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25 Oct 2017

Trick or healthy treat: indulge in dark chocolate

Halloween is one of the many tempting times in the year to overindulge. But you can enjoy the fun and gore, without gorging on scarily sweet treats.

Healthy chocolate? Choc horror!

Trick-or-treat sweets are often packed with sugar and questionable ingredients. But chocolate can be healthy. It’s simply a matter of choosing the right kind.

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. Studies have shown that these boost blood flow, aid a healthy heart, and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is also full of fibre, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese – plus potassium, zinc, phosphorus and selenium.

You’ll want to choose chocolate that’s made from at least 70% cocoa or cacao. Bear in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more powerful the antioxidants – and the less sugar it contains.

Hauntingly healthy hot chocolate

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a hot chocolate on a cold autumnal eve. But that doesn’t have to mean a scary serving of sugar. Just make it with real, raw chocolate, otherwise known as cacao.

Raw cacao powder is extracted from coffee beans, which are cold-pressed to lock in their nutritional content. Cocoa, on the other hand, is processed and roasted at high temperatures. This nukes the antioxidants.

So if you’re planning a cosy night in this Halloween, why not whip up a mug of hot cacao instead? All you need is:

  • 1 cup milk (or dairy alternative like almond milk)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (raw honey, coconut sugar or rice malt syrup also work well)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Sea salt to taste

Pop everything in a saucepan, heat gently, and stir until the mix is smooth. Then just pour into a mug and enjoy! You can adjust the ingredients for more or less sweetness if you prefer.

Tricks for kids

Now for the big question: do sweet-toothed kids like dark chocolate treats? The jury’s still out on that one (and this adorable video shows what happens when littlies try ‘grown up’ chocolate for Halloween).

You might find that when they tip out their trick-or-treat bags, they reach for more familiar sweets. That being said, there are plenty of tricks to having a healthy home this Halloween. You could decorate fruit, dunk apples in melted dark chocolate, or make a skeleton out of veggie sticks.

The kids are also sure to love eating anything that has little spiders, skeletons or ghosts sprinkled on top – so hit the craft shop and enjoy turning healthy food into devilishly tasty treats.

For more healthy Halloween ideas, you might like to try our pumpkin recipes.

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