Chocolates are second to none when it comes to confectionaries. Science says that most of these sweetmeats are driven by the mouthfeel and texture due to their fat content. The health-conscious might gasp at the mention of fats here. But dark chocolates benefit the heart, blood sugar and the immune system, owing to their bioactive compounds content.
In contrast to your usual dark chocolate recipe, we complement the fat content of cocoa with healthy fats from hemp seeds, walnuts and almonds in this attempt.
Janani GV, nutritionist, Puducherry, says, “Pairing cocoa with different types of nuts and seeds like flax and hemp boosts the nutrient density of the dark chocolate bites by providing a range of fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants.”
Dark chocolates, containing 50 to 90 per cent cocoa, are not just a fancy fad for the elite. Studies indicate that they are indeed rich in several bioactive components that have a positive impact on our immune system.
A 2009 study on the indigenous group of Kuna Indians from the Caribbean Coast of Panama was published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. It found that high flavanol intake from cocoa significantly prevents heart-related conditions in them, even among the elderly.
“Dark chocolate has a blood pressure-lowering effect on hypertensive people, owing to its effect on nitric oxide production,” says Janani.
Moreover, almonds, pistachios and walnuts bring to the table their own share of nutrients. Almonds are rich in vitamin E; walnuts are good for the thyroid gland and pistachios are packed with antioxidants.
Let’s get cooking
Here is a list of ingredients you need to get started with the recipe:
- Cocoa powder (preferably low fat) – 4 tbsp
- Butter (low fat) – ½ tbsp
- Pitted dates – ½ cup
- Hemp and flax seeds – 1 tbsp each
- Walnuts – 1/3 cup
- Almonds – 1/3 cup
- Pistachios – 1/3 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Vanilla extract – a drop
How to make dark chocolate recipe
- Get the dates ready, pit them and soak them in hot water to soften. Dab with a tissue to remove excess water once soft.
- Take the nuts in a blender and grind them to make a crumbly texture.
- Take the dates, put them with the nuts and blend them until a soft squishy texture is achieved. The squishy consistency ensures you can roll them into soft balls.
- Now put the butter, cocoa powder, hemp seeds, flax seeds and vanilla extract and blend again until evenly mixed. If your blender is not big enough, you can also get all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix them with your hands.
- Now scoop the dough with a tablespoon, roll them into small smooth balls and place them on a plate with parchment paper.
- Dip the rolled balls halfway in melted chocolate and let them sit in the fridge until set. Store the dark chocolate bites in a jar and enjoy them as a post-lunch or evening snack.
Nutritional content (one rolled ball)
- Calorie: 133.72
- Carbohydrate: 12.33
- Protein: 4.32
- Fat: 9.19
- Fibre: 3.37
As the nutritional content indicates, dark chocolate bites are a good source of energy for a mid-day snack. This easy recipe can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed slowly for up to a week. But be careful of the portion, too many in a day may add to your calories.