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Chocolate Trivia

December 1st, 2012 by Pamela Murski

Texas Cooking Class Chocolate Dessert Recipe

Chocolate…we LOVE that stuff!  This is why guests are often treated with housemade delicacies like chocolate fudge, chocolate tortes, double chocolate scones, chocolate strawberries, chocolate ganache drenched fruit, chocolate sundaes, and other yummy chocolate delights at the B&B!  You will often find a recipe that incorporates chocolate in some fashion during one of our cooking classes at the ranch.

We like it hot, we like it cold, we like it melted and we like it solid…we LIKE it…we LOVE it! It seems to be genetic…and here’s why.

Dopamine…the hormone that helps us feel mentally alert…chocolate helps the body generate dopamine. If we lack sufficient dopamine we can feel cranky and unable to focus.

Serotonin…the happiness hormone…chocolate helps the body generate serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood, reduces mood swings and even prevents depression.

Phenylethylamine…the chemical the body releases when we are in love. Some researchers claim that chocolate helps the body produce phenylethylamine, a natural aphrodisiac.

Passionate Kissing…one study found that melting chocolate in the mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than with passionate kissing…and lasted FOUR times longer after the activity had ended.

Pumping that blood…various studies have shown that dark chocolate will reduce blood pressure, lowers cholesterol when part of a low-fat diet, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

One thing to remember…the beneficial part of “chocolate” is the content of “cocoa” or “cacao”. The higher the content, the higher the possible benefit. All that other stuff–like sugar and added fats…not so much!

Another thing to remember…organic is ALWAYS a better choice, as is ‘fair trade certified’.

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