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What Kind of Cocoa Powder Should You Use?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

If you’re interested in the health benefits of chocolate, use regular cocoa powder instead of dutch-processed cocoa, which is treated with alkali to reduce its acidity. The alkalization process removes some of the bitterness and makes for a smoother, mellower taste. But it also destroys a lot of the heart-healthy flavanols in the cocoa powder. Don’t use regular cocoa powder in recipes that call for dutch-process cocoa, though.The two are not always interchangeable.

Nutrition Diva Recipe: Chile con Cocoa

1 large onion,chopped


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

2 cans small red beans, drained

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 ½ cup frozen corn

¾ cup water

1. Heat oil in large pan and sauté onions over low heat until translucent. Add beef or turkey and cook until meat is browned.  If needed, drain off excess fat.  (If you are using lean meat, this should not be necessary.)

2. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Add beans, tomatoes (with their juice), corn, andwater. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 45 to 60 minutes.   Add salt, if needed, to taste.

Cocoa Powder image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.