Chocolate is no doubt high on the list for favorite treats world-wide. Just looking at the mouth-watering dark brown color makes you hungry!
Of course if you’re counting calories, it’s considered one of the forbidden foods. But as in any high calorie foods, moderation is the key!
There are a lot of myths out there, and being a “choco addict” is one of them.
It doesn’t make you high unless you’re going to eat twenty plus pounds at one sitting!
Although cacao contains caffeine, the amount is very minimal and will not cause nervousness.
This sweet treat has been labeled to cause acne, but research has proven that isn’t true.
Chocolate Health Benefits
Aside from the fact that it is high in calories, especially milk chocolate, there are health benefits.
The Aroma that Creates Alertness
According to researchers, the aroma causes a dip in theta brain waves. These waves control the alertness in your brain. This calms your brain making it easier to thing of creative ideas.
Cocoa powder is used in many natural skin care products. It’s rich in polyphenons, an antioxidant that protects your skin from UV rays. It’s also used for skin exfoliation.
Cocoa Body Scrub
Mix one-half cup of each of Brown sugar, White sugar, Canola oil, and Cocoa powder.
Stir and blend well. Use two tablespoons and massage into your skin. Rinse thoroughly.
It can be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to four to six months.
Research shows cocoa contains a flavonoid, epicatechin, which boost the production of nitric acid in your body. It’s noted this chemical enhances your blood flow which will help keep you warmer.
Dark chocolate has less sugar and more cacao then milk chocolate.
If you are a choc-oholic, you may want to try sugar-free brands. You can also purchase gluten-free now.
Chocolate Brownie Recipe
This recipe is super easy to prepare. Just mix the ingredients as described and then shape into delicious squares! En-joy!
- 2 Tbsp cashews
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 Tbsp date sugar
- 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder or carob powder
- 6 Medjool dates (easiest to use if soaked for 30 min or longer)
- 1 tsp chopped vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
Place ingredients in the food processor, except for dates and vanilla. Process until the ingredients are ground up fairly well. Add the dates slowly, like a couple of them at a time. Now add the vanilla. Shape into brownies. Optional: Garnish with shredded coconut, goji berries, hemp seeds and/or cacao nibs. Make your brownies each with a different garnish for a fabulous presentation!
Chocolate Recipe #1: Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding
Chocolate for breakfast? Oh, yes please!
Raw cacao powder, the most nutrient-dense form of chocolate, is an anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory rock star.
Cacao is a stimulant to the central nervous system – it increases the circulation of serotonin in the brain, and contains powerful neurotransmitters like dopamine and anandamide.
Chia also helps elevate mood, and even just a whiff of cinnamon can increase brain activity and cognitive function.
Chia, cacao, and cinnamon, a powerful feel-good trio, work well together in other ways, too.
Cacao contains a ton of magnesium, which aids the absorption of the calcium in chia seeds. Pumpkin seeds add an awesome crunchy texture, as well as helping to paralyze parasites that may be lurking in your diges- tive tract.
Just 2 dates make this pudding deliver the character of dark chocolate; a couple more will give you a sweeter chocolate flavor.
Cacao does contain a bit of caffeine, so avoid scoffing the leftovers before bed.
- 2 to 3 chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon probiotic powder (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to taste
- 3 to 5 drops alcohol-free liquid stevia, plus more to taste
- 1⁄8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 21⁄2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
In a small bowl, soak the dates with just enough boiled water
to cover them. Allow them to soak for 10 minutes, and then drain
the water off. Throw the almond milk, soaked dates, cacao powder, probiotic powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, stevia, and salt into
the blender, and blast on high for 20 to 30 seconds until smooth
Whisk in the chia seeds until well incorporated, and stir through the pumpkin seeds.
Transfer to a bowl, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight) to thicken.
Chocolate Recipe #2: Raw Chocolate Reeces
These are super easy to make.. You need a food processor
Chocolate Brownie Base
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds ( soaked overnight)
1 cup dates
1 cup coconut chips
3/4 cup raw cocoa powder
1/8th teaspoon sea salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup coconut oil
Pulse all brownie ingredients in the food processor until well combined. Process until mixture becomes a dough of uniform consistency. Transfer the mixture to an 8” by 8” square glass pan. Press the mixture into the pan to form an even surface.
1 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup natural roasted peanut putter (Pics )
1/3 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
1 cup chopped dates
Process until smoothish and then pour on top of the base.
Once set in the fridge, I cut it up into small squares and keep in the freezer. Then you can keep it for a while otherwise anything with soaked nuts I would only keep in the fridge for 3 days.
P.S Soaking the nuts “activates” them, which means the enzyme inhibitor, (stops them from growing), is released which makes 40% more nutrition available.
Enjoy.. and share these super healthy sweet treats with your friends.. they’ll think you’re a legend!!
Chocolate Recipe #3: Cacao Energy Bombs
3/4 cup dry nuts, any kind
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried fruit, any kind
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup shredded coconut,
2 Tablespoons each of Hemp seeds and Chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil, start with less and add just enough to make moist enough to hold together
Mix all together in a food processor until desired consistency.
Chocolate Recipe #3: The New Cacao Beverage
This is a recipe from David Wolfe’s book Naked Chocolate which I’ve been playing around with and loving.. It really is VERY satisfying..
It feels like I’m having a yummy treat.. which is half the pleasure of going out for a coffee.. If you’re a latte drinker, it’s the best coffee substitute ever..
The general idea behind the new cacao beverage is blending peeled raw cacao in warm to hot water (usually some type of tea) or fresh coconut water and then adding some type of raw fat/oil and some type of raw sweetener and blending again.
Fresh coconut water is great when you’re in the tropics, but for other climates warm or hot herbal teas are the go.
This drink is created in two parts. First create a tea. You can either make a water-infusion tea (soak the herbs in pure water in a glass container for 24hrs) or heat the tea lightly with the herbs in it and pure water ( do not boil) for 20 minutes – keeping the tea at approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60-65 degrees Celsius) is ideal.
Ingredients to Make 1.5 Litres of Tea
8 Tbs of pau d’art (South American herb, use dried powder or shavings)
3 TBS of cat’s claw (South American herb, use dried powder or shavings)
I used yerba mate tea instead of cat’s claw.
1 raw vanilla bean (sliced and diced)
1 handful of goji berries (dried raisin-like superfruit)
I’m going to experiment with rosehips when they’re out..
3-5 Tbs manuka honey.. I used 2 medjool dates instead
1-2 Tbs of cold pressed hempseed oil
1-2 Tbs of coconut oil/butter
2-3 pinches of sea salt
2-4 pinches of powdered cinnamon or cayenne
Once the tea has been added to the base, then blend!
You should have a foamy warm chocolate drink that will explode every taste sensation..
Happy experimenting and post below any yummy substitues, additions or accidents you come up with..
Chocolate Recipe #4: The New Cacao Beverage
This is the most divine chocolate tart ever.. better than any cooked cake.. The trick is using the best quality organic chocolate powder.
250g whole, skin-on almonds (preferably activated and dried)
100g raw cashews
200g dates, pitted. If using medjool dates, use around 40g less as they are extra sweet)
40g cacao powder (preferably raw, alternatively use a good quality organic one)
½ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
40g raw organic coconut oil melted ( use one with a neutral light coconut flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract.. ( I didn’t have any so left it out)
Blend the nuts and dates together in a food processor until almost the texture of couscous. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. The mixture should hold together well.
Press into a tart tin (25-27 cm)
Place in the freezer to harden while you make the ganache
3 large ripe advocados
140 g raw cacoa powder
100 g raw organic coconut oil melted ( just place the jar in warm water to melt)
160 g coconut crystals or 100g soft dates (add more sweetener if required to taste)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded ( I didn’t have so left out)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (also left out)
good couple of pinches of sea or Himalayan salt
Place all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, you don’t want to see any chunks or texture. The flavor will change once chilled. It will be a little less sweet than the room temperature mix. If it’s only just sweet enough for you, add a little more sweetener and once chilled you won’t be able to taste any trace of avocado
Pour the ganache into the base and refrigerate 1-2 hours until set or freeze for 45 mins. The key to using avocado in deserts is making sure it’s well chilled when served.
To serve: Lightly dust with cacao powder or top with fresh berries
*Activated almonds are those that are soaked, dried and rinsed for 24 hours until a sprout begins to burst through the flesh..
p.s I simply soaked mine overnight