Plus a Recipe that enhances CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate is a healthfood, sez herbal medicine experts Michael Balick,
PhD, and Roberta Lee, MD, in a recent issue of the scientific journal
ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES in Health and Medicine. We all enjoy the
delicious flavor of chocolate, but few of us realized it can also be good for us
and the darker the better! White chocolate and Milk chocolate just don't cut it.

1.) Chocolate contains L-Phenylalanine. This amino acid is converted into
excitatory neurotransmitters in the body which promotes alertness and
vitality! Chocolate's use can reduce hunger, improve memory, increase
libido, and relieve depression. A 3 oz chocolate bar is just the ticket, size wise.

2.) Chocolate contains antioxidant flavonoids called flavonols also found in grapes, red wine, apples and tea. People with high blood levels of flavonoids (from eating these foods) have lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes. They also have
lower oxidation levels of the bad LDL cholesterol, higher blood antioxidant levels and 4% higher levels of the good HDL cholesterol.

In fact, our sweet friend CHOCOLATE has more antioxidants than blueberries,
broccoli florets, or red grapes. Over 100 medicinal uses of chocolate
have been reported in the last 400 years, and new studies reveal even
more about what's locked inside its sweet flavor. Dark chocolate contain
seven times the amount of antioxidants in spinach!

A 40g serving of chocolate can have the same amount of the antioxidant
polyphenol as five servings of fruit and vegetables, according to the
article. Cocoa has much less so go for the real stuff.

3.) STRESSED? Chocolate has also been found to reduce blood clotting as much as
aspirin and reduce high blood pressure.

4.) THAT MOOD ENHANCING effect! Chocolate contains substances that
bring on a sense of euphoria by affecting the same receptors in the brain as marijuana.

Authors Balick and Lee travel around the world studying herbal folk
medicines, detail traditional uses of chocolate, which Mesoamericans
called "the food of the gods." They recount that the Mexican Indians
served beverages made from Theobroma cacao, or the cocoa bean, which
Mayans, Aztecs have enjoyed daily for centuries. Aztecs were also known
to use chocolate for religious ceremonies and considered it a sacred,
natural elixir.

5.) CHOCOLATE actually may also stabilize arterial placque, making it less
likely to travel and cause a stroke or heart attack. It can also trigger
the production of nitric oxide (and we all know the value of increasing
the level of nitric oxide!)

6.) Chocolate contains magnesium in high amounts, necessary for heart health,
and minerals like copper and manganese.

Now not all chocolate is created equal............. so don't run out and
buy all those milk chocolate candy bars in the supermarket because it
just won't cut it! The milk chocolate can end up being more harmful than
beneficial. You must develop (if you haven't already) a taste for the
DARK CHOCOLATE! The darker the CHOCOLATE, the more health benefits.
More chocolate, less sugar!

Unless you can afford all those extra calories, moderation is the key! An ounce or two or three of beautiful dark chocolate, consumed slowly, savoring each morsel will do the trick and not pile on those extra pounds! The bottom line "It seems reasonable to recommend that an occasional dark chocolate confection could do more good than harm," says Lee.


Here is a fudgy cookie. Dates are used to sweeten the dark chocolate..
This makes a healthy cookie. I defy anyone to guess what was used to
sweeten it when they eat one. IF THEY CAN EAT JUST ONE!

INGREDIENTS: 20 medium sized dates. Take dates and slice them lengthwise
then place them in a cup then cover with water, leave covered with water
for 30-60 min. Drain water, then take dates and open them up and scrape
interior fiberous stuff out.

Place on plate and use a paring knife to mince up
the dates. (Have a seat while doing this, It takes a while) You should
then have date paste for mixing into chocolate mixture later.

Chocolate Mixture:

1 tbspoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 - 1 oz. baking squares (unsweetened bakers chocolate)
1/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup Carnation (or similar) dry milk powder

Take one larger skillet and fill halfway or so with water and set on low
heat while you place another smaller skillet into that one creating a
double boiler. Place butter into skillet and then chocolate squares onto
that and melt down, stirring not too often. Have all other ingredients
ready to go so you can add them all together quickly. Stir in Half and
half---then take from heat---then stir in vanilla ----then stir in dry
milk powder---this takes time to stir it together into a pudding like
consistency. After this cools, Have an 8" by 8" buttered pan ready.

You are now ready to mix your chocolate and your date paste together.
Use a strong spoon, and use a mashing motion. This does take finger and
wrist strength. But you want to mix these well together. Then mash
mixture into the pan, sometimes the bottom of the spoon will work fine,
some- times you will need to use your fingers a little bit. Then cool
mixture well. Maybe even freezing a while.

Cut into portions that give a one ounce dose of chocolate. Because there is no sugar,
you don't get that sugar headache. Just a lush HIGH from the many splendid
vitamins and chemicals in the chocolate. THEOBROMINE, rightly named,
THE FOOD OF THE GODS. It is the only food that consumed in large doses,
gives exactly the same feeling of fullness as LOVE. But it gives one
other feeling. High energy and wakefulness. This should only be eaten
early in the day in preparation for a stint cutting down the weeds for the compost
heap which is what I'm using it for tomorrow!