Chocolate is one of those foods that people have a serious love affair with. The kind that make you close your eyes in joy and that you feel you can't live without.
Although the 80/20 or 90/10 rule comes into play here; and regular-off-the-shelf chocolate can be enjoyed from time to time; the seriously simple way to create your own chocolate is just too good to deny!
First up let's have a quick debrief on cacao (ca-cow)...
What is it? Where do I buy it? How do I eat it?
What - Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an Amazonian tree Cacao beans. It contain no sugar and between 12% and 50% fat depending on the variety and growth conditions. Raw, powdered cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants and protect the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals.
Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cacao powder, and has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world.
Where - Awesome for us, raw cacao powder is available in more and more places each day. Many supermarkets will offer the product, most certainly health food stores, bulk food stores (where I buy mine) and the world wide web.
How - Raw Cacao is the basis for regular store-bought chocolate and all chocolate derivatives, therefore the options are endless for how to enjoy it! Raw desserts, baked treats, smoothies and hot chocolate to name just a few.
Although bitter in taste, (dark chocolate lovers unite!) its' velvety soft texture is extremely satisfying and should you choose to sweeten, does not require much at all!
- 4 tablespoons raw cacao
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup OR
raw honey to sweeten
- Combine cacao and coconut oil in a mixing bowl
- Place over a smaller bowl of hot water and leave for a few minutes
- Mix well, adding sweetener as you go
Use this liquid gold to cover your favourite dried fruit or nuts for a handy sweet treat to have in the fridge. Chocolate-covered mulberries or sultanas are my faves.
Add a flavour boost to the chocolate mix with a little orange zest, dessicated coconut or peppermint oil (make sure it is the edible kind!)
Top with chunks of nuts to make chocolate bark or set in moulds - I got mine from IKEA for $1 - and set in the freezer for a few hours before popping out and devouring!
If you love this recipe, please share it with a fellow-chocolate lover and together let's spread the word that chocolate is fantastic!