The Truth about Dark Chocolate's Health Benefits

Posted On Feb 18, 2014 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

dark chocolate brownie recipe

Will an ounce a day keep the doctor away? It would be nice to think so to justify indulging. But chocolate, even dark chocolate, isn't the optimal way to increase antioxidants, specifically a certain family of antioxidants called flavonoids, in your diet. Dark chocolate, specifically with a cocoa content greater than 60%, does contain flavonoids, which may be beneficial for heart health. Calorie-for-calorie, fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and herbs and spices are still the best way to get more antioxidants. But this doesn't mean that chocolate needs to be banished from your diet! Unsweetened cocoa powder contains 88-95% cocoa, meaning it contains more flavonoids than most store-bought chocolate bars.

The recipe below allows you to indulge in chocolate and get the maximum benefit from cocoa powder.

No-Bake Brownie Balls

Makes 12 balls

  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • Water, as needed
  1. Place walnuts, dates, salt and vanilla in food processor or blender. Mix until walnuts are finely ground.
  2. Add cocoa powder and honey. Blend well.
  3. Add a few drops of water if the mixture is dry.
  4. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Form "dough" into small balls. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Per ball: Calories: 130, Fat: 10g, Protein: 3g, Carbs: 15g Fiber: 3g