Researchers have discovered that eating moderate amounts of flavanol-rich dark chocolate has a blood-thinning effect, which can benefit cardiovascular health, and it may also boost the immune system by reducing inflammation. I am not really trying to find an excuse to showcase my favorite indulgence, many studies have linked eating chocolate with a growing list of health benefits. But not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. (Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content). So Indulge and enjoy!
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, or walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened “natural” cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole flaxseeds, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup rice bran oil, or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup prune puree, prune pie filling or Sunsweet Lighter Bake
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour (or use cooking spray with flour).
2.Spread nuts in a small baking pan and bake until golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
3.Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix hot water and prune puree (or pie filling or Lighter Bake) in a measuring cup; add to the batter and whisk until incorporated. Fold in chocolate and the nuts with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
4.Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Recipe is adapted from "The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)"