Well, it’s the time of year (ok, let’s face it there’s no bad time of the year to think about sweets or chocolate…) that we think more about baking and sweets and most of us think chocolate!
And why shouldn’t it be a good choice? Almost everyone loves to eat chocolate. And because of its huge popularity, there are plenty of different desserts you can make with chocolate. Not to mention, there are some health benefits to eating chocolate, too!
More About Chocolate
Chocolate is a sweet treat that comes from cacao beans. For more than three hundred years, a number of cultures have been cultivating cacao.
Some of its history can be traced back to Mesoamerica 1900 B.C. Historians discovered evidence of bitter chocolate beverages prepared by both the Aztecs and Mayans.
Because it is considered a highly valuable commodity, over two thirds of the cocoa produced in the world comes from Western Africa. This means that it is no longer native in the Americas, it has expanded to other countries.
After harvesting, the beans are fermented, dried, cleaned, roasted, ground, and flavored (usually with vanilla). At this stage, it can be used to make sweet treats.
Different Types Of Chocolate
Chocolate comes in different forms. The most common types are liquid, block, or paste form. In addition to its structure, chocolate also comes in three distinct varieties: dark, milk, and white.
The difference in these varieties is the proportion of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter (or other form of fat), sugar, and milk involved in the process.
Among the three varieties, dark chocolate is known as the purest. It is made with cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, and seldom vanilla.
The next kind, milk chocolate, includes more sugar, vanilla, and milk or milk powder.
The last type, white chocolate, has the same properties as milk chocolate, except for cocoa liquor.
Health Benefits Of Chocolate
As mentioned, eating chocolate can be good for your health. It is an excellent source of flavonoids, which are nutrients that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to research, the regular consumption of chocolate (particularly the less sugar variety) can have positive benefits to one’s health. Among the benefits it produces is that it helps reduce the level of cholesterol in the body, prevents cognitive decline, and even lowers the risk of heart disease.
Best Time To Eat Chocolate
For years, people thought it was best to give chocolate during holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter. This was because they associate eating sweets with the occasion.
But really, over the years we chocoholics knew there was no rule for when you should enjoy a bar of chocolate. Personally, I like to treat myself to Godiva chocolate a few times per week for dessert.
Lest we forget chocolate can also be enjoyed in both hot and cold beverages. Who doesn’t love a glass of chocolate milk or a mug of hot chocolate to relax during the day?
There have also been some alcoholic liqueurs that have been created, such as creme de cacao.
And surprisingly, this sweet treat can also be included in a number of dishes like pastas, soups, and many others.
So here are 17 Decadent Chocolate Treats to satisfy your sweet tooth! I have even added sugar free treats, and carb free treats for those of us who have given those things up 🙂
So, there should be something here for every chocolate lover!