Upgrade a Batch of Chili With Cinnamon, Cocoa, or Even Coffee

Chili is personal, and you have your favorite recipe. I respect that. I’m not here to argue with your one true chili love.

But I would bet that there are some ways that you could make your tried-and-true recipe even better. I’m just talking about little things to add extra flavor here or give some richness there—small tweaks that, when tallied up, amount to a more fantastic chili.

Source: 10 Ways to Make Your Favorite Chili Recipe Even Better

Some will think cinnamon in chili is an abomination. And I like cinnamon. In ice cream. On apples. In chewing gum. But in chili?  It’s worth an experiment – cinnamon can do some interesting things in more savory dishes.

Cocoa Butter: The Process for an Ingredient in Candy and Moisturizer

What the hell is cocoa butter? And why is it both an ingredient in candy bars and a moisturizer? This short video lets you see where cocoa butter comes from and what “chocolate” looks like without it.

This video gives you a rundown of how beans turn into chocolate – and the far less glamorous cocoa butter. First, whole beans, with their shells, are lightly roasted. The temperature shouldn’t go above 135 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s a lot of fat in the beans that no one wants to melt quite yet.

Source: What Exactly Is Cocoa Butter? Watch This To See How It’s Made

The video is brief, and at 1:43 minutes it is also not narrated either.  You need the article content to understand what is happening and why.

Similar to alcohol, we’ve been making it for thousands of years now. Somewhere along the line people figured out how to do organic chemistry.  There had to be a lot of failure to get to what we’ve come to enjoy.

Industry: World Is Running Out of Chocolate

Because of disease, drought, rapacious new markets and the displacement of cacao by more-productive crops such as corn and rubber, demand is expected to outstrip supply by an additional 1 million tons every decade for the foreseeable future. Here, now, as you read these words, the world is running out of chocolate, Bloomberg Pursuits will report in its Holiday 2014 issue.

Source: Chocolate: Can Science Save the World’s Most Endangered Treat?

Two years minimum to bear fruit – that’s still better than wine grapes I believe.  With the rise in demand, I’d figured there’d be incentive for cacao crops over corn and such.  My understanding was in the US, corn crops were largely propped up by subsidies not demand.  While I don’t care for the article style, it does cover where and what challenges there are and what is being done.  Sadly, the outlook is bleak.  It could be another case like what happened with the banana.

Related: The world’s biggest chocolate-maker says we’re running out of chocolate

Chocolate Reverses Age-related Memory Decline in Mice

Dietary cocoa flavanols — naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa — reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) scientists. The study, published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory decline can be improved by a dietary intervention.

…The researchers point out that the product used in the study is not the same as chocolate, and they caution against an increase in chocolate consumption in an attempt to gain this effect.

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That said, don’t forget that chocolate (cocoa specifically) is good for you.

Study: Truth About Chocolate Cravings

A recent study took people experiencing chocolate cravings and gave them varying degrees of relief. Some were given chocolate. Some were given white chocolate – which is made with cocoa butter and doesn’t have the chemicals in regular chocolate. Some were given little pills containing all the chemicals they’d get in a piece of chocolate. Some were given nothing.

Only one of those groups had their cravings totally alleviated.

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Chocolate (cocoa specifically) is Good for You

Now that I have your attention…

It’s a brief read that is somewhat cycling oriented, but eating darker chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa solids has been found to provide noticeable benefits:

Eating less than half an ounce of dark chocolate a day – only about 30 calories – was associated with a lowering of blood pressure without weight gain or other adverse effects…

All things in moderation…

Additionally, read Yahoo’s 7 Heart-Healthy Perks of Dark Chocolate.

So far, I prefer Green & Black stuff to Lindt, but it gets pricey and I’m a sucker for sales…  Also, the 70+ stuff is rather crumby – breaking or cutting pieces still yields shards.