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Dark Chocolate Popcorn

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    serves 2

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    Here’s a good excuse to snuggle up on the couch with a loved one for a movie night.

    3 oz (85 g) dark chocolate, chopped
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne or chilli powder (optional)
    3 tsp (15 ml) coconut oil
    1/2 cup (125 ml) popcorn kernels
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) sea salt

    1. Melt chocolate in double boiler or heatproof bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often until smooth. 
    2. 2. Stir in cayenne or chilli powder (if using). 
    3. 3. Heat oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Pour in popcorn kernels and cover, leaving lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Cook until the popping has nearly completed, shaking pot frequently to prevent kernels from burning. 
    4. 4. Place popcorn in very large bowl, try to remove any unpopped kernels and pour in chocolate. Stir with rubber spatula to combine and sprinkle with salt. Cool until hardened, breaking up any large clumps if needed.

    Each serving contains: 1691 kilojoules; 6 g protein; 26 g total fat (11 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 38 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre; 301 mg salt

    source: "Say Yes to Chocolate", alive Australia, Autumn 2013

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    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.