3 Fun Ways to Use Up That Giant Chocolate Heart

3 Fun Ways to Use Up That Giant Chocolate Heart

chocolates for Valentine's Day
By Elizabeth Canepari, MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

We’ve all been there. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you’re stuffed on all the dark chocolate you can handle without totally sabotaging your New Year’s resolution. But every time you turn the corner that massive, red, heart shaped box-o-goodness is staring you right in the face. You want to toss it, but it’s just sooo tempting, and not to mention, it’s from your sweetie! I’ve come up with three non-traditional (and guilt free!) ways to get that heart off your counter and put to good use. Intrigued? Read on!

Mmm, Cafe Mocha
Who doesn’t love a little pick me up now and then? As we know, chocolate makes everything better – especially coffee! Aside from its velvety, irresistible taste, chocolate is packed with flavonoids that can help protect your heart and body from damaging free radicals (gotta love that!). Skip the costly trip to your local coffee shop (and the sugar flavored syrups) and make yourself a little cafe mocha right in your own kitchen.

To make your own mocha, grab a piece of chocolate and rub it along a citrus zester into a coffee filter. Add coffee grinds and get brewin’! Top your cup o’ Joe with creamy low fat cow’s or almond milk, and dust with chocolate shavings. Now that’s an antioxidant packed treat you can feel good about!

Get Your Melt On
Who can resist a little melted cocoa? I can’t, and you don’t have to either. Set up a double boiler on your stove (so you don’t scorch your goodies) by placing a glass bowl or other heat proof bowl into a saucepan filled with about an inch of water. Make sure there is space between the bottom of the bowl and the water, and bring water to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Add chocolate to the bowl and melt away.

Get creative and dip some of your favorite treats in this dark indulgence. Pineapples, strawberries, clementine segments, roasted almonds, fresh mint leaves, and maybe even a few pieces of a healthy jerky if you’re feelin’ kinda wild – in a sweet and savory kind of way. Not only will this take your taste buds for a ride, but recent studies have shown that the flavonoids in dark chocolate may boost brain health and cognition. Maybe this chocolicious treat will help you remember where you hid the rest of your candy!

Hit The Shower
Chocolate can be great for your skin. The antioxidants, flavonoids, and healthy fats that work wonders on your insides can do the same for your outsides. Chocolate (especially when combined with caffeine) can be turned into an amazing mask for your face and body. Here’s a quick DIY recipe:

Add a few pieces of solid chocolate to your food processor and blend until you have a nice dust. In a jar, combine 4 tablespoons of chocolate dust, 4 tablespoons coffee grinds, and 8 tablespoons coconut oil. Toss the jar in your shower and get ready to lather up with this chocolaty delight. The coffee grinds work as an exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells, while the fats and antioxidants in the chocolate provide a one-two-punch smoothing, softening and removing toxins from your new skin. What’s this mean for you? Polished, supple, younger looking skin. And trust me, I wouldn’t judge if a little of this scrub slipped into your mouth!

I hope this post has inspired you to think outside of the red foil box this year!

TELL ME: What do you do with leftover chocolate?

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