Heart Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
In honor of Valentine’s Day (and my anatomy exam on the cardiovascular system this morning), here’s a great Chocolate Covered Strawberries recipe to make for your bae/ boo/ bumblemuffin. A treat from the heart, and good for the heart!
So what’re we cookin with?
Dark Chocolate: This mystic chocolate has less milk and added sugar than milk chocolates, is higher in cocoa, and higher in flavanols. These flavanols have an antioxidant effect, which can reduce damage to your body’s cells. Heart disease is characterized by damage and inflammation in the blood vessels, so these flavanols can help to prevent that! And what’s better? Research suggests an association between consumption of dark chocolate and reduced incidence of cardiovascular events. Correlation is not causation of course, but it’s evidence enough for me! I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate in this recipe.
Strawberries: Another study looking at almost 100,000 women found that those who ate more berries, like blueberries and strawberries, were 34% less likely to have a heart attack over the 18 year period of the study.
Chia Seeds: These things are all the rave now a days, but what’s so great about em? Well they’re high in omega-3 fatty acid. These are those “good fats” that actually reduces your risk for heart disease by reducing inflammation. Chia seeds are also high in fiber, which is great for a number of reasons. Fiber can reduce the amount your body absorbs cholesterol, one of the major contributors to heart problems. It also makes you feel fuller, causing you to eat less, which may contribute to weight loss.
The making of these was quite the kitchen experiment, but after some trial and error I created a masterpiece! Start by getting everything in order. “Mise en place”, the French term for getting everything ready before you start, cannot be overemphasized here. Create your assembly line of bowls for swift movement of the strawberries from the chocolate to wax paper to chia seed sprinkling. I used some fancy strawberries I found that still had the stem and all on. I neglected to look at the price, unfortunately, so unless you enjoy paying $7 for 15 strawberries I would suggest normal ole strawberries. For the dark chocolate I used 2 bars of Ghirardelli. I mean if you’re gonna spend a small fortune on strawberries you may as well get the good chocolate, amiright? And finally, the chia seeds, the masters of grocery-store-hide-and-seek. I finally tracked down these little buggers in the “health supplements” section of my grocery. My suggestion, just ask a clerk.
Now actual adults may have a double boiler for melting the chocolate. Since I obviously do not have this fancy gadget, to melted the chocolate in a DIY double boiler. Get a pot. Get a smaller pot or bowl. Put water in the big pot, bring it to a sloooow simmer, barely even a simmer really, place the smaller pot in the water, and place chocolate in the small pot. Stir constantly, pulling the small pot out of the water every minute or so to ensure it doesn’t burn. Remove chocolate from heat as soon as it’s all melted. I suppose you could microwave it, but a) you’re more likely to burn it and b) it just doesn’t feel as fancy and gosh darnit it’s Valentines Day so be fancy!
Chocolate all melted? On to the fun part! Dip each strawberry individually, letting the excess chocolate run off the berry for a few seconds before placing it on wax paper. I found that they didn’t look as nice when dipped into the chia seeds. I’d suggest sprinkling the seeds over top of the chocolate once the strawberry has been placed on the wax paper. Let them set before enjoying, or if you’re too cheap to turn on the AC and your apartment is 80 degrees (because you just spent $7 on strawberries for heavens sake), then stick em in the fridge to set. For best results, enjoy with a glass of red wine!
Optional! Sarah was a real kitchen daredevil today and tried a sprinkle or coarse-ground coffee bean on these. The result? Fantastic! A great addition for the guys out there who will faithfully be sitting through hours of chick-flicks this Valentine’s Day.
Heart Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- 10-15 strawberries
- 2 bars dark chocolate
- 2-3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp ground coffee beans optional
- Using the double-boiler method (above), melt the chocolate, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat once completely melted. Dip strawberries into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off before placing on a sheet of wax paper.
- Sprinkle with chia seeds (and coffee grounds if desired).
- Let set at room temperature or in refrigerator. Store leftovers in refrigerator.