February is American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease, reminding us that we all need to take care of our heart. While many people think of candy, roses and hearts come February, American Heart Month is a reminder to think of your own heart, not just candy hearts this month. While Valentine’s Day has come and gone, the holiday has an effect on the whole month, and it usually has many of us thinking about chocolate. Chocolate is delicious, and luckily not all chocolate is bad for your health (when eaten in moderation). In fact, dark chocolate, one that is high in cacao content, is actually good for your health and your heart. Dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can help lower blood pressure and protect your heart courtesy of the flavonoids found in dark chocolate by helping to increase blood flow to the heart.
Luckily, you can make your own healthy version of chocolate hearts with this delicious homemade dark chocolate recipe!
Homemade Dark Chocolate Recipe
• 1 cup of cacao powder
• ¼ cup of raw, unrefined coconut oil
• ¼ cup of cacao butter
• 1 tsp of vanilla extract
• 4 Tbsp. of honey or maple syrup
• Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1. If your coconut oil is solid, melt it by placing in a small pot and setting the stove top to low. If your coconut oil comes in a glass container, you can also melt the oil by placing the jar (with the lid shut) under hot water in the sink.
2. If you melted the coconut oil using the sink, place the melted oil into a bowl. If you used the stove top, remove the pot from the heat. Add in the cacao powder, cacao butter, honey, Himalayan pink salt, and the vanilla.
3. Whisk until all of the ingredients are combined, and there are no clumps.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a silicone mold or into a lined baking pan. Since its February, it would be appropriate to make chocolate hearts!
5. Place in the refrigerator for an hour or in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the chocolate hardens, pop them out and enjoy!