Chocolate in chili. Sounds kind of weird, right? Chocolate is one of those things that we think about in a sweet context, because when you combine cocoa with sugar and fat, heavenly things tend to occur.
But when combined with savory spices (and fat) cocoa adds a rich, warm flavor profile to food, and meaty chili is a perfect platform to showcase this.
At the recommendation of a friend I sourced this recipe from The Clothes Make The Girl. Blogger and cookbook author Melissa Joulwan calls this her favorite chili recipe, and once you taste it, it’s easy to see why. And once you know about all the healthy goodness in the spice mix, you’ll want to try it even more!
Chili Powder – Consisting mainly of dried chili pepper, which provides a good spread of vitamins and is high in vitamins A and C. Chili peppers also fight inflammation (as long as your gut doesn’t have a bad reaction to it), provide cardiovascular benefits, and rev up metabolism.
Cumin – this super spice aids in digestion, can help control blood sugar, boost immunity, and is rich in iron.
Unsweetened Cocoa – I think rather than beer being proof God wants us to be happy, chocolate is. Because not only is it delightful, but it’s so good for us! From heart health to decreased blood pressure, lower cholesterol and happy microbes, a daily dose of high quality dark chocolate is not a bad thing.
Allspice – High in minerals and certain vitamins and antioxidants, plus has antiseptic properties and aids in digestion.
Oregano – This is one powerful little plant. Oregano has high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-microbial properties. It’s also a rich source of vitamin K.
Well not that we know the health benefits we can enjoy, ready for some warm, hearty superfood?
2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or bacon fat
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs ground or stew meat
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
1.5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can chopped tomato
2 cups beef broth
Melt fat in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper, cooking just until onion is translucent. Add garlic and stir to heat for a about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture into the slow cooker insert.
Return pan to heat and add meat, cooking until mostly brown. Transfer to slow cooker, including fat.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover and turn slow cooker on low. Let simmer away for 6-8 hours.
You can top the chili with cheese, shredded carrots, or shredded cabbage. Enjoy!