nosh magazine (issue 5) - Page 14

nosh magazine THE ABCs OF CHOCOLATE Dietitian Zoya Hett takes you back to basics exploring everything you need to know about chocolate, including the process of how it’s made, the different types, the possible health benefits and the best eating options. dietitian will start prescribing chocolate (sorry!). The chocolate making process  Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and once the beans are picked, they are fermented, then roasted, to bring out their flavour. The beans are then cracked and the shells are removed, leaving the crushed beans called cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground into a paste called ‘cocoa liquor’ (although contains no alcohol). The cocoa liquor can also have added milk and sugar to make either ‘dark’ or ‘milk’ chocolate or it is further separated to make cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate contains around ten per cent chocolate liquor, it has added sugar, cocoa butter and milk solids. It often also contains added vegetable fats such as palm or coconut oil, and although these are used to prolong the shelf life, add extra saturated fat, which makes milk chocolate very energy dense. Chocolate types White chocolate: This is cocoa butter with sugar and milk solids added. High in saturated fat and mostly sugar, there are debates nationally and internationally whether it should be called ‘chocolate’ at all. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate can Compound chocolate: Also known come in different varieties from 70 to 99 per cent cocoa. Dark chocolate contains cocoa liquor, extra cocoa butter, sugar, emulsifier and often vanilla or other flavourings. Dark chocolate may also often contain milk fats and added vegetable fats to give it a more creamy flavour and longer shelf life. When people say ‘chocolate is good for you’ they are usually referring to dark chocolate. Research has shown that flavonoids, a type of antioxidant which is found in cocoa can have health benefits. These studies have found that these antioxidants can help reduce blood pressure and protect against heart disease and even improve insulin resistance. However these studies are often short term trials and done on healthy individuals, but more research is needed before any as ‘imitation chocolate’ this type is when some or all of the cocoa butter is replaced with vegetable fats, including palm oil and coconut oil. They are more cost effective and often used as they stop the chocolate from melting in the warmer weather. They are often found in chocolate bars, ice cream and biscuits. Note: The cheaper chocolate easter eggs are often made with compound chocolate. Raw: Raw chocolate is made by cold-pressing the cocoa beans. The cocoa beans in raw chocolate have only been roasted to 45°C, which the manufacturers suggest does not kill all the enzymes in the chocolate, making it a ‘healthier’ alternative. Raw chocolate then has added cocoa butter (and ZOYA HETT, APD Learn more at: website | profile Zoya is the founder of Fit & Nourished. Based in South Sydney, she has a Master of Dietetics, is a Provisional Accredited Practicing Dietitian and a personal trainer. Zoya aims to empower and enable clients with knowledge and skills to help nourish the body and to move in a way that makes you fit and healthy. 14 www.n4foodandhealth.com sometimes coconut butter),