Not that I need a reason, but here is an excellent one to justify my daily intake of dark chocolate. According to a study published last December in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, eating dark chocolate may improve endurance performance. Researchers at Kingston University in England tested this theory on recreational cyclists by giving them 1 1/2 squares (1.4 ounces) of dark chocolate. Their endurance improved, possibly due to the effects of an antioxidant in the chocolate called epicatechin.
More research needs to be done. For instance, researchers did not test people who ate chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, fudge or chocolate ice cream. I’ll volunteer for the follow-up study. I think I qualify because I have recently begun going to the gym three days a week, usually after eating some dark chocolate. Maybe I’ll up my intake and see if I can do more leg lifts.
To test out the research yourself, here’s a very easy recipe made almost entirely of dark chocolate.
Fruit with Melted Chocolate – serves 6 in moderation
A selection of fruit could include:1 pound strawberries, washed and stems removed if desired2 navel oranges, peeled and separated into sections or2 tangerines, peeled and separated into sections and seeds removed1 banana, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips or a 6-ounce semisweet chocolate bar
Prepare the fruit and pat it dry with a paper towel. If it’s covered with juice, the chocolate won’t adhere well. Place it on a serving platter and set aside.
Here are 2 ways to melt the chocolate:
1) stove-top: In a small, heavy pot: melt the chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously. When most of the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir until all the chocolate is melted.
2) microwave: if using a chocolate bar, break it into small pieces and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. If using chocolate chips, just add them to the bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, remove and stir. The chocolate has probably not yet begun to melt so microwave again for 15 seconds. Remove and stir. Melting should have begun. Continue microwaving for 15-second periods and keep stirring until the chocolate is just about melted. It will be smooth and shiny.
Spoon the chocolate onto plates and pass the platter of fruit. Provide forks and napkins.For easy-to-make recipes, order "Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!"