Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Evening Snack: Cocoa Crack

If you are like me, you tend to run in the evening. Of course, you should eat something once you get back from running, but I tend to avoid the kitchen as its right near the kids rooms, as I absolutely don't want the kids hearing me come in if they are supposed to be trying to sleep!
But, there is an alternative to whipping up some whey protein powder with milk...which can be quite loud in our echo-ey tiled kitchen or eating that dreaded protein bar! So, you can easily see that my whey protein frappa is definitely out of the question! Cocoa Crack!

Why is cocoa crack a good snack in the evening, you ask? You can make it way ahead of time, and its simple to make. In fact, it only has 3 ingredients! Its two primary ingredients have all of the benefits:

  • Chocolate: Great for boosting blood flow for muscle growth. Chocolate offers numerous health benefits due to the fact that cocoa is rich in antioxidants and components that could benefit cardiovascular health. Cocoa boosts nitric-oxide (NO) levels due to a flavanol called epicathecin. NO increases blood-vessel dilation, which gets all the good things to your muscle faster (nutrients, hormones, oxygen, etc) thereby promoting muscle performance, recovery and growth.

  • Coconut Oil: Now, we have all heard about the bad press for saturated oils, which was inappropriately condemning coconut oil. But, coconut oil has some magnificant qualities! Yes, you want to avoid filtered/processed oils....simply put, they have nothing healthy for you. But, natural, cold-pressed, unfiltered coconut oil is absolutely amazing for you. Not only is there a thermogenic affect, but its filled with medium-chain fatty acids! Some additional benefits of coconut oil are listed here.
So, what is this "quiet" recipe that you may be asking now? Cocoa crack is simple to make:

  • 1 tablespoon organic dutch cocoa (of course conventional will do)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut cream (not the face kind, the food kind)

  • 1 teaspoon stevia (or your sweetener of choice)
Mix....spoon and flatten onto sheet of wax paper and freeze.

Freeze, you ask? You see, coconut oil will become a liquid around 80 degrees, but below that is a solid. So, freeze it and keep it frozen. It actually is more of a "bark" type of treat, as you can easily break it off into pieces for a quick snack. And no, its not going to melt immediately upon breaking a chunk from the freezer, but its not something you want sitting around either!

The next question you might be asking...where do I buy good coconut oil? Well, I discovered this place several months ago that I like. You may even find yourself cooking chicken in coconut oil, which is how I started using it! Tropical Traditions is a small company, but check out their website to see what I'm talking about...its full of useless knowledge that health-conscious people will find valuable. :) I only mention them because they have some great sales that make good coconut oil obtainable to those who cannot afford the "designer" products in those high-end stores.

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