Aim for Chocolate - cacao in its natural state. If you make it yourself using my Raw Chocolate recipe you know it is as natural as you can get it with no additives or colourings.
I recently visited a Chocolate shop, and was intrigued by their home made chocolates and all variety from milk, white and to the darkest pure bitter chocolate. Of course I bought the darkest pure I could find, it was 90% dark and it did taste a little bitter.
I had a conversation with the owner of the store about CACAO chocolate rather than chocolate made from COCOA, notice the spelling difference. She had never heard of CACAO which I find it very hard to believe. How can you have a chocolate shop and not know about CACAO. The owner of the shop makes beautiful hand made chocolates for her stores and was very knowledgeable about chocolate and the best quality and process of making fine chocolate. Her chocolates are divine.
So off I went to research and learn more about the CACAO and the bean.
Cocoa is derived from the Cocao bean.
It's native South Americaand is often referred to as a super food. Along with my wonder seed Chia.
Cacao beans come from the Cacoa tree, Theobroma cacoa to give its botanical name and interesting Therobroma translates from the Greek as 'Food of the gods'
So why is the dark chocolate so good for you when it is as close to its natural state as possible?
- Cacoa beans are a high rich source of antioxidants. However, cacoa beans are most often roasted and in this process they lose some of the nutrients. This processed form is called Cocoa.
- Both Cacao and Cocoa are high in antioxidants, but cooking destroys their valuable substances and by adding milk inhibits their absorption.
- Cacoa/Cocoa contains Theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid that is similar to caffeine. Theobromine helps to dilate blood vessels and is a natural circulatory stimulant encouraging the flow of oxygen to all parts of the body including the brain, which helps with mental clarity and memory. Never fear Theobromine is not addictive.
- Theobromine can also help smooth muscles, and has been proven to reduce symptoms of asthma and lower blood pressure.
- A Harvard Medical School also show that by consuming large amounts of Cacao/Cocoa it can significally lower rates of Heart Disease and cancer
- Magnesuim- Many people are deficient in Magnesium. A vitamin that plays a big role in bone health, heart health and is essential for over 280 biochemical reactions that take place in your body.
- Studies show being deficient in Magnesium can increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, type ll diabetes and osteoporosis. One of nature's richest sources of Magnesium is, you guessed it CACAO. 100 grams of cacao contains about 550 mg of magnesium.
It questions me, could this explain why sometimes you crave chocolate... you may be deficient in magnesium and I say time and time again in my workshops and seminars, we simply can not get enough magnesium from our food because often the soil today is deficient.
So over Easter enjoy my Healthy Raw Chocolates that I know will serve your body not rob it of nutrients.
Tip for mastering the Easter temptations.
- Be prepared- have your home made RAW chocolates ready in the freezer
- Commit to saying no to processed chocolate and Milk chocolate. If you can not make it, then reach for the most darkest and organic Chocolate possible.
- Plan well. Make home made chocolates for your special ones and rather than it going in your mouth share the LOVE of this QUALITY CHOCOLATE.
Nicky's Raw Chocolates
2 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 Tablespoon cacao powder
2 Tablespoon agave
pinch sea salt
For vanilla Chocolates add a half a vanilla bean. Decorate with cranberries.
Melt the coconut in a saucepan. Pour into a bowl,
add other ingredients and mix. Spoon into cupcake patties and freeze until ready.
1 cup almonds
2 tablespoons cacoa powder
2 tablespoons agave
3 fresh dates, or extra agave
1 tablespoon water
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well
blended. Roll in to little balls. Place 1 tablespoon
cacao in a bowl and roll balls in the cacao as a
Store in freezer. Delicious served with fresh
strawberries or on its own with a green tea.
Finally we are celebrating the new book release 'Cooking with Chia' where you can order in any leading book stores or department stores today and find more YUMMY healthy desserts.
Hope you enjoyed this blog on Cacao and it healing powers.
Happy Healthy Easter
Stay safe and healthy