I LOVE CHOCOLATE…..

Raw chocolate…. Should you or shouldn’t you? And a few cheeky recipes thrown in for you to try

Avocado choc mousseI LOVE CHOCOLATE…..

Yes it’s true…. And many of my clients are quite partial. And guess what, we EAT chocolate too.

But hang on before you all go dashing out to stock up; we don’t eat the stuff you get from the corner shop, or from most supermarkets or at the garage when your pick up petrol. We eat raw chocolate. We eat cacao….. The stuff that’s grown in trees! Yes chocolate comes from a TREE! Cacao beans are the seed of a fruit that grows on the tree. REAL CHOCOLATE!

Shock of all shocks, surprise of all surprises, most shop bought chocolate probably has very little REAL chocolate in it… Lots of sugars, yes. Additives, yes. REAL chocolate, mmmmmmm, not really!

And before you all think ‘what a party pooping kill joy, giving us a serve for eating chocolate….’, every now and again, shop bought chocolate does you no harm at all. We all know logically what we do ‘now-and-again’ is not detrimental to our health….

But come and get to know real chocolate. The all-round upsides and downsides (YES THERE ARE SOME) of eating cacao, arming yourself with information, supporting yourself to make informed choices about what you put into your body.

Let me tell you about one of my food BFF’s Cacao.

What is in raw cacao:

Anti-oxidants – Cacao has A LOT of naturally occurring antioxidants (side note on anti-oxidants, generally, the darker the natural wholefood is, the more antioxidants it contains)

  • Magnesium – It’s packed with the stuff. This little mineral is vital for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels (think of it as a way to support sugar cravings!), can support normal blood pressure, and research has indicated that this little mineral is involved in energy metabolism.
  • Chromium – Research has shown this mineral supports insulin function. Insulin is critical in the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body.
  • Super high levels of Vitamin C – This mineral works as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage.

Now before you all go off chomping on cacao beans, (although not sure most of you would as its quite bitter till you’ve jazzed it up a bit), I think it’s also important to get your head around the flip side of raw cacao…. And yes there is a flip side, but doesn’t everything in life have a flip side?!

Eating too much raw cacao and too often is not good for the mind & body, (but neither is Cadburys crème eggs!) some of the naturally occurring chemicals in raw cacao have been shown to have a negative effect on the very things it’s shown to have a positive effect on if eaten in HIGH doses!

I know from past experience, if I’ve gone a little over board with the raw cacao; I get giddy with a BIG capital G. I become a little hyper (a little, who am I trying to kid!), I talk, a lot, followed by a crushing headache and nausea. It other words if I eat too much raw cacao I get a little high…. And then I get a big come down afterwards.

When it’s eaten in moderation (and I mean moderation), it lightens the mood. It naturally synthesises serotonin in the brain, (happy and relaxed…..), puts a little pep in your step, plus all the additional benefits from the antioxidants and minerals.  

Personally for me, when I eat foods made up with raw cacao, I can stop at one. It doesn’t kick in to a sugar craving, I’ll-do-anything-for-another madness that most shop bought chocolate does. It’s enjoyable guilt free nutritious food…. Which I can’t say about a snickers bar, EVER!

Remember this, how you and your body respond to raw cacao will depend on your bio-individuality. As you’ll remember from past post, one person’s paradise is another person’s poison.

So would I prefer you to try eating raw chocolate fudge ball made with other nutrient packed ingredients instead of shop bought chocolate, YES! Do I think it’s good to eat raw chocolate every day, NOPE, I don’t.

Why not have a raw cacao party to give it a try. Club together with some friends, invest in some raw ground cacao and make up the following recipes… AND remember, eat a little, not too much and ENOY!

Some basic cacao recipes to get you started….

First things first, you can buy your raw cacao from here.

Smooth and delicious raw chocolate mousse

Choc MousseServes around 8 – just scale the recipe down to make few portions

Ingredients 

  • 12 dates soaked in water for around 2 hours – roughly chopped
  • 4 Avocadoes pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 vanilla pod – scraped and deseeded
  • 1/3 cup of ground Cacao powder –Add more if desired

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender and start blending
  1. Every couple of minute or so, stop the blender and scrape down the sides to ensure all the ingredients get blended together – add a little more filtered water at this stage if you feel your mousse mixture needs it
  1. If your blender is anything like mine, you will need to shake it to get everything eventually blended
  1. Once smooth, light turn out into serving dishes and serve

Raw Cacao Smoothie Recipe

  • 20 oz. almond milk
  • 1 banana (another great source of magnesium!)
  • ¼ cup of raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons of raw coconut butter

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and whizz till smooth
  2. Pour into glass and enjoy

 

Fudgy nut & orange choc balls

  • 2 cups of cashew nuts
  • 2 cups of soaked dates (pitted)
  • Zest of an orange
  • ¼ cup of cacao (add more to your taste)

Method

  1. Place the cashews in a high speed blender and break them down until the oil comes through (helps with combining all the ingredients)
  2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and blend – you will probably need to scrape down the ingredients every now and again to make sure they all combine well
  3. Scrape the blender of the ingredients into a glass bowl, cover and pop in the fridge for around 10 minutes
  4. Remove from fridge, and gently take a piece of the mixture and gentle roll into truffle size balls and place on plate

Enjoy……

With love & cacao choc truffles, Jo xo

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