Deep Chocolate Coconut Bombs

Deep Chocolate Coconut Bombs

Chocolate cream cheese layered over coconut.  The number of layers is up to you.  Freeze and break into crunchy pieces.

Ingredients

2 c Coconut Shreds

1 c Coconut Oil

4 oz Neufchatel Cheese

2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

4 tsp Splenda

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

Directions

Warm the Coconut Oil over medium heat and add the shredded Coconut, Cinnamon, Salt and Splenda.  Line a shallow pan with wax paper or foil and pour in the Coconut Oil mixture.  Press it down, creating a solid layer.

Place the pan in the freezer until mixture is firm.

Remove from freezer.  Melt the Cocoa Powder and Cream Cheese and pour on top.

Place it back into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Optional:  Continue layering the Coconut and Chocolate for a striped effect.

Once solid, break it up and enjoy.  Store the rest in the refrigerator.  Serving size will vary.

Calories: 2766, Total Fat: 300g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 487mg, Total Carbs: 33g, Protein: 19g.

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Vanilla Mocha Fat Bomb Pops

Vanilla-Mocha-Fat-Bomb-Pops

Ingredients

4 tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 tbsp Heavy Cream

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

4 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 ½ tbsp Cocoa Powder

½ tsp Coffee Extract

¾ tsp liquid Splenda

 

Directions

Make the vanilla layer with soft butter in the microwave until liquid.  Add 2 tbsp Heavy Cream.  Once cool, add the Vanilla and blend well.

Make the mocha layer by mixing together the Coconut Oil, Cocoa Powder, Coffee Extract and sweetener of choice.

Pour the vanilla mixture into a muffin liner creating the bottom white layer.  Place into the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and pour in the mocha mixture, filling cups to the top.   Optional:  top with a very thin layer of melted dark chocolate.  Add popsicle sticks and freeze 20 to 30 minutes.  Tip:  Cover the muffin tin with plastic wrap and push the popsicle sticks through.  The plastic layer will help support the sticks if your bombs aren’t firm enough.  Calories: 1004, Total Fat: 113g, Cholesterol 165mg, Sodium 19mg, Total Carbs: 5g, Protein 3g.

DARK CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS

November 9, 2015 Photo; For Use With AP Lifestyles

 

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (white, if you have it)

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Ground black pepper

2 cups halved or quartered fresh strawberries (or other berries or orange segments, membranes and seeds removed)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

 

Directions

In a large glass or other microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave on 50 % power, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Spread a few spoons of the melted chocolate into a silicone cupcake liner, using the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate up the side of the liner so it is evenly and thickly coated. Sprinkle the wet chocolate with a teaspoon of almonds and a tiny pinch of kosher salt. Repeat with 7 more liners. Chill the chocolate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the vinegar, brown sugar and a pinch of pepper. Add the strawberries and toss to coat. Let sit to allow flavors to sit for at least 15 minutes. Immediately before serving, stir the mint into the strawberries, remove the chocolate baskets from the molds and spoon in the berries.

 

Chocolate Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies

Chocolate Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies

Ingredients

7 cups Chocolate Chex cereal

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 bag (8.5 ounces) Dove Promises Sea Salt Caramel and Dark Chocolate candies

1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Place cereal pieces in a large bowl and set aside.

Unwrap chocolate candies and place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add butter to saucepan, and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.

Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and pour it over your cereal, folding gently to evenly coat. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to coat cereal pieces, stirring and folding until all pieces are covered.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Pie Bars

Ingredients

Crust:

½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

Filling:

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1½ teaspoons vanilla

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 (12 oz.) bag dark chocolate chips

2 cups hazelnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 13×9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment paper if desired, then spray paper with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl mix together softened ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter and brown sugar until well combined. Stir in flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt until just combined. Press dough down into bottom of pan. Bake crust about 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned around edges.

Meanwhile, mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, melted 2 tablespoons butter, vanilla, eggs, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Place cookies back in oven for another 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned and crackly on top. Cool completely.

9 Sweet Health Benefits of Chocolate

Collection of chocolates

A Healthier Heart The latest research backs up claims that chocolate has cardiovascular benefits: In a 9-year Swedish study of more than 31,000 women, those who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate each week cut their risk for heart failure by as much as a third.

Wish that was a serving each day? Another big, long-term study in Germany this year found that about a square of dark chocolate a day lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent. Most of the credit goes to flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries.

But since those antioxidants come with a generous portion of sugar, milk, and butter, chowing down on chocolate isn’t an excuse to skip your workout. Chocolate and exercise actually work surprisingly well together: Another recent study, out of Australia this time, showed that eating chocolate high in healthy antioxidants reduced the blood pressure-raising effects of exercise on overweight individuals. So go ahead and reward yourself. A chocolate bar has five times the flavonoids of an apple, after all.

Weight Loss  If you’re wondering how you can add dark chocolate to your diet plan without putting on pounds, the good news is that it should be easier than you expect.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate is far more filling, offering more of a feeling of satiety than its lighter-colored sibling. That is, dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. So if indulging in a bit of healthy dark chocolate should not only make it easy for you to stick to the small portion recommended for optimal health, but it should make it easier for you to stick to your diet in general. Jackpot!

Happier Kids  Women who ate chocolate daily during their pregnancy reported that they were better able to handle stress than mothers-to-be who abstained. Also, a Finnish study found their babies were happier and smiled more. Hmm, so your options are popping a piece of premium chocolate or sticking a pacifier in your screaming baby’s mouth?

Diabetes Prevention  Candy as a diabetes foe? Sure enough. In a small Italian study, participants who ate a candy bar’s worth of dark chocolate once a day for 15 days saw their potential for insulin resistance drop by nearly half. “Flavonoids increase nitric oxide production,” says lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., a professor at the University of L’Aquila in Italy. “And that helps control insulin sensitivity.”

Reduced Stress  UC San Diego researchers recently confirmed what your fat pants could have told them back in college: When times get tough, people tend to dip into the chocolate stash more often than they might otherwise.

And as it turns out, that kind of emotional eating might not be such a bad thing. You know what kind of havoc stress and its sneaky sidekick cortisol can wreak on your body. Swiss scientists (who else?) found that when very anxious people ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced and the metabolic effects of stress were partially mitigated. After a breakup, break out a dark chocolate bar rather than a pint of ice cream.

Sun Protection  London researchers recently tested chocolate flavanols’ sun-protecting prowess. After 3 months eating chocolate with high levels of flavanols, their study subjects’ skin took twice as long to develop that reddening effect that indicates the beginning of a burn.

Subjects who ate conventional low-flavanol chocolate didn’t get the same sun protection. Watch for brands boasting high levels of the healthy compounds.

Higher Intelligence  Next time you’re under pressure on a work project, don’t feel so guilty about grabbing a dark chocolate bar from the vending machine. Not only will it help your body ward off the effects of stress, but it’ll boost your brain power when you really need it.

A University of Nottingham researcher found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and alertness in the short term.

Other researchers from Oxford University and Norway looked at chocolate’s long-term effects on the brain by studying the diets of more than 2,000 people over age 70. They found that those who consumed flavanol-rich chocolate, wine, or tea scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t.

Cough Relief  One study found that chocolate quieted coughs almost as well as codeine, thanks to the theobromine it contains. This chemical, responsible for chocolate’s feel-good effect, may suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve.

Maria Belvisi, a professor of respiratory pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, says, “It had none of the negative side effects.” Codeine makes most people feel sleepy and dull—and doesn’t taste anything like fine chocolate. 

Diarrhea Relief  Both South American and European cultures have a history that dates back to the 16th century of treating diarrhea with cocoa. Modern-day science has shown they were onto something.  Scientists at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that cocoa flavonoids bind to a protein that regulates fluid secretion in the small intestine, potentially stopping the trots in their tracks.

A Healthier Heart Wish that was a serving each day? Another big, long-term study in Germany this year found that about a square of dark chocolate a day lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent. Most of the credit goes to flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries.    But since those antioxidants come with a generous portion of sugar, milk, and butter, chowing down on chocolate isn’t an excuse to skip your workout. Chocolate and exercise actually work surprisingly well together.

Another recent study, out of Australia this time, showed that eating chocolate high in healthy antioxidants reduced the blood pressure-raising effects of exercise on overweight individuals. So go ahead and reward yourself. A chocolate bar has five times the flavonoids of an apple, after all.  The latest research backs up claims that chocolate has cardiovascular benefits: In a 9-year Swedish study of more than 31,000 women, those who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate each week cut their risk for heart failure by as much as a third.

Weight Loss  Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate is far more filling, offering more of a feeling of satiety than its lighter-colored sibling. That is, dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. So if indulging in a bit of healthy dark chocolate should not only make it easy for you to stick to the small portion recommended for optimal health, but it should make it easier for you to stick to your diet in general. Jackpot!  If you’re wondering how you can add dark chocolate to your diet plan without putting on pounds, the good news is that it should be easier than you expect.

Happier Kids Women who ate chocolate daily during their pregnancy reported that they were better able to handle stress than mothers-to-be who abstained. Also, a Finnish study found their babies were happier and smiled more. Hmm, so your options are popping a piece of premium chocolate or sticking a pacifier in your screaming baby’s mouth?

Diabetes Prevention Candy as a diabetes foe? Sure enough. In a small Italian study, participants who ate a candy bar’s worth of dark chocolate once a day for 15 days saw their potential for insulin resistance drop by nearly half. “Flavonoids increase nitric oxide production,” says lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., a professor at the University of L’Aquila in Italy. “And that helps control insulin sensitivity.”

Reduced Stress  And as it turns out, that kind of emotional eating might not be such a bad thing. You know what kind of havoc stress and its sneaky sidekick cortisol can wreak on your body. Swiss scientists (who else?) found that when very anxious people ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced and the metabolic effects of stress were partially mitigated. After a breakup, break out a dark chocolate bar rather than a pint of ice cream.  UC San Diego researchers recently confirmed what your fat pants could have told them back in college: When times get tough, people tend to dip into the chocolate stash more often than they might otherwise.

Sun Protection  Subjects who ate conventional low-flavanol chocolate didn’t get the same sun protection. Watch for brands boasting high levels of the healthy compounds.  London researchers recently tested chocolate flavanols’ sun-protecting prowess. After 3 months eating chocolate with high levels of flavanols, their study subjects’ skin took twice as long to develop that reddening effect that indicates the beginning of a burn.

Higher Intelligence  A University of Nottingham researcher found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and alertness in the short term.   Other researchers from Oxford University and Norway looked at chocolate’s long-term effects on the brain by studying the diets of more than 2,000 people over age 70. They found that those who consumed flavanol-rich chocolate, wine, or tea scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t.  Next time you’re under pressure on a work project, don’t feel so guilty about grabbing a dark chocolate bar from the vending machine. Not only will it help your body ward off the effects of stress, but it’ll boost your brain power when you really need it.

Cough Relief  Maria Belvisi, a professor of respiratory pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, says, “It had none of the negative side effects.” Codeine makes most people feel sleepy and dull—and doesn’t taste anything like fine chocolate. One study found that chocolate quieted coughs almost as well as codeine, thanks to the theobromine it contains. This chemical, responsible for chocolate’s feel-good effect, may suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve.

Diarrhea Relief  Scientists at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that cocoa flavonoids bind to a protein that regulates fluid secretion in the small intestine, potentially stopping the trots in their tracks.  Both South American and European cultures have a history that dates back to the 16th century of treating diarrhea with cocoa. Modern-day science has shown they were onto something.

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/benefits-of-chocolate