Enjoy a guilty pleasure without the guilt: The chocolates packed with health benefits

MILWAUKEE -- Getting ready to gorge on chocolate for Valentine's Day? Don't feel bad about it. Just choose the stuff that's not only good tasting, but also good for your heart! Registered dietitian Meghan Sedivy with Fresh Thyme joins Real Milwaukee.

With its increase in popularity cocoa and dark chocolate have been associated with heart health benefits. Choose dark chocolate products that contain a higher percentage of cocoa when eating or making a chocolatey dessert. 70% cocoa or higher is ideal for reaping the health benefits associated with dark chocolate. Focus on 1-2 oz. portions of dark chocolate 2-3 times a week to maximize the heart health benefits of dark chocolate.

Avocado and Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
  •  ¼ cup cocoa powder

Instructions:

1. Using a double boiler melt chocolate chips. Once thoroughly melted remove from heat.
2. Peel and dice avocados, then mash until smooth in a small bowl.
3. Combine mashed avocados, melted chocolate and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix well.
4. Allow chocolate mixture to cool for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. Remove chocolate mixture from refrigerator and form into bite size truffles. Roll in coconut or cocoa powder if desired and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate and Chili Spiced Popcorn Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Plain Popped Popcorn
  • 2- tsp. Chili Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 tbsp. Bittersweet Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pop popcorn kernels according to instructions.
  2. In a large bowl toss warm popcorn with the chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and chocolate chips until coated evenly.
  3. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Chocolate Chili Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 – 15oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2- 15oz. cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1- 15oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cups veggie broth

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet sautéed ground turkey until cooked through.
  2. Next add onions, garlic, poblano pepper and spices. Sautéed for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove turkey mixture from skillet and empty into a slow cooker.
  4. Add additional ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese, cornbread or sour cream on the side.
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