Kick off the Valentine's Day countdown with a batch of Dr. Elaine's yoga-inspired
chocolate dipped strawberries with rose petals for your sweetie.
Great news - modern science is confirming what the ancient indigenous peoples
knew all along - chocolate is good for you. Since the time of the ancient Mayan,
Olmec, and Aztec Indians who worshipped chocolate as food of the gods,
chocolate's been consumed for pleasure as well as its healing properties. Over the
centuries chocolate has been used as a remedy for conditions ranging from
indigestion to depression to heart problems, as well as an aphrodisiac.
Studies show that dark chocolate has health benefits worthy of a yogic food. Along
with an incommparably seductive taste and texture, chocolate has potent
antioxidant flavonoids called proanthyocyanidins, found in fruits, vegetables, red
wine, and green tea that may contribute to heart health and boost immunity.
Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine and theobromine, bioactive substances
that may be natural antidepressants; stearic acid, a unique fat that may lower
cholesterol; and magnesium, a mineral important in preventing hypertension and
All chocolates are not equal, so choose wisely to enjoy their health benefits. The
best type of chocolate, from a yogic point of view is a dark, bittersweet or
semisweet chocolate with at least 60 to 90 percent cocoa mass, and no added
fillings, additives, sugar, or fats (such as butter, hydrogenated fats, or oils). The
cocoa mass, also known as cocoa liquor, is the pure, unsweetened content of the
cocoa bean, where the beneficial nutrients reside. Due its higher percentage of
cocoa mass and therefore more healthful flavonoids, dark chocolate has
significantly more antioxidant power than milk chocolate (which only has 5 to 50 percent cocoa mass) or white chocolate (zero percent cocoa mass).
Of course, dark chocolate shouldn't replace the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
of a well-balanced yoga diet. Dark chocolate is also loaded with calories, so you risk
gaining weight if you add it to your diet without making some caloric adjustments.
However, moderate amounts of dark chocolate (about half an ounce to one ounce
daily) can be good for you if you eat a healthful yoga diet and enjoy regular yoga
So go ahead and boost your prana (life force energy) with chocolate's not-so-guilty
ROSE-DUSTED CHOCOLATE VALENTINE
Succulent organic strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with rose petals is a decadently delicious
and healthful dessert to share with your sweetie. Happy Valentine's Day!
8 to 10 large (preferably long-stemmed) ripe, organic strawberries
8 ounces dark or semisweet bar chocolate with 60-70% cocoa content, broken into
dash of cinnamon
organic food-grade dried rose petals
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the strawberries with cold water
(keeping the stems and leaves intact) and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
2. Place the chocolate pieces in a double boiler set over, but not touching,
simmering water, and melt while stirring. Once the chocolate melts, stir in a dash of
cinnamon. Remove the pot from the heat.
3. Grasp the leaves or stem of a strawberry or insert a toothpick into the stem of a
strawberry. Dip the strawberry into the melted chocolate to coat the berry's lower
three-quarters. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and then place on the baking
sheet. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Sprinkle on rose petals.
4. Refrigerate the chocolate-dipped strawberries for at least 30 minutes or up to 12
hours before serving.