We Heart Chocolate: Heart-Healthy Recipes

Is it love? Yes. Yes, it is.

What does getting a poor grade on an exam, going through a tough break up, and experiencing a gravitational craving toward something creamy, sweet, and bitter all have in common?  Chocolate can fix them all!  And while here at LoveTwenty, we don’t promote emotional eating or giving into every craving, there is now a good reason to dig into that box of chocolates stashed under your bed.

A recent study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris suggests heavy chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.  The scientists performed seven different studies where they compared people with the highest chocolate consumption to those with the lowest.  Five out of the seven studies showed a beneficial link between higher levels of the chocolate eaters and the risk of cardiovascular events.

Lucky for us, the studies didn’t differentiate between milk or dark chocolate, and the test food included everything from chocolate bars to chocolate beer!  Again, this is no reason to go out and gorge yourself with the delectable treat, but clearly moderate chocolate consumption seems to be beneficial to your health.  It is always best to stick with the most simple chocolate, which means the darker the better.  Although milk chocolate does contain some antioxidants, dark chocolate is always the safest bet for the health benefits you crave.  However, we are not chocolate discriminators here,  so dig into these heart-healthy recipes that all include the main ingredient – dark, or not!

French Silk Pie – Take a break from the tame apple and pumpkin pie to indulge in a creamy, chocolaty, healthier treat.  The dessert includes bittersweet chocolate and cocoa with a punch of coffee to kick it up a notch.  For the choco-coffee lover, this pie is a dream!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies – How could there be a list of chocolate desserts without including the most classic treat known to chocolate lovers everywhere?  This cookie takes more of a healthy route by adding oats instead of just flour – you will hardly notice the wholesome difference!  Keep the cookie the healthiest by sticking to dark or bittersweet chocolate, but if milk chocolate is what you crave, go ahead and treat yourself!

Fudge Brownies – Here’s a new spin on brownies we bet you didn’t see coming – sweet potatoes!  The spuds are the secret ingredient in these good-for-you brownies, and while your body will know the difference, your taste buds won’t.

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies – Yes, more cookies, but with a name like this they had to be included.  Cherries pack an even bigger antioxidant punch, and added with the heart healthy chocolate, this cookie couldn’t get any healthier or tastier.  The tart cherry and bittersweet chocolate flavor is the perfect combination.

Chocolate-Nut Mix – Not every girl is blessed with the gift of cooking, but this recipe could not be easier to get your healthy dose of chocolate without even opening an oven!  Feel free to swap in different types of chocolate and nuts, just make sure to keep it to a ¼ cup serving to stop yourself from over-indulging in the addictive mix.

The lesson here: chocolate is great for your heart, but like everything that is this delicious, there is a limit.  Keep your chocolate cravings at bay by digging into these delicious desserts that will help your ticker.  Your body is more important than chocolate cravings, but these recipes make it so easy to give in while keeping it nutritious – and we heart that.

♥AUTHOR: MEGHAN McCLOSKEY

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