Many people will tell you that chocolates are among their top guilty pleasures. And how can they not be? Chocolates are rich, sweet and delicious.

Another thing to appreciate about chocolates is how they affect people chemically. Numerous studies have proven that eating chocolates releases several neurotransmitters that have positive effects on human feelings such as phenylethlyamine, which causes alertness, excitement, a quicker pulse rate, and the feeling of happiness.

Serotonin, another mood-lifter, is one other neurotransmitter that eating chocolates is known to trigger the release of. And those aren’t all — chocolate also has contains the chemical tryptophan which triggers the release of serotonin into the brain.

Chocolate is Good

So, it’s good to indulge every now and then on chocolates, but perhaps more frequently on what health experts agree is the “healthy” chocolate – the dark kind (be sure to keep this in mind the next time you have an opportunity to score chocolate products wholesale for a really good price from a top food distribution company!).

However, if you seek to experience something more than just munching on bars of chocolate when you’re feeling blue, or drinking hot cocoa to warm your body up on a cold day, provided here are some creative ways to indulge in chocolates. (Pro tip: These recommendations won’t compromise your health.)

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1.     Create a fancy chocolate sauce for a steak

Chocolate sauce on meats was such a big trend several years back. And while it’s no longer a trend to serve rib-eye steak with spicy chocolate sauce, there’s no doubt it has gained a lot of fans, helping it find a home in many restaurants’ menus and home cooks’ recipe lists for special occasions.

Treat yourself to this indulgent dish because it will provide you a truly different steak experience.

2.     Make chocolate-covered strawberry cubes

This is a superb take on chocolate-covered strawberries because you actually get more chocolate per bite by setting the treat in an ice cube tray. Who doesn’t want more antioxidant-rich chocolate for every tart vitamin-loaded strawberry, right?

3.     Turn boring granola into a good chocolatey breakfast bowl

Make breakfast granola for the family more appetizing by adding dehydrated coconut bits, cocoa powder, and shaved dark chocolate. Not only is this breakfast recipe more delectable, it’s more nutritious as well because dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants.

Also, cocoa is known to reduce levels of bad cholesterol that raises the risk for heart diseases.

4.     Fashion edible chocolate bowls

This is a popular party hack you’ll often see on Instagram. Edible chocolate bowls are the best serving bowls for party treats. You just need to blow up some small balloons and dip them in a bowl of melted chocolate. In a cold room, the melted chocolate will harden in a matter of minutes.

When the chocolate has hardened, slowly deflate the balloon, and voila! You have an edible chocolate bowl that can be filled with all kinds of treats, including several different types of chocolate products.

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The best thing about chocolate bowls is that because they’re edible, people are less likely to overindulge on the treats placed in them. Plus, you won’t have dirty bowls stacked up in the sink to wash afterwards.

5.     Whip up easy, healthier homemade ice cream

The first thing you have to do is to melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. After this, add in coconut cream and then mix thoroughly. Freeze the mixture for an hour or so and enjoy generous scoops of the healthy treat throughout the day.

It’s so easy to make, very affordable, and healthier. Although coconut cream packs the same number of calories as regular dairy milk, it’s high in fat that contains medium-chain triglycerides. Coconut fat is metabolized in a different way compared to other fats, and raises good HDL cholesterol. Plus, coconut cream has antioxidants similar to those in berries and dark chocolate.

6.     Fight aging with a chocolate face mask

Chocolate is not only for eating; it’s good to smear on the face as well. If you want younger-looking skin, many swear by mixing powdered cocoa, cream, honey and milk.

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can brighten and tighten skin. This special mask can smooth out wrinkles and give the skin a nicer texture. For some, it can even reduce the occurrence of acne.

A chocolate face mask is a fantastic way to indulge your skin and improve its appearance.

Chocolate is good for you – don’t ever doubt that. It only becomes bad if you’re allergic to it or if you overindulge yourself. Consume it in moderation and get creative with it to fully enjoy the many health benefits it offers.

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Hisham Aljamil

Managing Director, Bidfood Middle East

Hisham’s corporate career started in the UAE in late 1988; he worked for firms such as R.J. Reynolds, Danone Group, and Richemont Group across several countries in the GCC. He climbed up the ladder in roles and responsibilities to manage regions and businesses in the Middle East. In 2003, after 15 years of business experience, he took a leap of faith towards starting up something on his own. At almost 10 years in, the business has grown to cover 3 major markets with a turnover exceeding US$60 million. Hisham’s vision is to continue his regional expansion to the rest of the Middle East markets.