Celebrating Cocoa in More Ways Than One

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator If you’re like me and you’ve been fanatically watching the Food Network’s Great Holiday Baking Championship, you may associate cocoa and chocolate with holiday desserts at this time of year. You may be dreaming up your favourite recipes for chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate pecan pie, or dark chocolate truffles. And you may be thinking of devouring these treats as a kind of guilty indulgence. Well, registered dietitian Matt Ruscigno (you may recognize him from providing the nutrition info for Isa Chandra Mokowitz’s Appetite for Reduction) is here to prove you wrong with his new book Superfoods for Life: Cacao. Although the book contains 75 delicious recipes, it is so much more than just a cookbook. It delves into all of the reasons why cocoa is something you should include in your diet regularly, not shy away from. Did you know cocoa helps to lower blood pressure, has strong antioxidants to help prevent cancer and reduce the effects of aging, and helps muscle recovery for athletes? However, this book doesn’t only speak of the nutritional properties of cocoa. It also traces the history of cocoa consumption around the world and explains how… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

Crazy Addictive Cacao

Care of Laura Wright Cacao powder (the more minimally processed version of cocoa powder) is a magical ingredient. It makes people crazy, makes them fall in love and most notably, it makes them crave chocolate non-stop. It comes from the tropical plant theobroma cacao (translates to “food of the gods”), which produces large oval pods with all of the sticky cacao goodness inside. It’s important to seek out the minimally processed cacao powder if you wish to reap all the healthy benefits. Aside from being dark, mysterious, complex and delicious, it has a lot going for it nutritionally. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals: Cacao is one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature! It also has notable amounts of calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur and potassium. It’s a potent antioxidant: In its minimally processed form, cacao contains more antioxidant flavonoids than blueberries, red wine, goji berries and green tea. That’s a whole lot of free radical absorption going on. It can make you pretty amorous: cacao stimulates high levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that help with regulating mood and helping you feel the good vibes. If you ask me, working more chocolate into the morning… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition