One of my all time favourite movie quotes comes from the 1994 classic “Forrest Gump”, where Forrest is sitting on a park bench trying to engage a stranger into a conversation and he offers her a chocolate and says “Life is like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what you are going to get”. Well, here at My Kitchen Heals, chocolate features VERY regularly in our daily meals in some form or another because of its amazing health benefits. And let’s face it, life is too short not to have chocolate!
Did you know that chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group? How amazing is that???
Okay, that’s not really true but it sure should be when you look how incredibly healthy REAL chocolate is. I’m not talking about the fake stuff you buy in the supermarkets and at your local petrol station or in vending machines.
Which begs the question…
Is Chocolate Good for You?
The answer is both yes and no.
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat a range of issues from bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain. That’s why people automatically reach for chocolate when they are feeling down or when they want to feel good.
But if you are eating the type of chocolate that most people eat (think Cadbury, Nestle, etc), then you are not getting the benefits of chocolate as the reality is there are a lot more health-unfriendly ingredients in them than there are good. I don’t understand why there are advertisements telling mothers to do the right thing by their children and give them a Milky Bar when they come home from school because there is half a glass of milk in each bar. What about all the sugar? There is so little cacao in these sugar-laden chocolates that any health benefit is cancelled out. Wouldn’t the child be better off with a glass of almond milk and a yummy chocolate chia pudding.
How To Eat Chocolate And Get The Health Benefits!
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Cacao is readily available in all health food stores. Now the reason I joked before that cacao has its own food group, is because it is POWERFUL SUPERFOOD! It is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols. That’s why raw cacao features almost daily in my diet, and sometimes more than once a day. However, the more that cacao is processed, then the less healthy benefits will remain. Therefore, almost all chocolate sold in the supermarkets falls into this category and you are fooling yourself if you think it is healthy.
So how can you get the most out of your chocolate fix?
- Don’t be afraid of the dark!!! The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains. Therefore if you are going to eat supermarket chocolate, go for the chocolate that contains a minimum of 80% cacao.
- The reality that the higher your cacao content, the lower the sugar content!
- Some people find switching from commercial “pretend” chocolate like Cadbury to darker chocolate difficult at first as they find the chocolate too bitter. Start with a chocolate containing a minimum of 70% cacao and you will find your taste buds will change and before you know it, the chocolate you used to buy will taste very unpleasant.
- Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.
Looking for more fun ways to enjoy your favourite food? You’ll love this dark chocolate treat. Invite some friends over and make a batch!
GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
Are you curious about how to choose chocolate—and other delicious superfoods—to keep you healthy (and your taste buds happy)? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Fill in the form below and you are on your way! https://www.mykitchenheals.com.au/free_consultation/
- ½ cup Raw Cacao Paste (I use Artisana Cacoa Bliss)
- ½ cup – Coconut Butter
- ½ cup Coconut Oil
- 3 tbs Agave
- ½ tsp – Dulse Sea Salt
- ½ tsp - Vanilla Powder
- 1½ cups - Cashews (soaked for 2 hours)
- 1/2 cup - Dates (soaked for 1 hour in hot Matcha tea)
- 1 tbsp (large) - Light Agave
- 1½ tsp - Mesquite
- 3 tbn Raw Cacao
- Extra Add Ins Figs, Goji Berries, Sultanas/Raisins , Activated Almonds, Hazelnuts/Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds and/or Pepitas , Coconut Flakes
- Gently melt coconut butter, cacao paste, agave (3 Tbsp), salt and vanilla at low temperature. Make sure it is a gentle heat to keep it raw.
- In a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) add the rinsed cashews, agave (1 Tbsp), dates and mesquite. Blend ingredients on high until super smooth and creamy.
- Now add melted chocolate mix to blender and combine both mixes together
- Pour mix in to a bowl and stir in any of the optional add ins you desire. I poured mine into 2 separate bowls and added different extras to each for variety. The first one had gojiberries, raisins and coconut flakes. The second lot had walnuts, almonds, figs and apricots.
- You can either take spoonfuls and shape into truffles or pour into a tray lined with baking paper and freeze.. Cut into squares when you take it out of the freezer. You can also put this into a chocolate mould. I used my favourite heart-shaped mould.
- Note this a TRUFFLE and will not go hard, so keep it in the freezer until you want to eat it.