D is for Dark Chocolate, a Delightful Super Food
By Executive Chef Bill Wavrin
Chocolate lovers rejoice! I’m sure it is safe to say most everyone takes pleasure in the rich, delectable, creamy indulgence of chocolate. Whether given as a gift, as a reward for the kids, or just a personal treat, the new finding with this bitter cocoa pod will delight chocoholics the world over.
Now keep in mind I’m not talking about M&M’s, Hershey bars or Snickers (Bummer! I just love Snickers!), as sugars are up to 90% in these candies and the calories abound. However, with just 2 ounces of dark bitter sweet chocolate daily, 70% cocoa solids are beneficial to protection against heart disease, hypertension high blood pressure. Dark bitter sweet and non sweet dark chocolates are the most valuable to your health.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids – the more bitter the more flavonoids, which are compounds in the plant world that protect plants from environmental toxins and exude health benefits we too can benefit from. Flavonoids are high in essential trace elements and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, D & E, and cocoa is the highest natural source of magnesium. A deficiency of magnesium can lead to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, problems with joints, and PMS. Although high in fat chocolate dose not contain cholesterol therefore does no harm to ones arterial system. Other foods high in flavonoids are apples, cranberries, onions, pomegranates, red wine, and tea.
Double Chocolate Meringues
by Chef Bill Wavrin
Here’s sumptuous cookie recipe with all the chocolate decadence with little calories or fat. They are light as a feather, so toss those guilt feelings and dive in. Your hips will thank you for it.
Yield: 8 dozen
12 egg whites
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ cups cocoa powder
Pre-heat oven 300 degrees!!
Step #1: In a bowl, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. While the machine is still beating, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, Gently fold in the cocoa powder and chips.
Step #2: Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment and sprayed with vegetable spray. Drop  ounce of the meringue mix about [2”] apart on the sheet pan and bake in the pre-heated oven [20-25] minutes until golden. Allow to cool on sheet pan. When cookies are cool gently peel off parchment.