Life is healthier in Costa Rica, but did you know that one of the reasons is chocolate? Hard to believe, I know, but true!
When I established my yoga school many years ago, I selected Costa Rica for a number of reasons.
Chocolate wasn’t one of them, but it has been a surprising but healthy discovery.
Health Benefits of Living in Costa Rica
Now before we talk about chocolate, you might be wondering what else makes life healthier in Costa Rica? If my words below aren’t enough, check out this article: Why Life is Healthier in Costa Rica. It clearly captures many of the reasons I picked this beautiful land for training future yoga teachers and those seeking to deepen their practice. But what initially drove me to pick Costa Rica all those years ago?
First and foremost, I selected Costa Rica because of the abundance of healthy outdoor activities including the yoga community – which years ago was still up and coming. It’s actually been a heart warming experience to be an integral part of establishing the yoga community that exists there today.
I’m also a big fan of the organic cafes and Farmer’s Markets where I’m able to get everything I need to feed my family and my students with healthy, nutritious, real food. And if indigenous health foods are the jewels of Costa Rica, then Chocolate is the Crown Jewel!
Health Benefits of Chocolate
I’m sure you’ve read any one of a number of articles about the health benefits of chocolate. Maybe you even read the Huffington Post when they wrote about the 10 Health Benefits of Chocolate. Well, I’m here to tell you that if eating chocolate is healthy, then eating chocolate in Costa Rica is even healthier.
Chocolate in Costa Rica
Did you know that cacao was once used as currency in Costa Rica? It was brought to the country over 3,000 years ago and remains a vital part of the local culture and the economy. This is partially because of the unique quality of the cacao beans grown in the rich and fertile soil of Costa Rica. Where there is great cacao, there is wonderful, high quality chocolate. There’s even a growing eco-tourism industry developing around – you guessed it – chocolate. Yum!
My Favorite Chocolate Recipe
Eco tourism is how I came to discover my love for dark chocolate – visiting for the first time when leading a yoga retreat to Costa Rica. I especially love being able to go to the local chocolate tour in Cahuita to buy my chocolate treats directly from a family who I know are growing and harvesting the cacao beans. And here’s a quick and simple recipe I enjoy whipping up on the weekend to munch on during the week.
Chocolate Walnut Cherry Crunch
2 cups dark chocolate (chips, chunks or bars)
2 cups course chopped walnuts
2 cups dry cherries
* Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
* Add the chopped walnuts and dry cherries after the chocolate is melted
* Mix together well
*At this point you can add more walnuts and dry cherries if you like
* Spread mixture on a platter, place in refrigerator until hardened
* Once hard, break into bite size pieces, store in freezer for up to three months (if you can wait that long to eat it)
It’s that easy – and healthy – in moderation. Enjoy sharing my “Chocolate Walnut Cherry Crunch” with your friends.
* Aids in weight loss
* Promotes healthy skin
* High in antioxidants
* Mood enhancing
* Improves brain function
* Promotes heart health
What do you like to eat chocolate on?