Treat Yo Self! It's #NationalChocChipCookieDay!
Decadent and delicious, those are the two adjectives I use when describing chocolate. In many ways chocolate is a part of our culture and therefore part of most people’s diet.
Think about it, chocolate is often given as part of, or as a gift on special occasions, added in as toppings to already scrumptious desserts (think cookies, cakes, brownies, sundaes!) and is often thought of as the “go-to” treat that provides people with comfort during a difficult heartbreak. All I can think of is that epic Legally Blonde scene, where Reese Witherspoon is taking 1 bite of each truffle until she finds the truffle flavor she likes in which she continues to eat it!
Chocolate is so beloved that it has been the theme in novels and movies, often left on your pillowcase in the evening at hotels, and has even caused decades of tension between countries- what other dessert has this much power over people?? I can’t think of one.
Since it’s National Chocolate Chip Day, I think now is a perfect time to share the wonderful benefits associated with chocolate. Although many chocolate products contain high amounts of sugar and fat, which can negatively affect your waistline, many studies have supported the favorable effects that cocoa flavanol (special plant antioxidant) rich chocolate has on lowering blood pressure. Darker chocolate with a higher % of cocoa solids provide a higher amount of powerful antioxidants, so opt for dark chocolate chips over milk chocolate to get the benefits. Look for dark chocolate with a percentage of Cocoa higher than 70%. The higher the percentage the more flavanols! You won’t need too much of it to satisfy that sweet tooth, it is rich and delish!
The polyphenols in dark chocolate have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and even impact our gut microbes! A very recent large study analyzed health outcomes associated with chocolate (although the associations are on the weaker side), they found that chocolate consumption is associated with less risk of heart disease, diabetes and even death. Some studies show dark chocolate may even help with a little bit of weight loss. Sounds like the perfect sweet treat to me! While I don't recommend bingeing on chocolate bars every night to prevent heart disease, adding a little bit of chocolate to your diet is perfectly fine!
So, in honor of this day- make one of the easiest protein packed breakfasts (or desserts) topped with a handful of dark chocolate chips. Just mix the dry ingredients together, add them to the wet ingredients, and put in a lightly sprayed ramekin or large mug. Microwave for 1 minute and ENJOY!
1 minute Chocolate Protein Mug Cake
- 1 scoop of JMN protein powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon almond flour
- ½ mashed banana
- 1 pack stevia
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
Go ahead and treat yo' self!