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In honor of World Chocolate Day, here are some recipes to help you celebrate (responsibly)

World Chocolate Day
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

World Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on July 7. While not generally considered a staple of healthy diets, chocolate does provide some health benefits when consumed in moderation. The cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids, a class of nutrients that help protect plants from environmental toxins and repair damage.

When humans consume foods rich in flavonoids — such as fruits, vegetables and, yes, even chocolate! — we appear to benefit from their “antioxidant” powers.

Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to their antioxidant qualities, research shows flavanols provide other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and reducing the risk of blood clots.

To celebrate World Chocolate Day — and satisfy that sweet tooth in a responsible fashion — try one of these “healthier” recipes involving one of the most universally acclaimed flavors on the planet:  

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

• 1 ¾ cups self-rising flour

• 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• ⅛ teaspoon salt

• 2 cups white sugar

• 1 cup water (or milk)

• 2 eggs

• ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a bowl. Mix sugar, water (or milk), eggs, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract together in another bowl using an electric mixer.

Step 3: Gradually add the flour-cocoa mixture into the bowl with the yogurt mixture. Mix until well blended. Pour batter into two 9-inch cake pans.

Step 4: Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

 

Chocolate Protein Balls

Ingredients:

• 1 cup rolled oats

• ½ cup natural peanut butter

• ⅓ cup honey

• ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate

• 2 tablespoons flax seeds

• 2 tablespoons chia seeds

• 1 tablespoon chocolate-flavored protein powder, or to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Stir oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate, flax seeds, chia seeds, and protein powder together in a bowl until evenly mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Scoop chilled mixture into balls. Keep cold until serving.

 

Super Food Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 cup packed brown sugar

• 1 cup coconut sugar

• ½ cup butter, softened

• ½ cup coconut oil

• 2 eggs

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 2 teaspoons hot water

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao)

• ½ cup chopped walnuts

• ¼ cup chia seeds

• ¼ cup ground flax seeds

• ¼ cup cocoa nibs

• ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Beat brown sugar, coconut sugar, butter, and coconut oil with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat the first egg into creamed butter mixture until completely blended; beat in vanilla extract with the last egg.

Step 3: Stir hot water and baking soda together in a small bowl until baking soda is dissolved; stir into butter mixture. Add cream of tartar and mix well.

Step 4: Mix flour into butter mixture until dough is smooth; fold in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, and salt. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.

Step 5: Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

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