Why raw chocolate. Well, it’s a superfood. Here are just some of the benefits:
– it contains many vitamins and minerals which are destroyed when it is roasted including magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, sulphur, iron, copper and zinc. Plus, polyphenols which have antioxidant properties, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E, a heart-healthy fat called oleic acid, protein and fibre
– raw chocolate can lower blood pressure and improve circulation
– it can promote cardiovascular function and health
– it can neutralise free radicals which protect your body from environmental toxins e.g. pollution, cigarette fumes, sun exposure
– it can improve digestion by supporting digestive enzymes
– it can enhance physical and mental well-being. Nutrients in raw chocolate help stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy. “Bliss” chemical found in cacao help to increase circulation and availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, improving mood and combating depression.
Classic Raw Chocolate Treats
100g raw cacao butter
10 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp liquid sweetener (e.g.maple syrup or liquid coconut blossom)
Pinch of vanilla
Makes around 15-20 little chocolates. I put mine in mini paper cases but you can also buy little chocolate moulds.
Bring the water to boil in a small pan. Meanwhile finely chop the cacao butter and set it in a bowl. Remove the boiling water from the heat, and set the bowl on top of it.
Allow the cacao butter to slowly dissolve and melt down to a liquid (this smells delicious!). The cacao butter should not get hotter than 45C to ensure the nutritional qualities remain intact. Slowly melting the butter over hot water away from a direct heat source should ensure that this is the case.
Stir the vanilla into the melted cacao butter.
Sieve in the cacao powder when the butter is nearly melted and mix thoroughly until the mixture is smooth. Don’t worry if there are lumps. Just keep stirring vigorously and all will dissolve.
Add the liquid sweetener and mix throughly until completely blended. Taste to make sure it is to your liking. This is a good time to add any other foods e.g. nuts, seeds, dried fruit or superfoods like Goji berries, bee pollen etc. It tastes good without anything!
Pour or spoon, depending on the consistency, your raw chocolate mixture into the mould or mini cup cases and allow to set in the fridge.
Raw chocolate is best consumed at room temperature.
With thanks to Bex Bridgford of Joyful chocolate who taught me to make these and many other raw chocolate treats in her workshop.