Health wise, cocoa powder also gives you the most bang for the calories, as it’s the most concentrated way to get the antioxidants in cocoa, for the fewest calories. late as an ingredient can cross over into savory foods, too. The Bean Institute has lots of recipes for beans, but I like their recommendation to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to every pound of meat and/or two cups of beans.
You may not taste the actual cocoa — that is, you won’t feel like you’re biting into a bar, but the cocoa powder does intensify and enhance the other flavors. Not surprising, given that glutamate (a.k.a. “umami”) is the most prevalent amino acid in cocoa powder. In addition to the antioxidants also present in cocoa powder, the stuff is about 30% dietary fiber, by weight. Granted, you’re only adding a tablespoon per pound of meat or two cups of beans, but I put this into the category of “value added” for cocoa powder.
Health-wise, cocoa powder is the most concentrated form of the antioxidants in chocolate, and with almost no fat, you really get the most nutritional bang for the calorie.
I just like that using cocoa powder for savory dishes is both a tasty and healthful way to bring chocolate into the main course.