Modern Australian

Why Chocolate Can Be Good For You

  • Written by Niki Clark


Don’t feel guilty about tucking into your chocolate this Valentine’s Day – there is such a thing as guilt-free chocolate, and it can even be good for you!

Chocolate can boost your health, from improving your mood to being anti-inflammatory, lowering blood pressure, thinning the blood, reducing stroke risk and helping stop a cough.

 

But Joshua Gaudry, food scientist at Flannerys Organic and Wholefood Market says it’s important to choose your chocolate wisely.

 

“Opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate,” he says, “especially the ones with high cocoa solid content, anything around 70 per cent and above is perfect, as it offers more health benefits than its counterpart due to containing more antioxidants and being lower in sugar.”

 

Scientific studies have shown that dark chocolate, which is also low GI, has the feel-good factor due to mood-elevating chemicals, including tryptophan, tyrosine, caffeine, epicatechin and theobromine.

 

“Tryptophan stimulates production of serotonin, the brain's natural anti-depressant,” adds Joshua, “and can equate the feelings it induces to those we experience when we feel content and Happy.

 

“Because it’s low GI, it doesn't cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after being eaten, and higher the cacao content, the higher the antioxidant and flavonoid content, which can help protect against some types of cancer, heart disease and can even help lower blood pressure.

 

“Studies show theobromine can suppress coughing by acting on the vagus nerve. Dark chocolate has lots of benefits, as long as it's eaten in small amounts as part of a well-balanced diet."

 

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of fresh, healthy and organic produce, more than 300 unpackaged bulk wholefoods and hormone-free meat from Brookvale Meats. It stocks gluten-free products galore, has an onsite café, and boasts more than 200 herbal extracts in the dispensary. Pop in for free naturopathic advice, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, plus all the regular health food supplies.

 

For more information visit flannerys.com.au


RAW BROWNIES


Have a sweet tooth? Enjoy these raw brownies guilt free! Packed with antioxidants from raw cacao, plenty of fibre from dates plus omega-3 fats from walnuts – they’re a healthy treat alternative (gluten free, vegan, raw) you won’t be able to put down!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups organic walnuts

1 cup organic raw cacao

¼ tsp sea salt

2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup organic walnuts, roughly chopped

METHOD

1. Blend 2 cups of walnuts until finely ground. Add cacao and salt to blender until combined.

2. Add dates gradually to blender. Mixture will appear crumbly, but should be slightly sticky when pressed. Add more dates if needed.

3. Transfer to a large bowl and add the roughly chopped walnuts. Press into a lined baking tin and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Sprinkle with extra cacao powder lightly then enjoy!

 

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES


 

Treat your loved one to a delicious dessert that takes minutes to prepare!

 

Chocolate covered strawberries are a classic romantic indulgence, combining the freshness of strawberries with the richness of chocolate, all available from Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market.

 

To be gluten free, choose GF chocolate. To be vegan and dairy-free, choose carob or vegan-friendly chocolate like Vego hazelnut bar.

 

INGREDIENTS

150g organic dark chocolate, chopped roughly

500g fresh organic strawberries (stems on), washed

Optional: 50g organic milk or white chocolate, melted

 

METHOD

1. Add dark chocolate to a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted.

2. Holding strawberries by their stem, dip each one in the melted chocolate (about ¾ of the berry) then lightly place on a baking paper-lined wire rack, stem side down. Place wire rack in the refrigerator until chocolate is hardened.

3. Optional: drizzle melted milk or white chocolate in crisscross lines across the hardened chocolate, then place back in the fridge until set.

 

About Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market

 

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of fresh, healthy and organic produce, including unpackaged bulk wholefoods, hormone-free meat, gluten-free products galore and plenty of healthy snacks. Pop in for free naturopathic advice, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, plus all the regular health food supplies. For more information and easy to follow recipes visit flannerys.com.au


CHOCOLATE SELF SAUCING PUDDING


 

Looking for an easy & deliciously gooey chocolate dessert for the ones you love?

 

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market has got you covered with its Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding.

 

INGREDIENTS (CAKE)

1 cup Flannerys Own Gluten Free Flour

1/3 cup Flannerys Own Organic Cacao Powder

1/3 cup Flannerys Own Organic Olive Oil

1/2 cup Flannerys Own Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

2/3 cup milk of choice

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence or paste

1/2 tsp Flannerys Own Baking Powder

1/4 tsp bicarb soda

1 tsp Flannerys Own Apple Cider Vinegar

 

INGREDIENTS (SAUCE)

1/4 cup Flannerys Own Organic Cacao Powder

1/4 cup Flannerys Own Organic Maple Syrup

1 1/4 cups boiling water

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Mix all the cake ingredients together in a large bowl and transfer to an oven proof dish (not a tin but a ceramic dish).

In a separate small bowl mix the sauce ingredients together.

Slowly pour the sauce over the cake, it should sit on top of the cake.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pudding is firm (the sauce will now be sitting at the bottom of the cake).

Serve with your favourite organic ice cream.

 

About Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market

 

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of fresh, healthy and organic produce, including unpackaged bulk wholefoods, hormone-free meat, gluten-free products galore and plenty of healthy snacks. Pop in for free naturopathic advice, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, plus all the regular health food supplies. For more information and easy to follow recipes visit flannerys.com.au

 

 

RASPERRY & VANILLA CHOCOLATE BLISS BALLS



Gluten free, dairy free, vegan | makes: 10 approx |  time: 15 mins.

 

Sweet, zesty and full of energy. We could be talking about you, but we’re describing these delicious morsels.

 

INGREDIENTS

½ cup cashew butter (homemade or store bought is fine)

3 tbsp rice malt syrup

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup coconut flour

½ tsp vanilla paste

Zest of 1 lime, plus juice of a half

¼ cup freeze dried raspberries

1 bar of Pana Chocolate

½ tsp coconut oil, melted

 

METHOD

1. Place cashew butter, rice malt syrup, lime juice and zest into bowl & mix together.

2. Break off 2 squares of Pana Chocolate, chop into small cubes.

3. Combine the dry ingredients, crumble the freeze-dried raspberries and sprinkle in the chopped chocolate, and massage together with hands to combine.

4. Divide the mix into 10 portions, then roll into balls and place them in the fridge.

5. Melt remaining chocolate in a bowl over another bowl filled with boiling water, add coconut oil to help it melt to a nice smooth consistency.

6. Take the bliss balls from out of the fridge and drizzle the melted chocolate over them with a spoon.

7. Return to the fridge to set the chocolate.

 

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market has stores across NSW and Queensland. The stores offer a huge range of products including certified organic and seasonal fruit and vegetables, free naturopath advice and practitioner only products, great skincare options that are vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic, gluten free breads, pastries and snack foods.

For more information and delicious recipes, visit flannerys.com.au


VEGAN CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL TART



Who’s ready to indulge? This delicious vegan chocolate and salted caramel tart ticks all the taste bud boxes! If you have pre-made shortcrust pastry, feel free to use that as the base; otherwise, we have provided a fuss-free pastry recipe as well. Top with your favourite nuts and fresh strawberries and dive in for a delicious treat! Gluten free, vegan.

INGREDIENTS

Base

2 cups gluten-free plain flour

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

½ tsp Celtic sea salt

2/3 cups certified organic extra virgin coconut oil, hard (not runny)

Approx. 5 tbsp very cold water

Filling

150g (approx 20) organic dates

1 tbsp certified organic extra virgin coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup coconut cream

1 tsp Celtic sea salt

Chocolate

100g certified organic extra virgin coconut oil

1 tbsp agave syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tbsp insecticide-free nuts, crushed

4-5 organic strawberries, quartered

Chocolate

  • 100g certified organic extra virgin coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp agave syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 6 tbsp raw cacao powder

  • 2 tbsp insecticide-free nuts, crushed

  • 4-5 organic strawberries, quartered

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease a 22cm tart tin.

2. Base

Whisk flour, cacao and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add coconut oil in spoonful’s and use a fork to combine ingredients until it resembles crumbly wet sand. Add ice cold water 1 tbsp at a time, using enough to help it form dough. Knead gently with your hands in the bowl, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Form a dough ball, then place and flatten between 2 sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the base to roughly 3mm thick. Take the top baking paper off, then flip and drape over the tart tin gently. Remove the other sheet of baking paper, then use your fingertips to fill in any gaps. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.

3. Filling

Blitz dates, coconut oil and vanilla until a thick paste. Add cream and salt, and blend again until smooth, scraping down the sides to get all mixture. Spread over the pastry base and freeze for 20-30 minutes.

4. Chocolate

In a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, melt coconut oil, agave syrup and vanilla. Stir, then add cacao, whisk until smooth. Pour over the caramel filling, spread with a spatula. Place in freezer for 10 minutes, then serve sprinkled with crushed nuts and strawberries.

 

 

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