National Chocolate with Almonds Day in The Villages FL
We look forward to National Chocolate with Almonds Day when it pops up on our calendar every July 8th and we celebrate one of the world’s most popular confections.
We confess, this national day is not just another day we circle on our calendar. We also add this one to our to-do list for today so we don’t miss out. We know we really don’t need a special day on the calendar to indulge in one of our favorite guilty pleasures. But doesn’t having a day on the calendar to celebrate such a heavenly confection help negate the guilty part of a guilty pleasure? We think so.
Today, we are indulging unashamedly because chocolate and almonds are incredibly satisfying. This makes us wonder if the reason we crave chocolate with almonds and find the combination so satisfying is because our bodies know what is good for us. Chocolate and almonds both are separately documented to have heart health benefits.
Which makes this day even sweeter. Chocolate and almonds naturally complement each other’s flavors and have been paired together by confectioners for close to two centuries. Adding to the taste pleasure is solid research confirming that eating chocolate with almonds appears to have a positive impact on heart health.
If only we could say that about other guilty pleasure pairings, like potato chips and dip, or pretzels and beer.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY
We are not sure who first poured chocolate over almonds and declared the result not just good, but very good. But we do know that chocolate and almonds each have individual histories that validate our obsession with these nutrient-rich gifts from Mother Nature.
Chocolate dates back 4,000 years to Mexico and Central America where cocoa plants were initially cultivated. Mayan and Aztec civilizations first consumed chocolate as an unsweetened beverage and it was used as a mood enhancer and aphrodisiac. It’s no wonder the Mayans happily worshipped a god of cacao and considered chocolate to be the “food of the gods.” Unfortunately for the common Mayan man, woman, and child, the bitter but delicate brew was reserved for rulers, warriors, and priests during sacred ceremonies. This sheds light on our own obsessive cravings for chocolate and comforts us to know it’s not just our imagination that eating chocolate makes us feel good.
Historical references to almonds indicate that the slightly sweet, fragrant tree nut has had religious, ethnic, and social significance dating back to ancient cultures. Historical references reveal that almonds were highly valued by ancient Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Spanish civilizations, as well as served to kings and Pharaohs. Almonds are recorded metaphorically in the Bible, symbolizing divine approval.
We have always suspected the pairing of chocolate with almonds to be of divine origin.
Maybe history is telling us we are onto something. Could it be that our insatiable human cravings for chocolate with almonds are written in our DNA? Even the ancients knew there was something otherworldly special about chocolate and almonds. Modern nutritional research confirms the special qualities of both almonds and chocolate that make each a source of benefits linked to improved heart health.
On National Chocolate with Almonds Day, we are celebrating with abandon because it’s not just a wishful urban legend that chocolate with almonds is good for you, they really are good for your heart health — in moderation, of course, because too much of a good thing is never a good thing.
NATIONAL CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY ACTIVITIES
- Make homemade chocolate with almond treats
Homemade chocolate-covered almonds or brownies with slivered almonds are both simple-to-make treats that require just a few easy-to-find ingredients. While we prefer to make either of these delicious chocolate almond treats from scratch, a quality brownie mix and a bag of slivered almonds make easy work of the brownies. Be forewarned that these yummy treats are not only easy to make, but they are also easy to eat.
- Put your money where your mouth is
Why not buy stock in a company that makes chocolate with almonds confections? Sweet confections that taste good and are also good for you will always be in demand, regardless of the economy. And it just makes sense to invest in companies that make products you personally enjoy.
- Taste different chocolate with almond products
Although chocolate-covered almonds are the most well-known of chocolate almond treats, today is a good day to step outside your usual go-to candy box and sample other chocolate-almond confections. There are interesting varieties of chocolate covered almonds including salted and no salt varieties, light or dark chocolates, as well as simple chocolate with almonds candy bars, and chocolate almond bark.
FIVE PROVEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE AND ALMONDS
- Cocoa lowers blood pressure and LDL cholesterol
Studies confirm that cocoa products help lower blood pressure and reduce total and LDL cholesterol, which aids in preventing heart disease.
- Dark chocolate is an antioxidant
Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa content) is loaded with polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins, all organic, biologically active compounds that serve as antioxidants in the human body.
- Almonds are nutrient-dense
Almonds are the most nutrient-dense tree nut — they are an excellent source of protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E, and have no cholesterol.
- Almonds are low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free
Reuters Health reported on a study that suggests overweight and obese people who eat almonds and chocolate every day may have lower cholesterol than their counterparts who don’t eat these foods.
- Almonds may help us think better and lose weight
Almonds have healthy fats believed to support proper brain function and aid in weight loss by curbing hunger.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY
- It makes us feel healthier
Considering all the documented proof that cocoa and almonds together have a positive protective effect on the heart, we think chocolate with almonds may compensate for some of the less healthy foods we eat.
- It makes us feel like royalty
When we found out that ancient civilizations reserved cocoa for royalty and the elite of society, we grabbed another handful of chocolate and almonds to elevate our status.
- It makes us feel happy
Chocolate and almonds together, in whatever form they are paired, satisfy our cravings for sweet, crunchy, and salty desserts or snack foods. Eating our favorite chocolate-almond treat always makes us feel good.
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