Who doesn’t love chocolate? That melt-in-your mouth goodness? That rush of foodie endorphins? It's pure joy - right?
How many of us have been able to rationalize eating an abundance of dark chocolate because we’ve read all the bits about how good for us it is?
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but those claims are not entirely true. Those chocolate bars you buy in your favorite health food markets are highly processed, full of additives and refined sugar – even the 80% cacao versions. And don’t even get me started on the evils of milk chocolate.
Here’s a way you can get around all that and make your own delicious, healthy, guilt-free chocolate. Good news, right? Here’s even better news – it’s quick and very easy to make.
1 heaping cup raw cacao (not cocoa) powder
1 level cup raw organic virgin coconut oil
½ cup raw organic maple syrup
¾ Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon (or more to taste)
Melt the coconut oil over very low heat (you do not want to cook it, just
melt it). Stir the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Sift the raw cacao powder, salt and cinnamon into the coconut mixture.
(If you want to spruce it up a little you can add things like chopped nuts, goji berries, orange zest or any other bit of creative yumminess.)
Stir well and spread out on a 10x14x1/2 inch cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Put the whole shebang into the refrigerator to harden. When hardened, cut into small pieces, put into a covered plastic or glass container and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Voila!
Here are some health facts about the deliciousness you just made.
Raw, Organic Cacao Powder:
Cacao is a superfood. Because it’s raw, all the good nutrition and enzymatic value is retained.
Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is cooked and devoid of nutritional benefits.
When we buy chocolate bars, this processed cocoa is laced with additives such as artificial flavors, soy lecithin, soybean oil, and milk solids. The ingredients in these types of chocolate bar contribute to things like weight gain, heart disease, and type II diabetes.
Raw cacao powder, however, has more antioxidants than blueberries. It is a very good source for iron, magnesium, and potassium, and contains more calcium than cow’s milk. It’s a natural mood elevator and has been shown to be effective as a natural anti-depressant.
Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil:
Virgin organic coconut oil has been scientifically studied and featured in many articles that highlight its health benefits.
It has been shown to be heart healthy by increasing HDL (good cholesterol). The anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil reduce inflammation and can help minimize the pain that comes with arthritis.
The lauric acid in coconut oil fights bacteria, yeast & viruses which are often the cause for many disease processes.
Medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are good for brain health.
Coconut oil is easy to digest and produces longer sustained energy. It balances insulin reaction in the cells to potentially improve type II diabetes.
Raw Organic Maple Syrup:
Using maple syrup is far healthier than using other types of sweeteners such as cane sugar, agave, or corn syrup which are all highly processed.
Maple syrup is not processed. It is derived from the sap of the maple tree and is harvested from the tree in a most simple, pure process. There is no heating and no refining in the making of maple syrup. As such, pure maple syrup contains numerous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
It has been shown to be a good anti-inflammatory, is easily digestible, and is lower on the glycemic index scale than sugar.
Why Himalayan Salt?
Table Salt is bleached. It is stripped of its minerals. Sea Salt is toxic as our oceans are becoming more and more polluted.
Himalayan Salt is mined from ancient sea beds from the Punjab region of Pakistan, about 200 miles from the Himalayan Mountain Peaks. The region has one of the richest and most abundant salt fields in the entire world.
Over 4 billion years old, these salt fields date back to when planet Earth first formed. Himalayan salt is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea. How cool is that?
Himalayan Salts are untouched by toxins. They provide 84 trace minerals, supporting thyroid and adrenal function and contributing to strong metabolism.
This magical little spice has a most delightful sweet taste that adds a warming effect to your recipe. A little bit goes a long way. As little as ½ teaspoon daily can positively affect blood sugar levels, immunity, heart health, and brain function.
Now you know...
Homemade chocolate is easy, delicious and good for you on many levels so you can enjoy eating an ounce or two every day – guilt free.
Kathy is a Yogasana (physical yoga) and Nada Yoga (Yoga of Sound) teacher. She facilitates Women's Wisdom Circles, is skilled at storytelling and loves leading heartfelt discussions. She is certified in teaching Sanskrit, Vedic Mantra and other sound based practices.