Beth Warren Nutrition Blog

chocolate pb hearts

What is Shabbat and Why it Means Treat Time to Me!

by Beth Warren February 14, 2018

For all you chocolate lovers out there, guess what? There are extensive amounts of studies stating that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits, especially protective against cardiovascular disease. But of course, this doesn't mean we can let loose on an absorbent amount of any type of chocolate. As I'm sure we can all attest to, it is easy to go overboard on anything chocolate which can quickly add up in calories. Keep in mind that a portion would be about 1 ounce, or a square or two so try to savor the flavor.


Quality dark chocolate, usually containing a considerable to high percentage of cacao (70% or more), is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals while keeping relatively low in sugar. Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful organic compounds and antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can also improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but significant decrease in blood pressure.


In general, a mindful treat about once per week is a great way to help stay on the right eating path. The BWN Method works in this strategy which not only helps promote a satiety aspect to the plan but also teaches you to be comfortable around treats that are sure to come up in your life and truly enjoy the indulgence. Dark chocolate is a great option! 


Personally, I typically enjoy a treat for Shabbat (or "Sabbath") over the weekend. Shabbat is Jewish day of rest that begins at sundown on Friday and ends Saturday about an hour after sundown. It is literally a time to completely turn off from technology and recharge for the upcoming week. In other words, it can be the perfect environment to be mindfully enough in the moment to allow an indulgence and truly savor the flavor of a treat without a lot of the outside mindless "chatter" that comes up in a typical weekday.  Shabbat is an opportunity for a day away from our reality allowing us to take a break and reflect on our lives and our families with less distraction. In a way, a day of rest is a common denominator for anyone in order to keep in tune with our mind and bodies. It's always a good idea to try to treat yourself to a day of relaxation and spirituality. We can also treat ourselves with food, and chocolate is the perfect fit.


BONUS: To celebrate the uniqueness of Shabbat, my fellow kosher food bloggers got together for a Virtual Shabbat Potluck, where we all shared our favorite Shabbat recipes. My recipe below is a fun indulgence pairing my two favorites: dark chocolate and peanut butter. Here are the others:


Between Carpools (Instagram @betweencarpools) Which Egg Wash Produces the Shiniest Challah        
Shushy Turin (Instagram @cookinginheelss) How to Hack a Challah     
Chaya Suri Leitner (Instagram @spiceandzest)  Salad and Roasted Eggplant                    
Ahuva Schwartz (Instagram @thekatamonkitchen) Salads        
Sabrina Oziel (Instagram @the_sugar_box_mtl)  Red Snapper with Charred Potatoes, Tomatoes and Lemons                                        
Sina Mizrahi (Instagram @sinamizrahi) T'Bit: Iraqi Slow Cooked Chicken and Brown Rice        
Danielle Renov (Instagram @peaslovencarrots) Lamb Roast        
Melinda Strauss    (Instagram @kitchentested) Roasted Veggie Platter    
Jamie Geller (@jamiegellerdotcom) Cinnamon Buns    
Chanie Apfelbaum (@busyinbrooklyn) Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites    

Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cups

A delicious heart-healthy dark chocolate treat with peanut butter.



2 tbsp coconut oil

4 oz dark chocolate chips

A pinch of sea salt



1/2 cup peanut butter, natural (or almond butter!)

1 tbsp honey

6 inch Mini Muffin Wrappers (plus mini muffin tin), or Molds (like the hearts in the photo)


1. Melt the dark chocolate (either using a double-broiler or microwaving )

2. Stir the "chocolate" ingredients into the chocolate until smooth

3. Using a spoon, place about 1 tsp of melted chocolate into the bottom of the wrapper or mold

4. With the spoon, push down the chocolate so that it comes up the sides of the wrapper or mold.

5. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

6. In a bowl, mix the peanut butter and honey together.

7. Remove the moldings from the freezer and add one teaspoon of filling into the cups.

8. Add more metled chocolate to cover the peanut butter filling..

9. Freeze for 2+ hours.

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