Aren’t you glad that dark chocolate has evolved into one of those foods that’s supposed to be good for you?
I sure am. I loveloveLOVE chocolate. Not all chocolate, mind you. Milk chocolate? Ho-hum. White chocolate? To me, that’s an oxymoronic concept; I don’t go there. But semisweet? Now you’re talking. And bittersweet? So long as it balances nicely between the bitter and the sweet, I’m good with it.
For the past 5 years or so, dark chocolate (which includes semisweet) has been touted as an antioxidant that lays waste to free radicals. If you’re a child of the ’60s, you may be thinking Weather Underground here. But free radicals are actually nasty molecules implicated in heart disease. And antioxidants help do away with them.
’Fess up—bet you’ve heard those nutritional terms bandied about forever but you never quite knew what they meant, right? Now you do. Antioxidants good. Free radicals bad. Dark chocolate good. Milk chocolate and white chocolate… neutral. Dark chocolate consumed with milk… unfortunately, neutral, as milk interferes with absorption of antioxidants. Which simply means you should down that slab of fudge cake with a cup of black coffee rather than a glass of milk.
Thus I feel good—noble, almost—whenever I break out the bag of chocolate chips. Oh, I know—chocolate chips aren’t Nature’s Perfect Health Food. But considering there’s probably only about 1/3 ounce of chocolate in a typical chocolate chip cookie, I’m betting the balance of fat/sugar to those heroic antioxidants is pretty darned good.
And when you combine dark chocolate with whole wheat—as I’ve done in these Golden Chocolate Chip Muffins—I’m feeling even more confident that I’m actually baking something healthy. Maybe chocolate—dark chocolate, that is—isn’t such a “guilty” pleasure after all!
We get a lot of questions about our King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. What is it? Is it white flour, or whole wheat? So here it is, the visual difference between King Arthur traditional whole wheat flour, milled from red wheat (on the left); and King Arthur white whole wheat flour, milled from white wheat (on the right). Both are 100% whole wheat flours: nothing is added, nothing taken away. The white wheat is just a lighter-colored, milder-tasting wheat. If you love the flavor of whole wheat flour, choose red wheat (our traditional ww flour). If you're looking to add whole wheat to your baking in a rather unobtrusive way, choose our white wheat flour.
Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Golden Chocolate Chip Muffins.
Buy vs. Bake
Buy: Supermarket bakery chocolate chip muffins, $1.00 each.
Ingredients statement: Enriched Bleached Flour, Sugar, Water, Eggs, Water, Soybean Oil, Chocolate Chips, Modified Corn Starch. Contains 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (Soybean and/or Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Propylene Glycol, Monoesters, Mono - and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, BHT and Citric Acid Added as Preservatives), Emulsifier (Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl, Lactylate), Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk, Sodium Bicarbonate, Acidic Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Artificial Flavoring, Sodium Caseinate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum.
Bake at home: Whole-grain chocolate chip muffins, 33¢ each (3 1/4 ounces); 10¢/ounce.
Ingredients statement: Butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, eggs, milk, whole wheat flour, chocolate chips.