Chocolate comes from a fruit called a pod that grows on the cacao tree. A seedling tree generally must mature for five years before it produces pods, with peak pod production happening at 10 years. A cocoa tree can bear fruit and produce pods for 30 to 40 years. Each pod is similar in size to a football, and contains up to 50 cocoa beans. To make one ounce of milk chocolate, it takes 4 cocoa beans, and one ounce of dark chocolate requires 12 beans. An average American or Canadian will consume about 12 pounds of chocolate per year. However, the Swiss are the world’s largest consumers of chocolate, eating about 22 pounds of chocolate per person per year!
Chocolate can be bittersweet, and we don’t mean literally. Although chocolate has many benefits to your health, some facts about how chocolate is made may make you want to munch on a different snack, or at least lower your chocolate intake.
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits - www.BeCancerFree.info
Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:
Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
Chocolates came a long way to get to the wrapper it's in right now. From the ancient times to the middle ages, chocolate is only for the kings, then to the wealthy and now for everyone who wants to indulge themselves in the bitter sweet taste of chocolates. Healthy it maybe but too much can lead to unhealthy results.
Now let me give you a mouth watering dessert for all season, serve it cold or serve it warm. The choice is yours
1 can (15 oz.) boysenberries in syrup
3/5 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup self-rising flour, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a 9-inch square cake pan with baking paper. Drain boysenberries, reserving the juice.
2. In a saucepan gently melt the butter and cocoa, stir and set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy; then fold in cooled chocolate mixture and flour.
4. Pour batter into cake pan and place drained boysenberries over the top, letting them sink in by themselves. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brownie springs back when touched.
5. To make a boysenberry sauce, place reserved boysenberry syrup in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes or until reduced by half and thickened. Set aside to cool.
6. Cut brownies into squares and dust with cocoa if desired and serve with whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream drizzled with the boysenberry sauce.