Raw cacao is the precursor to chocolate. In its purest form, its biochemistry is amazing and it is packed with goodness.
Raw (or minimally-processed) cacao beans are superfoods. These are foods that contain significantly higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting, anti-aging, disease-fighting goodies. Some are every day whole foods that you’ll likely have tried before like broccoli, blueberries, and even the humble potato; but others are more exotic, grown in the rainforests of South America, such as the cacao bean.
MAKE IT AT HOME
Homemade is always better. It’s naturally sweetened (sugar free), gluten free and dairy free (vegan). There are NO suspicious ingredients. It’s customisable so you can choose your level of cacao vs cocoa and other added ingredients. It’s fun. And if you’ve been following the information above, you can make chocolate that is a SUPERFOOD! You only need 3 ingredients…
1) Raw Cacao Butter has an amazing aroma and makes a chocolate that doesn’t melt quite as quickly as chocolate made with coconut oil. It is however quite expensive and the blocks need to be chopped up or shaved to melt, whereas the coconut oil melts easily (in summer it will be a liquid anyway). You can make chocolate with either one, or, a combination of the two. They all form an antioxidant rich, very nutritious and delicious chocolate.
2) Raw Cacao Paste is the best option for a high quality room temperature chocolate. If you want to still make a nutritionally wholesome superfood chocolate but need to keep an eye on budget, then substitute it for raw cacao powder (or if you must cut costs even more try sourcing a good organic cocoa powder). It also gets a little more complicated when using powder as you will have to add cacao butter or coconut oil. The result will be more of a fudge consistency which will need refrigeration to stay firm.
3) Natural Sweetners are much better than the highly refined sugar. If you are okay with fructose, then raw honey is a good choice. Other natural sweetners which have undergone less processing include coconut syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup (try use organic if possible).
RAW SUPERFOOD CHOCOLATE RECIPE
- 200g raw cacao butter OR raw, extra virgin coconut oil (or a combination of 100g of each)
- 100graw cacao paste OR 30g raw cacao powder
- 2-4 Tblsp sweetener (honey, coconut syrup, maple syrup), adjust to your taste
- Optional: vanilla powder, maca root powder, sea salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon
- Place a glass bowl in another container with water (DIY bain-marie) to slowly melt the cacao butter or coconut oil over a very low heat. Keep slowly stirring over low heat continuously.
- Add the cacao paste and rice syrup, mix until well combined, again over the low heat.
- Add your natural flavours or ingredient combinations.
- Pour into chocolate moulds or mini cupcake baking cups (alternately, combine chopped nuts and dried fruit pieces and pour onto a tray lined with wax paper for a nutty ‘rocky road’ slab).
- Place in the fridge to set (or freezer to set immediately). Once set, keep in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer. Because both coconut oil and cacao butter melt when exposed to even a little heat, these always need to be kept cold.