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rachel.n.fleming@duke.edu

Tel: 919-681-1203

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W.D. Hill Recreation Center

1308 Fayetteville St. 

Durham, NC 27707

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Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” like CHOCOLATE

February 10, 2020

 Photo by: Jessica Johnson via unsplash.com

 

Store shelves are overflowing with bags of pink and red foil wrapped chocolates.  Fancy heart-shaped boxes of chocolate in all sizes and price ranges are stacked high.  Giant chocolate kisses sit next to the chocolate roses.  The day that is celebrated with chocolate (aka Valentine’s Day) is upon us!

 

The health benefits of dark chocolate are well known. According to The Nutrition Source (a Harvard publication), the flavanols found in dark chocolate fight inflammation and help to lower blood pressure. These flavanols also seem to reduce diabetes risk by helping our body to use the insulin we produce more efficiently. The 70% or higher dark chocolate contains the most flavanols. 

 

Will I Get the Same Health Benefits by Eating Milk Chocolate?

In a word, “NO”.  The sweet, creamy goodness of milk chocolate means that the flavanols have been diluted out by the addition of sugar and milk. While a serving of milk chocolate is fine as a treat, it does NOT offer the same health benefits as its darker, bitter-flavored relative.

 

The heavily processed chocolate flavored products out there such as chocolate cereals, instant cocoa mixes and chocolate cake frosting to name a few do not even belong in this discussion.  There are NO health benefits to be found in these products.

 

This Valentine’s Day try making chocolate avocado pudding.  The dark chocolate and the cocoa powder provide flavanols and the avocado adds potassium, antioxidants and heart healthy fats.

 

 

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Adapted from: loveonetoday.com

 

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados (peeled with pits removed), cut into small cubes

2 ounces dark chocolate, melted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 tablespoons of honey

½ teaspoon of vanilla

Milk or nut milk (optional)

 

Directions

Place all ingredients (except milk) into food processor or blender

Blend on high speed until smooth, stirring occasionally

Taste and add more honey if needed

If a thinner pudding is desired add a small amount of milk at this point

Portion out into individual small bowls

Chill for one hour to set

If desired, top with berries

 

 

 

Written by:

Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN

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