American obesity rates have more than tripled in children over the last three decades, leaving concerned parents wondering if their children are at risk for heart disease or other consequences of the modern, sedentary lifestyle. While cutting out fried foods, increasing outdoor play times, and emphasizing healthy eating habits are all extremely important, what some parents may not realize is that some foods are still acceptable, albeit in smaller amounts.
Teaching children to make healthy eating choices is a process that can still include treats like chocolate, experts say. Around the world, more than 7 billion people eat more than 7 million metric tons of chocolate each year, and America actually imports more chocolate than any other nation. Our citizens are consuming about one-fifth of the chocolate that is processed every year, and informed parents are beginning to teach their children that choosing high-quality chocolate products is preferred to processed baked goods.
Typically, retail stores sell chocolate candy bars, cupcakes, and cakes that are very high in calories and artificial ingredients. What professional bakers and chocolatiers have known for decades, however, is that bulk organic dark chocolate — often available in both solid and powdered form — remains high in antioxidants and low in caffeine. Any wholesale dark chocolate supplier knows that a one-ounce serving of chocolate has about 5 mg of caffeine, which is much lower than the caffeine content of the typical carbonated soft drink.
Home bakers, especially, should investigate the health benefits of bulk organic dark chocolate for large-scale baking operations. The taste of chocolate can often be compromised by commercial preservatives and artificial flavors, and making sure that all baked goods are made with wholesale professional chocolate can act as a boost to a new business. Cross-contamination at large-scale chocolate harvesting and processing facilities can actually introduce small amounts of gluten to commercially-available chocolate products, and consumers with wheat allergies are interested in smaller-batch, bulk organic dark chocolate.
In addition to better flavor and purity, wholesale chocolate also offers significant health benefits for both children and adults. An entire organic dark chocolate bar has fewer calories than a package of snack cakes, and a wide range of flavors are typically available in health food stores. The benefits of a diet rich in antioxidants like chocolate and berries range from a reduction in obesity rates to improved heart health, and although more than 90 million pounds of non-organic chocolate make their way into candy baskets every year, more chefs are following their taste buds to the best dark chocolate.
One of the most exciting aspects of bulk organic dark chocolate is how well it combines with a range of unexpected flavors. A bit of sea salt can accentuate dark chocolate’s earthiness, while the addition of caramel makes every bite a little more creamy. Dark chocolate has also successfully been combined with garlic, bacon, and hot pepper, along with black pepper: the menu for dark chocolate treats continues to expand. Of course, some consumers eschew dark chocolate in favor of milk chocolate or white chocolate products, but the pleasure of chocolate lies in its variety.
Bakers who are interested in contracting for bulk organic dark chocolate need to take care to store the chocolate properly: chocolate that is kept in a walk-in refrigerator may take on the taste of the products that it is stored with and can be unpleasant. Once chocolate has melted, bakers may find that they are unable to achieve the proper texture in their baked ingredients. In general, experts recommend finding a cool, dry place to store unsweetened dark chocolate; dark chocolate can be safely stored for up to two years.
High-quality chocolate, consumed in moderation, can be a fun part of any healthy diet. Taking care to get enough exercise and making sure to avoid processed foods is the first part of any diet plan, and the second step is being sure to include the delicious, organic, antioxidant-rich treats that make dieters feel happy and satisfied.