Don’t we all agree that chocolate desserts are the best desserts? And how about a guilt-free torte??? What makes this orange chocolate torte special is that it is not only tasty – it’s also quite healthy and is all about high quality ingredients and nutrients!
Health Benefits of Dates
Did you know that dates grow on date palms and that they are technically berries? The date trees can be as high as 100 feet and the dates can grow in clusters up to 200 dates weighing up to 25 pounds! These palm trees can produce fruits for even 80 years. The date palm was called “The Tree of Life” and as Muslim legend has it, it was created from the dust leftover after the creation of Adam. It was possibly the first cultivated tree in history, going back to 8000 years. Dates have traditionally been used for weakness, signs of aging, lack of semen and impotence, but should be avoided in diabetes, obesity, yeast infection or respiratory infections. Dates are tridoshic, but if you have a kapha constitution, use in moderation.
Dates are one of the main ingredients in this orange chocolate torte and there is more than one good reason for that. Taste is the first reason: they are sweet and nourishing. But they are an excellent source of minerals (including zinc, potassium, iron and phosphorus), vitamins like niacin, natural sugar, energy, and beta-D-glucan, a special type of soluble fiber that helps decrease absorption of cholesterol. Beta-D-glucan increases satiety, helping with weight management. They also contain a little bit of calcium, chlorine, magnesium, and vitamins A, B1, and B2. They are among the most alkaline foods. Surprisingly, according to studies, dates contain antioxidant and anticancer compounds. A few scientific studies have also indicated that dates may support bone health. They are a good source of magnesium, copper, manganese and selenium, all required for bone health maintenance. Finally, dates promote digestive health and they are especially good for constipation. Dates contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which is crucial for the health of the gastrointestinal system.
Cocoa Powder vs. Carob Powder
The orange chocolate torte recipe has cocoa versus carob powder options. So, what’s the difference between these two powders? To start with, we should highlight the fact that both of them have equal amounts of fat and calories. Both are an excellent source of fiber, carob being slightly higher. However, cacao has much more minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, especially copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Still, carob in an excellent source of Vitamin Am B2, B3, and B6. It contains some calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and potassium. On the other hand, some individuals experience mild side effects caused by cocoa powder like dizziness, nausea, headaches, or allergic reactions, and caffeine and theobromine in cacao can be too stimulating for others. Carob powder doesn’t contain any stimulants, so it is a better option for an evening treat. Carob does not contain any of the flavonoids cacao is famous for, which protect arteries and cholesterol from damage, and prevent blood clots. You may not know that the type of saturated fat in cocoa does not elevate cholesterol. Finally, cacao contains arginine required for nitric oxide, which helps with blood low, inflammation and blood pressure, but carob does not. Carob is a great substitute for people sensitive to cacao- it does not contain phenyletylamines that trigger migraines in some people, and it does not have the bitterness of cacao – in fact it is sweeter. One interesting tidbit is that carob, as opposed to cacao, is nearly fat free. Cacao contains 8 to 20 times as much fat as carob!
How to make your own vanilla extract
You can make a homemade vanilla extract for this orange chocolate torte, if you are ok with alcohol and are patient. In order to prepare this extract, select vanilla pods with very dark brown color. Split a thoroughly cleaned vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Put it in a clean jar. Pour ¾ cup of brandy or vodka. Wait for a while until the bean soaks the alcohol. Next, seal the jar and leave it in a dark place. Let it sit (shake it every 3-4 days) for 5-6 months. Enjoy your vanilla extract!
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