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  • Writer's pictureIsmael Neggaz

Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most beloved treats around the world. This sweet indulgence has been enjoyed by people for centuries, and for good reason. Not only is chocolate delicious, but it also has some incredible health benefits!

First and foremost, chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. These compounds help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Dark chocolate, in particular, is an excellent source of antioxidants and has been shown to have a higher antioxidant capacity than many other foods, including blueberries and acai berries.

In addition to antioxidants, chocolate also contains flavanols, which are a type of plant compound that has been linked to numerous health benefits. Flavanols can help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation, which can have a positive impact on heart health. In fact, several studies have found that eating chocolate on a regular basis may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Another health benefit of chocolate is its ability to improve brain function. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are both stimulants that can help improve alertness and concentration. Additionally, chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a compound that has been shown to have mood-enhancing effects.

But perhaps the most surprising health benefit of chocolate is its ability to help with weight loss. While it may seem counterintuitive, several studies have found that eating chocolate on a regular basis may actually help you lose weight. This is because chocolate contains a type of fat called stearic acid, which has been shown to have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels and may even help reduce inflammation in the body.

Of course, it's important to remember that not all chocolate is created equal. While dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate, with the highest concentration of antioxidants and flavanols, milk chocolate and white chocolate contain significantly less of these beneficial compounds. Additionally, chocolate is still high in calories and sugar, so it's important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

In conclusion, chocolate is not only a delicious treat but also a surprisingly healthy one. From its antioxidant content to its ability to improve heart health, brain function, and even aid in weight loss, there are plenty of reasons to indulge in a piece of chocolate every now and then. So go ahead and treat yourself – your body (and your taste buds) will thank you.

  • Writer's pictureIsmael Neggaz

...15 International Chocolate Awards that is! 

Each year I send in my favorite Chocotenango chocolates to the International Chocolate Awards competition in my quest for an elusive gold win. First, my chocolates are judged with others in the Americas region. Any winning entries are then entered into the World Finals, in Florence, Italy. 

This year, I had 4 chocolates deemed worthy of the world finals competition. I sent them off and waited, sometimes patiently, sometimes not so patiently. I had won a bronze before, but have my eye on gold. And this year, I got one step closer - I won a silver for my Wild Bolivian 85% dark chocolate. 

I am so thankful this Thanksgiving week to be in the esteemed company of so many amazing, world class chocolatiers. And I am so thankful to you, my customers and friends for tasting my creations, giving me helpful feedback, and keeping me company along this incredible chocolate journey. 

You can find a list of all the award winners here.

Have you ever had a drink that’s cold but hot at the same time? Neither had we until we learned that frozen hot chocolate is a thing. Not only is it a thing – it’s a very enjoyable one, and we can make it together!

Frozen hot chocolate can be the ideal complement for any 4th of July Party celebration or any Summer occasion.  If you're like us and love chocolate in all of its forms, this drink may become one of your favorites.  Creative and different to what we’re used to, frozen hot chocolate is easy to prepare.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

· 3 cups of ice

· 2 tbsp.  Seven Spices Hot Chocolate Mix 

· Your favorite Chocotenango bar

· 1.5 tbsp. of Sugar

· 1.5 cups of Milk 

The beauty of chocolate is that there are a thousand and one ways to prepare it. These are some recommended guidelines to get you started. This drink can easily be customized to your tastes and preferences. Less milk and sugar, more chocolate, less ice… you can play around with it until you find the perfect mix!

There’s no guideline for what chocolate you can use, so feel free to experiment with any of the Chocotenango flavors (or combine them!). All of them will bring organic, Caribbean flavor to your drink.  

Alright, let’s get you set up with an amazing chocolate drink. Just follow these instructions:

· Melt the chocolate. Since we’re talking about a single chocolate bar, the microwave should do the trick. Make sure to use a microwave-safe dish. Run it for one minute approximately, or until the chocolate is melted. 

· Add the cocoa powder along with the sugar and half of the milk to the melted chocolate to make the mixture. Start whisking immediately at a somewhat fast pace. You want those ingredients to blend while the chocolate is still hot. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. 

· Place your ice in the blender along with the remaining milk. Start blending with a high setting until it becomes a mushy liquid. 

· Serve and enjoy! 

As said before, this drink can be played around with. Find new things to make this drink even better, and enjoy the summer and the Independence Day celebrations!

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