A Healthy Dark Chocolate Rx--
Brownies with Olive Oil & Walnuts
Back in the early stages of research for my forthcoming chocolate book (due out at the end of this year), I didn't start out eating and enjoying 70% cocoa content chocolate--the good stuff which requires an acquired taste. I inched my way, bit by bit, truffle by truffle, chocolate by chocolate, into the healthy chocolate world just as I do anything new.
One the first memories that comes to mind is my first relationship with real dark chocolate brownies. I confess. No baked goods made from scratch that time. I was too busy interviewing the chocolate world and its people. But at my local grocery store I purchased a convenient box of double dark chocolate brownie mix (it called for vegetable oil). Note: Later, I discovered gourmet dark chocolate brownie mixes are available. But I did use extra virgin olive oil. (I discuss its perks in my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.) Plus, I tossed in plenty of good for you chopped walnuts. (I didn't read the ingredients on the box because I'm sure it contained preservatives and other unnatural things.) I felt less guilty, more in charge of it all, you know. A cup of antioxidant-rich green tea helped, too.
Still, it was an introduction to the land of dark chocolate. As time passed, I got hooked on healthier, high-end chocolate--the good stuff with the good for you compounds that make you smile and much more. Whether it is "really" homemade by me or made by creative chocolatiers around the world whom use their own fresh ingredients--I am now a gourmet chocolate addict. Hooked for life until death do us part.
But the almost ready-made brownie fix did work for me, sort of. It was like taking a Dark Chocolate Basics 101 class. And when I took the first bite of a warm, chewy, chocolaty brownie (the EVOO and nuts did make it moist and crunchy) it felt like it was the beginning of entering an amazing new land or pristine planet of no return.