Despite its decadent-sounding name, pure chocolate powder—made by roasting and grinding the bean of the cacao plant—contains no sugar and is low in fat.
In addition to drinking it in hot chocolate(more on that below), try dusting the powder on fresh fruit, oatmeal, or yoghurt for a yummy kick that can help control sugar cravings.
Relax: Enjoying a mug of hot chocolate after dinner probably won't leave you tossing and turning. A 2-Tbsp. serving of chocolate powder contains 25 mg of caffeine—about half what you'd sip in a cup of black tea (and a sixth of the jolt you'd get from coffee).
Don't miss a beat
Cocoa powder is a great source of flavanols, the same heart-healthy antioxidants found in berries and red wine. Here's how to maximize your dose:
Mix it with soy or almond milk. Research suggests that proteins in cow's milk can reduce the body's absorption of flavanols. Consider making hot chocolate with water or a nondairy milk alternative, particularly if you're using processed powder.
That half-empty can that's been in your cupboard since last winter? Go ahead and finish it. When stored at room temperature in an airtight, opaque container, chocolate powder maintains its taste and antioxidant levels for at least a year.
Heaps of sugar turn hot chocolate into a calorie bomb. Instead, try adding just a pinch to your cup with ¼ tsp. of pure vanilla extract to kick up flavor. Or swizzle briefly with a peppermint stick.
A 2-Tbsp. scoop of cocoa powder delivers 4g of fiber—roughly the amount in a serving of oatmeal!
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com