Just the thought of biting into a square of chocolate might make you smile. And, chances are, it really will enhance your mood.
There’s scientific evidence to back the idea that chocolate is good for your mind. Researchers in Australia discovered that, in healthy people, cocoa polyphenols have a positive impact on mood. Some participants in the study consumed a large amount of cocoa polyphenols in the form of a chocolate drink (about the amount of polyphenols in a 1.5-ounce piece of dark chocolate) for 30 days. Those who consumed the largest amount of polyphenols reported feeling more contented and calm.
But the key to enjoying a chocolate pick-me-up is to make sure it’s dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa polyphenols and the less sugar it contains, which will give you better health benefits. Look for chocolate that contains 65 to 85 percent cocoa solids.
These brownies have not only dark chocolate but also a secret ingredient: black beans, which provide fudginess, fiber and protein. The recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free. Feel free to substitute honey or maple syrup instead of agave syrup, or use low-fat milk or all-purpose flour instead of almond milk and almond flour.