1. Good for your heart~eating dark chocolate two or three times a day can lower blood pressure by improving blood flow and preventing the formation of blood clots. It also helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)
2. Good for your brain~not only improves blood flow to your heart, but to your brain which can have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. I know you've heard the fact that it encourages your brain to release endorphins, which will make you feel happier. Also, it contains phenylethylamine which is the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you're falling in love.
3. Helps control blood sugar~keeps blood vessels healthy and thus your circulation unimpaired; protects against Type 2 Diabetes. However, it may be the flavonoids in dark chocolate that benefits your cells and helps reduce insulin resistance and function normally. It's a fact that dark chocolate has a low glycemic index, which means it won't cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
4. Full of Antioxidants~which help free your body of free radicals that cause damage to your cells. Free radicals have been linked to the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating dark chocolate may protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.
5. Dental decay prevention~contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel and lowers your risk of cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene.
6. High in Vitamins and Minerals~Potassium, Copper, Magnesium and Iron which supports our health. Copper and potassium help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments; iron protects against iron deficiency anemia; and, the magnesium helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Of course, like anything this good, they is a drawback. Keep in mind that dark chocolate is high in fat, so keeping tract of your calories is beneficial to a healthy goal of weight.
Dark Chocolate~Chocolate Mint Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter) at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
11 oz. dark chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. espresso powder
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips
Weigh the bittersweet dark chocolate in a bowl and place over a double boiler to melt on low. Remove the bowl and allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly before adding it to the sugar/egg mixture.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl and a hand-held mixer, cream the sugars and butter together until fluffy. Add the lightly beaten eggs and vanilla and mix on low to combine; don't worry if the mixture looks curdled that will change with the addition of the melted chocolate.
Remove the bowl from the stand and add the melted chocolate, stir to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients and chips and stir until all the flour is incorporated. At this point the batter is the consistency of "frosting" so place it in the refrigerator for 25 to 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled and easily handled, use a 2-tablespoon size scoop to measure out the cookies. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove and allow them to cool slightly before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
The cookies have a familiar taste of those GS cookies we know and love oh so well. The best thing is how moist they are on the inside. Well worth the calories from the dark chocolate that is good for your body. Enjoy!
Now, this month's apron symbolizes the showers that April brings and the umbrellas that protect us from them. I'm sure we've all heard the joke..."April showers bring May flowers...what do May flowers bring...!"
Just comment on any of the posts and you could be the lucky winner of this month's beauty!