Guilt Free Healthy Easter without Skipping Chocolate
Not words that you are used to seeing together? But if that’s what you want it is very possible. The answer is raw cacao. I do not doubt that you’ve heard of the wonders of raw cacao, the health blogs are abuzz with recipes and stories of this wonder food.
Raw Cacao is Chocolate in its Purest Form
Unheated it retains all its goodness, from essential fatty acids to vitamins and minerals. Cacao is a prime source of magnesium and it has other essential minerals such as calcium, sulphur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. It is high in antioxidant rich flavonoids and polyphenols as well as vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C and E. It also has essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat and wonderful mood lifting chemicals too. As you can see it is so nutritious and there so many reasons why it is good for you!
Celebrate a Happy Easter with Raw Cacao - Nature’s Natural Mood Improver
Unlike the sugar lows you get from commercial chocolate that can cause tantrums and mood swings, raw cacao can put the whole family in a good mood. Studies have found that raw cacao stimulates the brain to release particular neurotransmitters that can affect mood and trigger emotions — including good ones like euphoria. Cacao's ability to act on those neurotransmitters is why it's known for its mood-enhancing activity. Phytochemicals found in cacao include Phenylethylamine (PEA) and Anandamide and are both responsible for cacao's feel-good properties.
So What is the Difference Between Raw Chocolate and Other Commercial Brand Chocolate?
Raw chocolate/cacao is just the raw form of normal chocolate/cocoa. Both are chock-full of minerals particularly magnesium, but the raw cacao has a lot more antioxidants. Many antioxidants are destroyed by heat, so the unheated cacao powder doesn’t lose them like processed cocoa powder does. Also as the sugar and milk portion increases in chocolate, the health benefits of the chocolate decreases, therefore the darker the chocolate, the more cacao or cocoa content and the more health benefits. The greatest health benefits are derived from unprocessed cacao rather than a processed version of it and so raw organic cacao is superior to regular dark chocolate, which is better than milk chocolate.
Other Ingredients That Make Raw Chocolate Bars and Truffles Good For You
The recipe included below not only has the wonderful benefits of raw cacao, but also other super foods such as virgin coconut oil, lucuma powder and cashew butter. The good fats in coconut boost the metabolism, are good for heart health, help with blood sugar levels, support good immune function and may help control candida overgrowth. Lucuma is high in antioxidants like beta carotene and is also a quality source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins such as niacin (B3) and minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. Cashews are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, amino acids and essential minerals including potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper and selenium. Cashews are also high in folate, vitamin K and oleic acid.
How to Get Raw Chocolate into Your Easter
Thankfully now days there are companies making lovely raw chocolate bars for those who are too busy or lazy to make their own super delicious and impressive raw chocolates (which by the way are super easy and only take 10-15 minutes). Brands like Loving Earth, Pana, The Raw Chocolate Company, Living Foods, Rawganic and Gnosis are making wonderful raw chocolate bars and truffles for all to enjoy.
Get Inpired - Make Your Own
For the thrill of giving Easter chocolates you have made yourself this year, try this simple recipe that is packed full of nutritious superfood ingredients. These caramel Easter truffles will not only impress your family and friends, they will impress your taste buds too!
Caramel Filled Easter Bon Bons
Raw Chocolate Shell:
60g raw cacao butter, finely chopped
1 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Place finely chopped cacao butter in a small bowl along with the coconut oil. Place this bowl over a larger bowl of boiling water. Stir until all melted, remove from boiling water and add in remaining ingredients, stir until velvety smooth. Using Easter moulds of your choice fill each mould 1/3 of the way with the chocolate mixture. Set aside whilst making caramel.
1 tablespoon raw organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon lucuma powder**
3 tablespoons of dehydrated coconut*
* dehydrated coconut is preferred for achieving a great caramel-like taste, you can find it at your local health-food store from Loving Earth brand, but if you cannot get it for whatever reason, replace it with powdered coconut cream from Ayam brand, available at supermarkets.
**if you cannot get lucuma replace it with 1 teaspoon of dehydrated coconut or powdered coconut cream.
Mix all caramel ingredients in order into a bowl and whisk until smoothly combined. Pull the 1/3 chocolate filled mould out of the fridge and place a teaspoon of caramel into each mould. Then put in freezer for 1 ½ hours for a quick set, but they are nicer a bit soft so best kept in the fridge if you don’t plan on eating them immediately once set.
Happy Easter and Happy Raw Chocolate Gobbling!