Chocolate is packed with healthy antioxidants and is surprisingly versatile. Here, sweet and savory dishes that only taste sinful.
Almond Chocolate Balls with Fleur de Sel
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped Fleur de sel
1/ In a bowl, mix almond butter, sugar, and vanilla. Roll into 20 equal-size balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
2/ Stir chocolate in metal or glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. (Or microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, then continue microwaving, stirring every 20 seconds, until completely melted.)
3/ Roll the almond balls in melted chocolate, garnishing with fleur de sel as you go. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Makes 20. Per serving (one ball): 120 cal, 9 g fat (2 g sat), 9 g carbs, 60 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa-Nib Crust
2 Tbsp cocoa nibs*
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/ Preheat oven to 450°F. In a spice or coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, grind nibs until broken into smaller bits. Mix with remaining ingredients except pork and oil.
2/ Trim off the pork's silvery skin, then rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat all sides with vegetable oil. Rub with a generous amount of the cocoa spice rub.
3/ In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145°F, about 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving with mango salsa (optional).
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 230 cal, 4.5 g fat (1.5 g sat), 9 g carbs, 330 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 36 g protein
*Available at health-food stores.
Hot Chocolate Three Ways
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 1/2 oz dark chocolate, thinly shaved or grated (about ? cup)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/16 tsp cayenne or chili powder
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 tsp sugar
In a small saucepan, bring milk to a slight simmer over medium heat. Remove milk from heat and stir in chocolate, along with one of the flavor combos, for 1 minute.
Each makes 2 servings. Per serving (for base hot chocolate; amounts will vary slightly for other flavors): 190 cal, 9 g fat (5 g sat), 22 g carbs, 85 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein
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