Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My Ode to Chocolate, the Delishious Benefits and 4 Amazing Chocolate Recipes

raw chocolate almond butter cups

This post is dedicated to one of my dearest soul mates in this life, my cousin Karita. So far away, yet so close to my heart. These words some it up nicely: “Although from you I far must roam, do not be broken hearted, we two who in the soul are one are never truly parted”.  From one of my favourite books, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. Sending you some chocolate covered love from my kitchen!!


Here is my ode to the mighty chocolate: 4 reasons why I LOVE chocolate:

Heart Health – No wonder our body craves this stuff!! One of the major benefits of chocolate consumption is the effect it has on cardiovascular health. It has plant sterols (sitosterol and stigmasterol) which may help to inhibit the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Chocolate is also a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which are especially important in protecting against oxidative damage to cholesterol and the lining of the arteries, as well as preventing blood clotting. 1

Combats Stress – Relax, chocolate to the rescue! Chocolate is a great source of magnesium, an essential mineral needed to help our bodies to chill out.  Magnesium depletion can be caused by stress, caffeine, sugar and  alcohol consumption, and the lack of magnesium in soil. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to a number of clinical conditions including cardiovascular disorders, asthma, migraine headaches, PMS, and constipation.

Anti-oxidant Super Powers – Chocolate is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, having one of the top ORAC scores for antioxidants rich foods. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants to absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food. Here is how chocolate measured up:  (per 100 grams) raw cocoa powder 95,500, raw cacao nibs, 62,100, roasted cocoa powder 26,000. 2 Anti-oxidants combat free radical damage which can contribute to premature aging and prevention of diseases, ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's.

Chocolate Loves You Back – It’s a love love relationship! Scientist have discovered a possible chemical connection why we feel so good when we eat chocolate. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a neurotransmitter that is released by neurons at moments of emotional euphoria, including feelings of love. 3










     Chocolate Butter Almond Cups (raw)

Chocolate Recipe:
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup cacao butter
½ cup cacao powder
¼ raw honey
pinch of sea salt

Almond Butter Filling:
½ cup almond butter
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla

How to make:
In a small bowl combine all ingredients for almond butter filling. Use about a Tbsp of filling per almond cup. I use a silicone muffin tray and I get 6 almond cups. Put tray in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a medium pot, add about a cup of water or more and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and put a medium glass bowl on the pot, creating a double boiler. Add coconut oil, cacao butter and sea salt. Heat until melted and turn heat off. Add cacao powder and raw honey. Mix all ingredients well with a whisk and remove from heat.
Pour chocolate mix over almond filling and put tray back in the freezer. You can make them any size you wish!



                                                                                        Chocolate Monkey Smoothie
raw chocolate smoothie

1.5 cups vanilla almond milk (chilled)
2 dates, soaked (for a few hours or overnight)
1 frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Sunwarrior brand)
1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Couple of ice cubes

How to make:
Cobine all ingredients into a blender and buzz until smooth!
Makes enough for 1 smoothie



















raw chocolate pear puddingChocolate Pear Pudding

2 pears (I used ripe Bartlett)
1 banana
1/2 c. nut milk (I used raw cashew milk but almond or coconut milk will work too)
3 Tbsp maple syrup (or raw honey)
4 tsp of chia seeds
2 Tbsp of raw cocoa powder
1 tsp maca (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt


How to make:
In a blender, combine milk and chia seeds. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Roughly chop pear and add to blender or small food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and buzz until smooth. Chill for about an hour in the fridge.
Makes 2-3 servings




                                                         Mexican Hot Chocolate
raw mexican hot chocolate with almond milk

2 cups vanilla almond milk
20 gr cacao paste, or butter (roughly 2 tbsp)
2 inch cinnamon stick
¼ tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp raw chocolate powder
2 Tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
1 tsp mesquite powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla


How to make:

Over low heat, warm almond milk. Add cinnamon stick, cinnamon cacao paste or butter and ancho chilli. Let simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse and cacao paste to melt.
Remove cinnamon stick and pour ingredients into a blender or use a handheld blender. Add in agave nectar, vanilla, raw chocolate powder and mesquite powder. Drink it while its hot!
Makes enough for you and a friend


Happy chocolate eating to you!


Sources:
1. Murray, M (2005).The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books. P.642-643
2. Teya Skae. February 07, 2008. Examining the Properties of Chocolate and Cacao for Health. Natural News . http://www.naturalnews.com/022610.html
3. Murray, M (2005).The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books. P.645

2 comments:

  1. Great article and recipes...can't wait to try the mexican hot chocolate!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for all of your love!

    ReplyDelete