4 Fun Things to Do With Chocolate (Besides Eat It!)

Ah, February. It’s known as the National Chocolate Lovers Month and with Valentine’s Day, a month for lovers. Hundreds of chocolate and other candies come out in barrels at shopping and grocery stores.

While eating all that chocolate is great, why not try something new with it? Here are some other fun things to do with it, besides eating.

 

1.  Red Wine Hot Chocolatered-wine-hot-chocolate-5

Martha Stewart’s official Facebook page called it “spectacular,” Cosmopolitan magazine called it “the best of both worlds,” Kitchn, a popular recipe site, called it “the answer to your cold-weather blues.” What is it? Red wine hot chocolate.

Now, you might be thinking, “why not just mix rum or whiskey to my hot chocolate?” or “I’ve had chocolate wine and it wasn’t my thing” or even just “Ew.” But before you write off this delicious drink (and it is delicious!) know that red wine hot chocolate is smoother and silkier than when liquor is added and it’s different than chocolate wine.

Wine is good. Chocolate is also good. Together? They are unstoppable.

 

Serves 2

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup red wine (we recommend Cabernet Sauvignon)

1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

Optional: Whipped cream on top

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and chocolate chips. Whisk constantly until the chocolate is melted into the milk and you have a thick and creamy hot chocolate. Empty in the red wine. Pour into 2 mugs or 6-8 smaller glasses and top with whipped cream.

 

2.  Chocolate Face Maskchocolate-face-mask

Chocolate is a great face stimulator. Because cocoa contains anti-aging properties that help hydrate, rejuvenate and tone your face, it’s able to battle blemishes and refresh the skin.

 

1 mashed avocado
3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder (70% or more cocoa)
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients up. Gently massage the mixture onto your face and leave it on for about 25 minutes. Rinse the mask off with warm water.

 

3.  Chocolate Candleschocolate_candle

Do you have some old candles that you don’t know what to do with? How about turning them into romantic chocolate candles?! Here’s how to do it:

 

1 Chocolate Bar

1 Empty Can

Old Candle Wax

Candle Wicks

1 Empty Container

1 Saucepan filled 1/4th with water

Cut the top off of the can with scissors. Break up the chocolate bar and put the pieces into the can and put the wax on top of the chocolate. Start boiling water and place the can in it when it starts steaming. After a few minutes, you should notice the wax starting to melt. Mix the items in the cup thoroughly with a spoon to make sure all of the chocolate and wax are melted and properly mixed together. Once they are melted and mixed, pour the concoction into the container. Stick the wicks in. Wait 20 minutes for it to cool and set. You will notice a considerable color change from brown to cream. Wait 24 hours for the proper smell to develop.

 

4.  Chocolate Lip Butter / Balmchocolate-lip-balm

If you’re kissing your sweetheart or are just trying to fend off chapped lips, try out this delicious and moisturizing chocolate lip butter. It’s easy to make, smells amazing, and tastes pretty good, too (though we don’t recommend having this as a snack).

 

4 Tbsp jojoba, almond, or olive oil

1 Tbsp grated beeswax or beeswax pearls

1 tsp honey

1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (or 3 punctured, squeezed out liquid vitamin E capsules)

7 drops lavender essential oil (or other essential oil)

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp colored, natural lipstick (optional, if you want it to have a hint of color)

Warm the oils, beeswax and honey in a small, stainless steel pot or bowl. Be sure to warm it on VERY low heat (you can use a double boiler, if you’d like). Stir until the beeswax is completely melted. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the essential oil, vitamin E, cocoa powder, and colored lipstick. Place the bottom of the bowl into a shallow pan of ice water and continue whisking quickly as you add the honey. Once the honey is incorporated, quickly transfer the balm into your lip balm container (tube or tin) and allow to set for 3 hours.

 

Recipe Credits

Red Wine Hot Chocolate – immaeatthat

Face Mask – lahealthyliving

Chocolate Candle – instructables

Chocolate Lip Balm – crunchybetty

 

Image Credits

Red Wine Hot Chocolate –  immaeatthat

Face Mask – stylesatlife

Chocolate Candle – cf.ltkcdn

Chocolate Lip Balm – crunchybetty

5 New Food Trends for 2017

2017 is here and with it, a bevy of new food trends and culinary practices. To get you ready for a New Year’s foodie focus, we’ve compiled a list of five of the hottest food fashions.

1.   Purple Everything

Get ready for purple-colored food.purpleasparagus-1

Using a list compiled by experts tracking consumer behavior, grocery goers have already begun buying bushels of purple-colored foods: purple asparagus, plum preserves, purple cauliflower, eggplants. People are going crazy for purple.

Why? In addition to the pretty coloring, plum-hued foods contain a huge range of health benefits. Antioxidants, which neutralize aging and disease, are abundant in purple food (as long as the coloring is natural). To determine how much antioxidants are in a fruit or vegetable, the darkest colors have the most antioxidants.

2.   Alternative Pasta

Pasta goes through ups and downs in the market economy. Some years it’s all the rage and other years it’s the bane of foodies everywhere.

This year, it’s back to being popular… but with a kick.

With the advent of 2017, alternative pasta will be the next big thing: noodles made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas are on the rise. These funky pastas are chock full of fiber and protein, which are great sources of healthy nutrients. Most of them are also gluten-free and easy to digest.

3.   Dessert for Breakfast

“There was a study that recently came out from chocolate-pancakes-with-chocolate-sauce3srgbSyracuse University re-touting the benefits of dark chocolate, specifically on cognitive function,” says Liz Moskow, culinary
director at Sterling-Rice Group. “The thought was eating chocolate prepares you more for your workday.”

While we’re not sure if cakes and cookies are going to become a common 2017 breakfast theme, we do think that some sweet treats like chocolate pieces or Nutella will appear in pancakes, oatmeal and other common breakfast items.

4.   Dosha Dining

Dosha dining, or Ayurvedic dining, is a holistic-based approach to food. By focusing on meals that reduce inflammation, improve energy and stamina, and just make you feel better, dosha foods are supposed to help balance the body’s physical and emotional constitutions.

With the immense popularity of Ayuryedic activities like yoga and meditation, it’s easy to see how people would turn to foods that are good for their dosha. Even if you don’t buy into the dosha theory, you’ll still see a rise in meals that use turmeric (a main dosha ingredient) and other Indian spices.

5.   Plants = Meat

It’s a carnivore’s nightmare, vegetables are beginning to stand in for steaks, burgers and other butchered items. It’s called “plant butchery” and the end 1-wkl2mlzhregbc4f0agtvlgproduct looks, feels and tastes like actual meat… except that no meat is used.

Made to resemble barbecue ribs, pepperoni or teriyaki jerky, among other items, chefs chop up legumes, mushrooms and vegetables, infuse the product with beet juice, and serve it to vegetarians or meat-eaters who are looking to dial back on their meat consumption.

Now that you’re hip to the new foodie trends, it’s time to get cooking! Most of these items use ingredients that you can find in our store or online!

 

Image Sources

Purple Asparagus via fortheloveoffoodblog.com

Chocolate Pancakes via cookingclassy.com

Plant Butchery via medium.com