by The Culinistas

(as part of our Wellness Through Food: Way to Your Heart series)

One of our favorite talking points about chocolate is that it’s good for the heart thanks to nutrients that help reduce inflammation and increase good (i.e. high-density lipoprotein or HDL) cholesterol levels. And one of our favorite ways to show our chocolate appreciation is to tuck into one of Markham & Fitz’s beautiful single origin bars.

From their Berry Bisous bar, made with cocoa beans from OKO Caribe, one of the *top* cacao suppliers in the Dominican Republic, strawberries and raspberries, to their award winning Ooh La Lavender, made with Patagonia honey and lavender oil, Markham & Fitz chocolate always hits the spot when we are craving something sweet that will soothe our hearts and minds. 

We sat down with retail operations manager Michael Day to talk about the healing powers of chocolate and education when it comes to matters of the heart.

The Culinistas: Why do you think some are half-hearted about heart health?

Michael Day: Lack of education. I think we learn too late about heart health, until we are concerned about it.

TC: What one dish or food that is the way to your heart?

MD: A good home-made soup.

TC: What’s your go-to cure for a broken heart?

MD: Chocolate & new adventures.

TC:  What’s something you’ll always hold near and dear to your heart? 

MD: Stories about good times.

TC: Tell us about a time you followed your heart and it paid off.

MD: Almost every time I learn to cook something from scratch.

We asked Michael to select six of her favorite dishes from our Way to Your Heart menu and tell us why:

White Bean Hummus & Crudités

garbanzo bean, navy bean, onion, garlic, lemon, sage, za’atar, vegetables

“Hummus is one of my favorite go-to items to keep at home for company and you don’t get full easily with it but still packs a great amount of fiber.” 

Shaved Broccoli Salad

kohlrabi, broccoli, orange, cashew, chive, lemon, urfa, cayenne, onion powder

“The broccoli salad would be a nice refreshing palate cleanser before the main course and is an alternative to traditional lettuce salads.” 

Roasted Garlic Chicken

chicken, turnip, spinach, garlic, rosemary, sage

“I love a good chicken dish and it’s hard to keep me away from garlic.” 

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Fritters

sweet potato, broccoli, garbanzo bean, cilantro, whole wheat flour, urfa, sumac, onion powder

Sweet Corn Succotash

corn, sugar snap pea, garbanzo bean, caper, parsley, lemon, onion powder

“The sides keep the trend of the beans from the starters, bring the entire meal together and will not need large portions to be satisfied.”

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

dark chocolate, cocoa powder, olive oil, coconut sugar, apple cider vinegar, all purpose flour, baking soda

“Olive oil is surprisingly great in chocolate cake and who could resist finishing off with a slice?”

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