Chocolate-Covered Strawberries For Your Valentine
What’s not to love?
The luscious chocolate-enrobed fruit helps prevent cancer and heart attacks. The recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and consists of only two ingredients: Chocolate and strawberries.
Keep reading to learn the health benefits of chocolate-covered strawberries and how to make them.
Luscious, red, heart-shaped fruit dripping with antioxidants, potassium, folic acid and fiber, one cup of strawberries contains 160 percent of your daily need for vitamin C—for only 50 calories.
More good news: Three or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week may help reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by 32 percent, according to a study of 94,000 young and middle-aged women published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. (Here’s a summary in Science Daily.)
It’s believed high levels of anthocyanins, the type of flavonoid found in berries, help widen arteries. That reduces the risk of plaque blocking blood flow to the heart.
It’s likely men also benefit from eating berries, but the study focused on women.
Smooth, dark and rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, chocolate is made from ground cacao beans and contains flavanols, a type of flavonoid that helps lower blood pressure and make blood platelets less sticky and liable to clot. Flavanols also seem to improve blood flow to the brain and heart. This is the mechanism at the heart (ha!) of a Harvard study demonstrating that two cups of cocoa a day improved the memory of elderly patients (who already had impaired blood flow to their brains) by 30 percent. Wow! Here’s the full study in Neurology.
Chocolate’s flavonoids have an antioxidant effect, helping the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals formed by environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke and even normal body processes including breathing! Chocolate also contains theobromine, a mild stimulant related to caffeine, that acts as a vasodilator. Heavily processed chocolate contains very little cacao (thus fewer health benefits), so it’s best to choose a minimally processed chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. Science has yet to prove chocolate’s effect as an aphrodisiac, but if it tastes good, improves health, blood flow and mood, that can only help a relationship, yes?
1 pound strawberries, washed and air dried, leave the stems on.
8 ounces dark chocolate, broken or chopped into small pieces.
Optional: Finely shredded coconut or chopped nuts to coat the strawberries.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, tin foil or parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate.
Microwave method: Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on medium for a minute, stir; microwave for another minute, stir…repeat until chocolate is melted. Do not cover the chocolate because condensation drip into the chocolate, causing it to seize.
Stove-top method: Place chocolate in a bowl suspended over (not in) a pot of boiling water. Stir occasionally until melted, about 4 minutes. Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate, twirling off the excess. Sprinkle with coconut or nuts if you’re using. Place strawberries on baking sheets and chill in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.