It’s National Chocolate Day. What would we do without these wonderfully designated days giving us permission to indulge? By now most of us know that this particular indulgence is actually good for you. So, don’t reprove me for loving my chocolate. I admit to getting a daily dose of it. Chocolate is one of my life’s treasures and so is National Chocolate Day for making it ok.
Did you know that eating chocolate daily in moderation has many health benefits? First of all, what I mean by this is that you have to eat the right kind of chocolate. Not the stuff that is full of sugar and milk. It’s best for you to eat the least adulterated bit of hocolate for maximum health benefits. Dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao would be the better option. Cacao nibs in oatmeal or something else would be great.
Cacao beans are the source of antioxidants in chocolate which are good for your skin and health. Cacao beans contain natural chemicals called flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound that promotes general health and might lower your risk of several diseases. These antioxidant compounds are powerful and, according to a study in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” published in 2003, they are especially concentrated in cocoa, a product of cacao beans, which most of us use in baking or to make hot chocolate. In that study, researchers compared the antioxidant capacity of black tea, green tea, red wine and cocoa, concluding that cocoa has the highest antioxidant activity among the four products and the greatest potential for health benefits. It has even been said to increase human longevity.
Don’t forget that chocolate is also your happy food. There is a reason for that. It contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. While this super-molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue-green algae. Raw cocoa is also an aphrodisiac because it contains anandamide, a substance that induces euphoria.
So eat up everybody, this is one guilt free treat that will make you feel good in every way! Go ahead and treat yourself to that chocolate donut today and give your kids chocolate milk instead of the regular stuff. For dinner try a mole sauce on your chicken, it’s a spicy chocolate sauce that is used in Mexican dishes. National Chocolate Day for the American mass means a day of freebies and deals with an excuse to eat chocolate, but you really don’t need to make excuses.
Here is what is happening around the nation to honor this wonderful celebration of chocolate:
In New York City, Pastry Chef Pierre Poulin from the renowned restaurant Aureole will be offering a free cooking demonstration and give away free chocolate desserts at Bryant Park at 6 p.m. Wednesday, 10/28/2015. It’s first-come, first-served, and supplies are limited, so get there early.
La Madeline Country French Café is a Dallas-based café that will dole out free mini chocolate strawberry tarts. With more than 75 locations in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, and Oklahoma, the chain will give plenty of locals limited-edition French treats.
In Alabama, Downtown Huntsville will be celebrating with Sugar Belle by giving away free cupcakes to the first 50 people who stop by the Downtown Huntsville office between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Chicagoland Fannie May retail stores will be offering customers one free piece of chocolate in honor of the special day.
Lindt is offering 25 percent off all online orders until Thursday. No code necessary.
On National Chocolate Day get 20 percent off any purchase on the Ghirardelli website with the code CHOCO20.
On Oct. 28 only, high-end chocolatier Neuhaus is offering a free small chocolate box with purchase.
The Crème De la Crème of National Chocolate Day is actually taking place in Paris!
Internationally the French go all out when it comes to chocolate, Parisians are celebrating with the 5-day “Salon du Chocolat,” (Oct. 28-Nov. 1). Throughout 5 days, the Salon du Chocolat welcomes all chocolate lovers to know more about the universe of cocoa, meet iconic chocolate brands and the best French and international artisans. A unique program of fun and delicious activities awaits visitors, including recipes demonstrations by the greatest chefs and pastry chefs, conferences, live performances by cocoa-producing countries, pastry workshops, book signings, workshops for children, exhibitions, and last but not least the famous Chocolate Fashion Show. The Paris Chocolate Fair puts on a fashion show with elaborate dresses made from chocolate only. It occurred yesterday!
Images from The Guardian.