Knowledge Base > Fran Costigan & Vesanto Melina - Protein Packed Treats

Protein Packed Treats

Fran Costigan & Vesanto Melina - Protein Packed Treats

This event was on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern

Explore the world of protein-enriched treats with Chef Fran Costigan and Registered Dietitian Vesanto Melina in an insightful discussion that strikes a harmonious balance between fla… Read More.



With chocolate chips, could you explain the type of chocolate to buy and not buy: "healthy" cocoa powder?

— Cynthia Dudak


Let's talk about the cocoa powder first. Cocoa powder has, is does have some fat in it. There is no such thing as no fat cocoa powder is d fatted chocolate that has been d fatted, unsweetened chocolate that has been pulverized into a powder. And cocoa powders are much lower in fat than a solid chocolate that is for sure. But they range from the very low end. And they're ra that's rather unusual is 10% up to 24% fat. And there are different kinds. So the Trader Joe cocoa powder, I am a, I am familiar with it, that is a what's called a natural or a non alkalized co cocoa powder. And then there is Dutch processed or alkali cocoa powder. And both those cocoa powders range in the amount of fat I have high fat, non alkali cocoa fat, or for example. But you know, when we're talking about high fat, we're talking about 22% of the whole thing, which isn't very much. And in essential vegan desserts, we go through this very carefully because if you're making hot cocoa, for example, use the cocoa powder that you prefer. We have a tasting exercise in the course and people are just amazed at like, wow, I really learned a lot there in, in comparing the two kinds. So the, uh, the one you like better, that's personal, but when you go to bake with cocoa powder, you need to use the one that is, excuse me, specified in the recipe. There are different, uh, needs that your, your recipe won't work in ti in terms of using chocolate chips. Well, I only use chocolate chips, maybe in a chocolate cookie, never to make something like a fine ganache because a chocolate chip is a heat resistant chocolate. It is, it has ingredients in it that are going to help it keep its shape. So I always look for a high quality chocolate, whether it's a chocolate chip or a chocolate bar or you know, I have quantities of chocolate. Um, I look for organic, I look for fair trade and I look for high percentage chocolate. And then as Vesanto said before, know your own machine. Everyone has a different idea of flavor. So I thought early on that all 70% chocolates would taste the same. They don't, you know, it's like wine. There's terroir. How was the, where was the chocolate grown? How was it roasted? There's a lot that goes on. So find out what you like.
Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan

Director of Vegan Pastry