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Tag: sweets

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has long been recognized as a healthy treat. As many American’s have savored this festive indulgence on Valentine’s Day or celebrate National Chocolate Lover’s Month, it’s good to know what the standards are surrounding dark chocolate health benefits. To get the most antioxidant benefits from cocoa beans it’s best to pick chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. A higher cocoa percentage typically means the product is lower in sugar and is associated with heart health benefits.

Another tip for purchasing healthy dark chocolate is to look at the ingredient list. Look for cocoa, or a form of cocoa, as the first ingredient. Also avoid dark chocolate that contains trans fat, artificial flavors or high amounts of sugar. It’s also wise to look for fair trade organic chocolate. This kind of chocolate is usually more ethically sourced and pesticide-free. Visit the Clearly Organic blog for a homemade chocolate recipe this month.

Baking Season

’Tis the Season for baking! The holidays call us together for fellowship, food and lots of seasonal treats. December is typically a month where multiple baked goods spring from people’s kitchens and cause many of us to share our favorite sweet creations. Here are a few tips for holiday baking.

  1. Pay attention to butter consistency. Butter is the first ingredient in many baked goods, so it’s vital to your end result to have your butter prepped as the recipe directs. Particularly heed the instruction for room temperature butter. Over melted or greasy butter can change the look and texture of your final product.
  2. Read the entire recipe in advance. To avoid disaster or a missing ingredient read your recipe and instructions ahead of time. It’s also wise to set all your ingredients out on the counter before you begin.
  3. Room temperature eggs. This is an easy step to skip. However, room temperature eggs, much like butter, can make a big difference in the texture and structure of your product. Room temperature ingredients emulsify with better uniformity and consistency.
  4. Measure with precision. Baking requires good measuring practices. Spoon and level measure flour with measuring cups. Measure wet ingredients in a measuring pitcher. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for some delicious holiday treats. Happy Baking!