A healthier way to say, “I love you”

Each Valentine’s Day, we buy an estimated 58 million pounds of chocolate for our sweethearts.  Olivia Clark, RD, CD, clinical dietitian, Parkview Regional Medical Center, tells us which kind is best for our loved ones and offers a DIY dessert your special someone will adore.

Considering the gift of chocolate this Valentine’s Day? The gesture is certainly sweet, but with New Year’s resolutions still on people’s minds, it’s tough deciding whether to deliver a heart-shaped box of goodies or stick to flowers and a card.

While chocolate tends to be high in calories (from sugar and fat) it can also provide some health benefits, especially dark chocolate! Research shows that chocolate contains powerful antioxidants, soluble fiber, minerals, and it can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL.

The key to getting these health benefits without too many calories is picking chocolate with a high cocoa content (72 percent or higher) and limiting the amount you eat (around 6 grams per day). If you want to make a healthy treat for your loved ones or friends, try this simple chocolaty recipe that includes pomegranate seeds, a good source of fiber and vitamin K.

Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate Bites

2 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
5.25 ounces (150 grams) good dark chocolate, melted*
1 tablespoon sea salt

1. Across 12 muffin cups, sprinkle a single layer of pomegranate seeds.
2. Add the melted dark chocolate to a piping bag or plastic bag. Snip off the end, so a small stream of chocolate can come out.
3. Pipe a crisscross pattern of chocolate across the pomegranate seeds. Add another layer of pomegranate seeds, then more chocolate, and then the last layer of pomegranate seeds.
4. Finish with a pinch of sea salt on each of the pomegranate chocolate bites.
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. After removing from the fridge, serve immediately.

Makes 12 pieces

Adapted from a recipe featured on Shiny Happy Bright

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