Raw Chocolates: Its Benefits and Raw Chocolate Recipes
Posted Apr 02 2010 2:07pm
Someone once said “there are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffle.” Do you wish chocolate could actually be a health food? I believe raw chocolate to be a very healthy and fun addition to my diet, and definitely not one I should feel guilty about. Many people admit being strongly attracted to the taste of chocolate, but deplore its calories, high fat content and other unhealthy properties. What they do not realize is that the chocolate bars found on supermarket shelves are but a shadow of the real, dark, unprocessed chocolate made from real cacao beans and very little else. Regular chocolate is often mixed with lecithin (most likely genetically modified), paraffin wax (to give it a glossy finish and harder shell), milk powder, vanillin (a synthetic vanilla-like flavoring agent derived from the paper industry) and more. But with its decadent taste, it’s no wonder so many people try (and often fail) to eat it in moderation! Raw chocolate is very far from these inferior chocolates for many reasons.
1) Raw chocolates is made from healthy ingredients which undergo minimal processing. The best brands of raw chocolates, and those you can make right in your own kitchen, are made using unprocessed, low temperature ground cacao beans, organic, raw agave nectar or raw honey as a sweetener, mineral-rich sea salt, and possibly fruits and nuts such as raw, organic almonds, goji berries, acai etc.
2) Raw chocolates are also made with either cacao butter or coconut butter to provide richness and a firm shape. Unlike dairy products, these two ingredients contain no cholesterol whatsoever and do not pose risks to your arteries. They also have beautifying and healing properties. Coconut butter is known to have anti-microbial anti-fungal properties, and cacao butter is believe to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Both are also excellent beauty products.
3) Raw chocolate is very nutritious, and contains a lot of magnesium, important to fight stress, as well as chemicals thought to protect against cancer. Raw chocolate is also high in minerals such as iron and zinc, and it is one of the foods ranking at the top of the ORAC scale. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity; when the body is attacked by free radicals, electrons which can damage our health and make us age faster, antioxidants are needed to bond with these free radicals and render them harmless. Raw chocolate has more than 25,000 antioxidants per spoonful, and contains 955 ORAC units per gram, which is so high it is virtually unheard of in the food world!
Are you ready to experience how delicious and healthy raw chocolate can be?Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Ingredients (makes about 15 bite sized chocolates)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder, sifted
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
4 T dark agave nectar
1/8 t cayenne pepper + extra for dusting
In a glass bowl, stir the agave nectar into the coconut oil until combined.
Add the cayenne pepper and cacao powder, and stir well. If the chocolate starts to get stiff, simply put the bowl over another one with hot water in it. It is very unlikely that the chocolate will get hot, mine doesn’t even get warm when I do that.
Taste, and add more cayenne if desired. Remember that the heat from the cayenne takes a few seconds to make itself known
If using chocolate molds, sprinkle some more cayenne at the bottom of the molds and then pour the liquid chocolate into them.
Set in the freezer until solid, unmold, and store in the fridge or freezer. Matthew loves chocolates made with coconut oil because they melt in the mouth more readily than chocolates made with cacao butter.
Ingredients (makes about 12 bite sized chocolates)
1/3 cup cacao powder, sifted
1/3 cup melted cacao butter
2 T agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like chocolate. I like it dark)
Goji berries, about 1/4 cup
In a glass bowl, mix the cacao butter and agave nectar. When combined, add the cacao powder. If the chocolate starts to get stiff, simply put the bowl over another one with hot water in it. It is very unlikely that the chocolate will get hot, mine doesn’t even get warm when I do that.
If using chocolate molds, put a few goji berries at the bottom of each mold, and pour a little chocolate over them. Add a few more goji berries, and cover each with the rest of the liquid chocolate. Or, just put gojis first in the mold, and top with chocolate.
Set in the freezer or fridge to harden. Unmold, and store in the fridge (although cacao butter chocolates stay firm at room temperature, so you could keep them out!)
1/3 cup melted cacao butter
1/3 cup cacao powder, sifted
2 T agave nectar, or more to taste
1/4 t mint extract for the chocolate version and a little mint powder, or
1/4 t orange zest for the orange version, plus a little orange zest
If using chocolate molds, sprinkle mint powder or orange zest at the bottom of each one of them.
In a glass bowl, mix the cacao butter and agave until combined, and stir in the cacao powder until smooth. Add the mint extract or orange zest, and stir some more. If the chocolate starts to get stiff, simply put the bowl over another one with hot water in it. It is very unlikely that the chocolate will get hot, mine doesn’t even get warm when I do that.
Pour the liquid chocolate over the mint or orange zest, and set in the fridge or freezer to harden. Unmold, and store in the fridge (although cacao butter chocolates stay firm at room temperature, so you could keep them out!)