Valentine’s is right around the corner. The stores are littered with Valentine’s cards, romantic gift ideas, and beautiful bouquets of flowers inspiring you to buy the love of a significant other. Although many people think that the holiday is over commercialize, I think it is a great opportunity to take the time and remind your significant other how much you love them! Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of buying something expensive, try writing a poem, planning a special night in, or baking a treat! When I think of Valentine’s the first thing that comes to my mind is chocolate! There is something so appealing about lifting that brown, sugary treat to your lips as the flavours wash over your tongue and melts in your mouth. It’s no wonder chocolate is associated with love and Valentine’s Day
But why do associate Chocolate with love and romance?
If we look at the components that make up Chocolate it isn’t hard to understand.
- Cocoa – This is the primary ingredient chocolate. Not only does it give us that rich, chocolatey taste but it is full of antioxidant polyphenols. The polyphenols are known of its healthy heart properties. Polophenols reduce the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), and reduces the risk of hardened arteries and heart attacks.
- Caffeine – Instead of reaching for that cup of java in the morning, why not grab a piece of DARK chocolate! Caffeine is a known for its ability to wake you up by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing the blood flow to the brain. This results in increased mental alertness, helps with thought formation and provides the body with a surge of energy by stimulating the cardiovasucular and respiratory systems. Talk about sparking the mood!
- Theobromine – Theobromine is very similar to Caffeine in that stimulates both the central nervous system and cardiovascular system, but the effects Theobromine has on the brain’s serotonin level is what makes this ingredient essential for romance. Increased brain serotonin promoted by chocolate increases sexual excitation, desire and responsiveness. Since women tend to have higher Serotonin levels in their body, it isn’t surprising that they crave this during period of negative or neutral moods (i.e. PMS) to increase the feeling of pleasure and happiness.
- PEA, phenethylamine – PEA is the pleasure stimulant in chocolate. When consumed in small pieces, it activates the nervous and stimulates sexual arousal and pleasure. It is the main component that forms the “falling in love” feeling.
Everybody’s internal chemistry is different, so the way they relate to chocolate is going to be different too (Can you believe one of my sons hates chocolate?!? GASP!) . If your significant other is a fan of chocolate like I am, why not create this delicious and festive brownie to get them in the mood on Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Chocolate Jam Brownie!
1 box of Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Brownies
2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of jam
1/4 of coloured chocolate wafers for decorating.
1.. Make brownies as mentioned on box.
2. Cut brownie in half and place a layer of jam in between.
3. Melt chocolate wafers in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until melted. Drizzle on top of brownie
4. Share with a loved one.