out. Chocolate in it’s purest form has loads of nutritional benefits. It’s bad rap has been handed to it by impersonators offering hints of chocolate flavor wrapped in corn syrup and sugar.
This weeks comparison will be between three chocolate bars with varying percentages of cacao *: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar and Hershey’s 100% Cacao Unsweetened Baking Bar. We’re looking less at the brand, and more a the difference between a milk chocolate, dark 72% cacao, and pure 100% cacao.
Making smores over the campfire? Pick up the 72% cacao bar. Chocolate chip cookies? 70% chocolate chips. By making that one change, you will be adding nutrition to your sweet treats, and a little sweetness to your healthy food.
*Our research uncovered a good explanation of cacao at www.worldsfinestchocolate.com
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar vs. Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar vs. Hershey’s 100% Cacao Unsweetened Baking Bar
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
HERSHEY’S MILK CHOCOLATE
- milk chocolate, which consists of:
TRADER JOE’S SWISS 72% CACAO DARK CHOCOLATE BAR
HERSHEY’S 100% CACAO UNSWEETENED BAKING BAR
Higher percentage of cacao + fewer ingredients = healthier option. So what can we do with chocolate now that we know the better options? Pretty much anything! Grate the unsweetened bar over Out of the Box Pancakes and Waffles like we discussed last week. Use the 72% bar to create nutritious smores and creamy chocolate sauce to drizzle over vanilla bean ice cream. Or even pay tribute to the carnivals of summer with Frozen Bananas. Those are a few delicious indulgences we’re bringing Out of the Box this week. Give ‘em a try:
Out of the Box FoodSM Banana S’mores
Special Equipment: metal roasting sticks (preferably 2 prong), campfire
- 70% (at least) Cacao bar
- Natural Graham Crackers *see below
- Banana (yellow but not browning)
* All products are not created equal. Check ingredient list on packaging to find products containing fewer and more natural ingredients.
- cut bananas into 2 1/2 inch chunks
- break graham crackers in half
- break chocolate bar into pieces
- Place banana chunks on metal roasting stick
- roast banana over flame until banana is slightly browned and juices begin to bubble on cut ends.
- slide roasted banana off stick and onto one half of a graham cracker.
- Top banana with piece of chocolate bar and cover with other half graham cracker.
Out of the Box FoodSM Chocolate Sauce
Special Equipment: Double boiler (or small sauce pan with same size heat proof bowl – bowl should sit atop pan with only 1//4 of the bottom falling below the rim of the pan)
- 2, 3.5 oz bars 70% (at least) cacao
- 1 tbsp butter
- fill saucepan slightly less than half-full with water, then place bowl over water into pan. (water should just touch the bottom of the bowl when fitted into the pan.
- break chocolate into small pieces and place in bowl with butter.
- over low heat, slowly melt chocolate and butter.
*Chocolate sauce can be cooled, refrigerated and reheated.
Out of the Box FoodSM Frozen Bananas
Special Equipment: Popsicle sticks
- 4 bananas
- 4 popsicle sticks
- Out of the Box Chocolate Sauce
- crushed peanuts, almonds or pistachios (optional)
- Peel bananas and insert popsicle sticks into bottom end.
- Place in freezer bag and freeze 4 hours or overnight.
- Warm chocolate sauce in a double boiler. (For information on double boilers see Out of the Box Chocolate Sauce recipe) Sauce can also be microwaved if desired.
- Dip frozen bananas into chocolate sauce (or drizzle over banana with spoon) then roll into crushed nuts if desired.
- Lay coated bananas on wax paper and place flat in freezer.
- Freeze until ready to eat.
So go ahead, take chocolate Out of the Box and indulge in it’s healthy goodness! Until next week…
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
© 2010 – 2012, kimgerber. All rights reserved.