The other day my cousin-in-law, Moira, posted a super cute picture on Instagram of my cousin Josh and their son Dan with the comment ‘Wondering if hot chocolate at breakfast time is a bad idea…’
If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking that Moira is right and chocolate for breakfast isn’t so healthy.
But I beg to differ.
You see I’ve been reading (and cooking from) Sarah Wilson’s brilliant new ebook, the “I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook“.
Earlier in the year, I interviewed Sarah about her personal journey ‘Quitting Sugar’. If you missed it, you can listen to the audio interview over here. So I was super excited when she announced she was pulling together an I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook and jumped at the chance to contribute a recipe.
While my tastebuds have been having loads of fun exploring the recipes, I haven’t been feeling guilty about my creations. Firstly because I know that Sarah is super passionate about keeping things sugar, and especially fructose-free. But also because there’s some great information in the book on the health benefits of eating chocolate.
So today I wanted to share my favourite health benefits from the book, along with a chocolate recipe so healthy I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast…
5 reasons to eat more chocolate.
As Sarah keeps reminding you throughout the book, the benefits related to eating chocolate come from cocoa especially raw cocoa in its pure form. So we’re talking either using raw cocoa powder or dark chocolate with as little sugar as possible.
1. Slows the aging process.
Raw cocoa contains powerful antioxidants called ‘polyphenols’. It has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times the antioxidants of green tea. These antioxidants protect your body from harmful chemicals. They also help slow age-related decline in nitric oxide production which apparently is a good thing.
2. Boosts your mood.
As most chocolate lovers know, eating chocolate can make you feel better. The good news is that studies are confirming regular cocoa intake can result in significant improvements on certain aspects of mood, including calmness and contentedness.
3. Slows the growth of cancer cells.
As I mentioned last year, antioxidants and other compounds in dark chocolate help slow the growth of cancer cells. So a little dark chocolate is a good thing, but apparently the milk solids in milk chocolate cancels out the benefits. So stick to 70% cocoa solids or higher.
4. Reduces the risk of stroke.
This Swedish study found that increased chocolate consumption reduces the incidence of stroke among men. Interestingly, most of the chocolate used in this study was milk chocolate.
5. Helps keep you leaner.
I love the findings of this study in San Diego. People who consumed chocolate more regularly had a lower BMI than those who ate chocolate less frequently.
Keen for more chocolatey goodness?
See the details of Sarah’s NEW Chocolate eCookbook over HERE!
Chocolatey Coconut Granola
Adapted from the ‘I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook‘ by Sarah Wilson.
If the thought of chocolate for breakfast gets you excited, I highly recommend starting with this granola. It’s seriously delicious served on top of home made natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt. And in case you’re wondering, I have chia seed bran in the bottom of the glass in the photo above.
Sarah uses rice malt syrup to sweeten many of her recipes. Most good health food stores will stock it, but you could use honey instead. I really love the flavour of rice malt syrup, it’s not super sweet and has a lovely malty slightly carameley flavour. I also love that it’s a natural ingredient produced from brown rice.
75g (3oz) butter or coconut oil
3 tablespoons rice malt syrup
30g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder, preferably raw
150g (5oz) coconut flakes
250g (9oz) chopped nuts
1. Preheat your oven to 150C (300F).
2. Melt butter or coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add rice malt syrup and cocoa powder. Stir.
3. Combine coconut and nuts in a bowl. Stir in the cocoa syrup mixture until the flakes are just coated.
4. Spread mixture on a baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Stop when the coconut is well browned (which can be difficult to tell through the cocoa) or everything tastes roasted and yummy.
5. Cool and transfer to an airtight container. Will keep for a few months at room temperature.
optional additives – Sarah also includes cinnamon (1 teaspoon), chia seeds (2 tablespoons) and cocoa nibs (2 tablespoons) in her recipe. So feel free to add in any or all of these. But honestly I prefer this simple 5 ingredient version.
different nuts – I used brazil nuts and pecans but feel free to use any nut you like.
different sweetener / no rice malt syrup – If you can find rice malt syrup or aren’t interested in investing in a new sweetener, feel free to use honey instead. Glucose syrup or dextrose could also be used. Or if you have stevia in the house that’s another option.
vegan – make sure you use coconut oil instead of the butter.
nut-free - if you’re catering for nut allergies, you could replace the nuts with extra coconut (just double the amount of coconut and skip the nuts) or use a combo of coconut and seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – whatever you feel like.
Video version of the recipe.
Looking for more healthy chocolate recipes?
Then I recommend checking out the ‘I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook‘. You’ll find plenty of ideas healthy enough to have for breakfast and more ‘treaty’ options.
Sarah is fan of ‘exotic’ ingredients such as chia seeds and rice malt syrup. So if you’re not interested in expanding your baking ingredient arsenal, the book probably isn’t for you. Although by using the following substitutions, you will be able to make 66 out of the 74 recipes in the book.
* Honey = rice malt syrup or stevia
* Regular cocoa powder = raw cocoa powder
* Butter = cocoa butter or coconut oil
* Just skip it = chia seeds or cocoa nibs.
For more details of healthy chocolatey goodness go to:
ps. The links to Sarah’s ebook above are affiliate links. So if you do choose to buy, you’ll be supporting the Stonesoup business, which I appreciate deeply.