“Can Chocolate be Healthy?”
My friends, what would you say if I told you chocolate could be good for you? Would you laugh in my face? A few years ago I would also have found this statement to be an outlandish one, but I was not fully informed.
Generic milk chocolate, that’s what we envisage when we summon up an image for chocolate. And that’s what we think of as yummy, but unhealthy. Honestly, yes we would be right about this fact! But those of you who love to munch on dark chocolate will be happy to know you are closer to the right path. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content, and oftentimes a lower sugar content.
Better still, is chocolates and chocolate powders made From Cacao rather than cocoa. ‘‘What is the difference?’’ I hear you ask. Let me enlighten you!
COCOA: Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at very high temperatures. These high heats reduce the overall nutritional properties, as with many plant based foods. Cocoa Powder is the ingredient found in most brands of milk chocolate.
CACAO : Cacao is made by cold-pressing the cocoa beans instead of roasting. Using this method keeps the potent nutritional qualities in tact. This process also separates the fats (cacao butter) leaving you with a raw Cacao Powder.
Processed in the cold pressing manner, most of the original properties remain. These include:
Fibre, protein, vitamin c, iron, calcium.
I have recently started using Raw Cacao Powder from Nua Naturals, (www.nuanaturals.com). This company have an array of wonderful, superfood products, including Acai powder, hemp seeds, and more.
The statement they make on their Cacao powder product is as follows:
‘‘The versatile Cacao Powder is extracted by first cold pressing the whole Cacao Bean to preserve the nutrients, and in the process extract the butter. What’s left behind is the dried Cacao Powder, which contains much of the nutritional benefit of the whole bean. High in key nutrients such as vitamin c, iron & calcium, high in protein and naturally low in sugar, cacao powder can be used in a variety of raw creations to make tasty nutritious Snacks and desserts. ’’
They say it all really! I am totally enamoured with this product. Not only can it be used in raw creations (which is best of course,to keep the nutritional content high), it can also be incorporated into your baking recipes in place of regular cocoa powder if you have not yet set out on the raw road 🙂
Cacao Powder can be added to smoothies, shakes, yoghurts, or mixed with hot milk for a nutrient rich hot chocolate!
I have not embarked on a fully raw diet, but I do add raw food my diet prolifically, eating raw fruits, veg, nuts, hummus etc.
To show you how simple and tasty raw food can be, I’m going to share my personal Cacao Powder based raw dessert recipe. 🙂
Super Healthy Chocolate Pots!
4 large ripe bananas.
1/4 cup Nua Naturals raw cacao powder.
1/4 cup milk (nut/soya/etc.).
2 tsp coconut sugar/maple syrup (or another natural sweetener of your own choosing. ).
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp Essence/extract.).
1 tsp coconut oil.
1. Blend the bananas til smooth.
2. Whisk the cacao powder into the milk.
3.Pour cacao & milk mix into blended bananas, mix well.
4.Add coconut oil. Mix again.
5. Add the coconut sugar/maple syrup, vanilla pod , and orange zest, and do a final mix.
Mixing can be done in the blender for smoothest results.
Scoup mixture into mini jars/cups, and store in the fridge to set until Meal Time!.
Serve topped with orange zest and grated walnuts/pecans, with oranges slices on the side.
This recipe is inspired by a similar recipe by my best friend Aoife, a dark chocolate and cream based recipe, which I have tweaked, and through trial and error have created this super Healthy Version.
Who says healthy food is boring?!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, I will put it on my recipe page also. ❤
Happy Eating, and Enjoy your Cacao Powder Adventures.
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