Lower calorie chocolate desserts
In case you haven’t heard the good news yet, here it is: Clinical studies have shown that antioxidant-rich (dark) chocolate contains health benefits. The bad news: That same chocolate is high in fat and calories.Enter Camilla V. Saulsbury with the solution, in the form of her new recipe book, “Enlightened Chocolate.” Saulsbury, a fitness instructor, author of 10 cookbooks and winner of several top national cooking competition awards, lays out more than 200 lavish chocolate dessert recipes with less fat and fewer calories than normal. She even devotes chapters to enjoying chocolate for breakfast and using chocolate as an ingredient to spice up main dishes, sides and snacks.Her introduction includes information on the history of chocolate as well as the latest research, showing that an ounce of dark chocolate has five times as many antioxidants (which protect cells from damage by free radicals) as an ounce of blueberries. Yea chocolate! She addresses beneficial effects of chocolate on cholesterol, insulin resistance, brain function, blood pressure, heart health and stress.She uses unsweetened cocoa powder in many of her recipes, since it contains 60 percent less fat than unsweetened chocolate, yet still delivers powerful chocolate flavor.Concoctions include regular and dairy-free hot chocolate, a power protein smoothie and all varieties of muffins, cookies, brownies, breads, truffles, mousse, brulee, gelato, fudge and more.The last chapter devotes itself to main dishes such as lime tortilla soup; chicken, mango and rice salad; grilled pork kebabs; braised mahogany tofu; adobo flank steak; meatloaf; and even barbecue sauce.Each recipe is simple, taking no more than a page to list ingredients and directions. And the best part: You’ll know exactly how many calories, protein grams, carbohydrates, milligrams of cholesterol and grams of fat (divided into polysaturated, monosaturated and saturated categories) you’re consuming with a specific recipe. Appendix B lists “especially low-calorie” recipes, and Appendix C lists particularly low-fat recipes.Saulsbury also gives readers nine online resources for finding the best chocolate and cocoa.There’s just one aspect of the book that I can’t decide if it’s good or bad: Photos do not accompany the recipes. I see it as a positive, only because photos would perhaps compel me, a person who really does not like to cook or bake, to prepare about seven chocolate desserts a day. The negative: If you’re visual and love photos, you only have four pages crammed with 30 color photos total to entice you. Again, the positive: You only have four pages crammed with 30 color photos total to entice you. Then again, maybe such temptation doesn’t matter, since those “Very Best Brownies” only contain 146 calories. On the other hand, the crme brulee does pack in 312 calories and 7.5 grams of fat …
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