Photographer: Gina DeSimone Food Stylist: Briana Riddock

Plus, science says it's good for your brain

Rebecca Firkser
August 01, 2018

study conducted by Syracuse University back in 2016 claimed that eating chocolate can positively impact cognitive function. Following the release of this research, the folks at Lifehacker made the connection that if chocolate is so good for the brain, why not start strong every day with chocolate for breakfast?

Unfortunately, most of the ways I typically see chocolate deployed in breakfast foods aren't all that great: tiny milk chocolate chips, a thin coating on a protein bar, shoved inside a limp croissant, or frosting on a doughnut. The reason you feel sort of sick two hours after a chocolatey breakfast isn’t the chocolate itself; it’s the poor quality of the chocolate (and probably the extra sugar). This must end now. As a true chocolate lover, I needed to know some of the most exciting ways to use good chocolate in breakfast. So I consulted an expert.

“Don’t be afraid to venture into flavor profiles or different percentages that might not be your go-to chocolate,” Amy Guittard, Marketing Director of Guittard Chocolate, told me in an email. “Playing around with different chocolates in your favorite recipes is a great place to start.”

Here are a few of Guittard’s other tips.

Pancakes and Waffles

This may be a “duh” moment, but you can’t deny that chocolate chip pancakes or waffles are a great place to start when incorporating good chocolate. Even Guittard says “you really can’t go wrong,” with this nostalgic dish. But instead of tossing a handful of semi-sweet chips onto frying pancakes, try chopping one of your favorite bars into shards, then sprinkling those over, which allows the chocolate to melt faster, making your pancakes even more packed with the good stuff.

Muffins

The absolute units that are Costco chocolate muffins were a big part of my high school life, as they were sold for $1 right outside the cafeteria. Those muffins may no longer be part of my routine, but they are a good jumping-off point. Guittard mentioned that the company’s Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell makes chocolate muffins with three types of chocolate and tart dried cherries.

Smoothies

“If you’re on a smoothie kick, cocoa nibs and cocoa powders are secret ingredients that can give your power shake an extra dose of antioxidants (and texture),” Guittard told me. Cocoa nibs, which are basically crushed cocoa beans with a texture similar to coffee beans, have a strong chocolate flavor without the sweetness. Plus, they also happen to be nutrient powerhouses, packed with fiber, fat, and protein.

By Itself

Nothing (except maybe society) is preventing you from just going to town on a piece of good chocolate by itself in the morning. In fact, Guittard swears by it. “I have a piece every day around 10 a.m,” she said. But if you feel like you need some protein along with it, you could always make chocolate-covered bacon.

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