There are few things more satisfying to eat than chocolate. It’s been our “go-to” comfort food for generations when we need a pick me up or just something to go with our evening coffee. Now we know that studies confirm its nutritional benefit for our health, giving us a great reason to eat chocolate!MORE: The Beauty Benefits of Dark ChocolateWhy Chocolate is SkintasticNatural cocoa and dark chocolate contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods and may help the skin stay more hydrated and look better. What’s more, Yale University research found that cocoa flavanols protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, increase blood flow to the skin, increase density and thickness of the skin, decrease water loss from the skin and improve overall appearance of the skin. Flavanols, which are plant compounds naturally found in the cocoa bean, help to promote blood flow and dilate vessels. This action helps to deliver nutrients throughout the body, including to the skin.And Has Fewer Calories Than You ThinkYes, 1 tablespoon of cocoa has only 12 calories, as well as 1 gram of fat, 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of copper and four percent of the daily recommendation of iron. One ounce of dark chocolate has 164 calories, 11 grams of fat (6 grams of saturated fat), 2 grams of fiber, 18 percent of the daily recommended amount of copper and 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of iron. Therefore, you can use part cocoa powder in recipes to cut the amount of chocolate and calories while still getting the great skintastic benefits!MORE: Superfoods for BeautyChocolate Espresso Tofu Mousse RecipeMake this fabulous recipe and you’ll not only enjoy the benefits of cocoa, but also the powerful nutritional benefits of tofu. Impress your family and guests by serving in a pedestal glass topped with shaved chocolate and some fresh raspberries. They’ll be glad you did and your skin will be all the better because of it.Ingredients: 12 ounces extra firm tofu2 ripe bananas2 ounces 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate6 tablespoons cocoa powder1 tablespoon, 2 teaspoon agave nectar2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 tablespoons instant espresso powderProcedure:Place tofu in food processor and blend until creamy. Add bananas and process until smooth. Melt chocolate and add to tofu along with remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Place in serving cups, refrigerate until cold and serve.Chocoholics rejoice! This Chocolate Espresso Tofu Mousse recipe will keep you smiling while it protects and beautifies your skin and satisfies your chocolate cravings.

Valerie Fischel
dark chocolate infographic