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12 Dark Chocolate Treats for You (or your Valentine)

By Alana Sugar, February 10, 2014  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

My Fruity Nutty Chocolate Valentine

My Fruity Nutty Chocolate Valentine

Valentine’s Day gives every chocolate lover a free pass to indulge. This year I’m planning a rendezvous with this Chocolate Almond Cake with Bay Whipped Cream, and I’ll whip up My Fruity Nutty Chocolate Valentine candies to share with the sweethearts in my life.

Whether you opt for a hot cup of cocoa on a cold day or a square of a decadently delicious chocolate bar after dinner, it’s good to know that studies show dark chocolate (in moderation, of course!) can bring added health benefits. Look for 70% or higher cocoa solids to savor the flavor and enjoy the benefits:

  • Dark chocolate contains polyphenol antioxidants to help support heart health.
  • Stearic acid, a unique type of saturated fatty acid found in dark chocolate is believed to be neutral for cholesterol levels.
  • Cocoa beans contain flavonoids, much like what you find in red wine and tea. They act as antioxidants, and can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Dark chocolate is often eaten right out of hand (yum) and here are more ideas and recipes for Valentine’s Day and every day!  

  • Chocolate-Dipped Figs with AlmondsSatisfy just about any craving with this Chocolate Dipped Anything recipe. Dried and fresh fruits work great, and so do nuts, chips, crackers and pretzels. You can try it with whole, fresh strawberries for a Valentine treat. Also great with thick slices of banana!
  • Grate chocolate and use as a garnish for fruit salads, yogurt, ice cream or other favorite frozen desserts. It’s also delicious on custard, pudding, flan or crème brûlée. If you prefer, melt the chocolate and drizzle over top instead.
  • Make a healthy Double Chocolate Cake. It’s vegan, gluten free and there are no added oils or refined sugars. What a bonus!
  • Mix dark chocolate chips with nuts, seeds, dried whole grain cereal, unsweetened coconut chips, and dried fruit for an energy-packed trail mix snack.
  • Here’s another melted treat: Chocolate Dipped Figs with Almonds. These are beautiful — perfect for presenting to your Valentine.
  • Make chocolate milk: Stir dark chocolate chips or shavings into hot milk or non-dairy milk. For extra flavor and winter warmth, add a drop of vanilla extract and a sprinkling of warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger.
  • Add dark chocolate chips to muffins, pancakes, granola, scones, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and bars. Try these Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies, Flourless Double Decadent Chocolate Cookies or Chocolate Chip Soda Bread.
  • Spread toast with melted dark chocolate. Or sprinkle chocolate chips over a nut butter-covered slice.
  • Melt chocolate and add a touch of cream, coconut milk, milk or non-dairy alternative — just enough to make it easy to spread. Use this in place of frosting for cakes and cupcakes, bars and cookies. 

Remember, cocoa butter melts just below body temperature of 98.6°F. To avoid scorching, always gently melt at 115°F or less. For more information, check out our Guide to Chocolate.

Do you have a favorite chocolate-based treat? I’d love to hear it! 

Category: Food & Recipes

 

7 Comments

Comments

Margaret Danford says ...
I misplaced the recipe for the Valentine Cocoa, Almond Butter, Date Truffle. If you would e-mail me the recipe I would very much appreicate it. Thank you.
02/10/2014 3:32:45 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARGARET - I wasn't able to find exactly what you were looking for. You can search through our recipes online at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes. If you can't find it and it was something made at your local store, reach out to them directly to see if they have a recipe!
02/10/2014 5:38:34 PM CST
Greg Mann says ...
I make a chocolate almond torte using chopped almonds, dark chocolate chopped up and butter, eggs and sugar, no flour! Recipe in Italian Cooking in the Grand Tradition!
02/11/2014 8:25:15 PM CST
Peter says ...
I'm looking for Dark chocolate brandied dried cherries
02/11/2014 9:50:50 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PETER - Our products differ between stores. Check with your local store to find out if they carry these!
02/12/2014 3:51:29 PM CST
Deb Mozurkewich says ...
I'd like to view the recipe for the fruity nutty chocolate valentine but your pop up won't close and I can't see it. Bummer.
02/12/2014 5:55:10 PM CST
Alana Masters says ...
Thanks for the valentine recipes
02/13/2014 6:43:24 PM CST