July 25, 2017

Steak and Cocoa Butter

Carbs are great for running training and in the build-up to a race but protein is really important too so that we keep our muscles strong and repaired. How much protein you should have a day depends on many things such as weight, gender, what you are trying to achieve etc. but my rule of thumb is 1g for each kg of body weight. Remember this is very generalist.

Steak cooked in Cocoa Butter

Something I eat, on occasion, is fillet steak with salad which is great for a protein kick. A 200g eye fillet steak will provide approximately 52g protein.

I normally cook my steaks with olive oil but I have recently discovered cocoa butter and decided to give this a kick; olive oil is fine to use as long as it isn’t overheated. If overheated olive oil can change its structure which can be damaging to us. Cocoa butter comes in a powder form so throw it in a pan and fry the steaks as you would normally do so. Cocoa butter heats to 200 degrees easilyl so you get a great all round seal without burning it. Once I have fried on each side for a few minutes I then chuck the pan in the oven for five minutes then stand for a few minutes to get a wonderful, juicy, medium steak.

 

Steak cooked in cocoa butter with saladI serve my steak with salad, toasted pinenuts, balsamic glaze and a few olives and stuffed pepperdews on the side. Olives are great too as they are full on antioxidants. To keep on the chocolate theme I grated some raw chocolate over the salad and steak so the dish had that slight bitter, chocolate taste – delicious!

The brand of cocoa butter I use is Callebaut Mycryo and is available from some health stores and specialty chocolate shops and from Sissys Bix.

So chocolate is good for you!

Hand made chocolatesI had the great pleasure of being treated to a chocolate making class for my birthday and it was one of the best things I have done in a very long time. Not only did I make some amazing choccies but I also learnt so much about it and apparently it is actually pretty good for you. Chocolate is full of antioxidants but only if you eat the good stuff. Eat the rubbish and you get fat and sugar. So what has this got to do with running? Well us runners always need snacks and if chocolate is good for us I’d like to know more!

Firstly what is chocolate? Well it is from the Cacoa plant and the seeds are fermented then the beans roasted, dried and the shell removed to provide cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are available at some health stores and this is chocolate in its pure form. They are often put on cereal, salads and other food and are full of antioxidants and minerals.  I’ve just bought a block of pure, pure choccie in this form to play with in food. These cocoa nibs are ground to cocoa mass which is a mix of cocoa butter and cocoa solids; cocoa butter is separated from the solids. From here various products such as cream, vanilla, sugar and emulsifier are added to chocolate solids and some of the cocoa butter to make it the amazing thing we buy and eat.

Chocolate makingSo what is good and what isn’t? We have all probably heard how great dark chocolate is. Well it’s true depending on what you buy; the closer you can get to the pure chocolate form the better. Once you start adding sugar, milk, vegetable fat etc. you get away from what chocolate is. Some ‘chocolate’ out there is just fat and sugar. Find a chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, no vegetable fat and natural bourbon vanilla. There are some amazing brands out there but the good ones which are easily accessible are Green and Blacks and Lindt. Stay away from chocolate with vegetable fat, vanillin and a low % of cocoa mass in. Some won’t even have cocoa butter in as it is more valuable out of the chocolate than in it. Nestle is a particularly poor brand. Nestle Melts have less than 16% cocoa, no cocoa butter and vegetable fat. Hmmm!

What benefits does chocolate have? Studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, help improve cardiovascular problems amongst other things. Of course if you eat half a kilo of Cadbury’s a day it probably won’t help.

I’m now very conscious of what I am eating, I am staying clear of a few mainstream brands and focusing on quality. Also making your own chocolates is awesome and I totally recommend the cooking class I went to. See http://www.sissysbix.com/ for more information

What a great excuse to eat more of this amazing product! Enjoy!