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