Chocolate 101

At this time of year I generally repost my antioxidant and cacao blog. This year I thought I would try something a bit different. First the benefits and then a recipe or 2 for those panic filled moments when you just need something to put out for guests.

Antioxidant
Unprocessed cacao has an enormous 10% antioxidant concentration level. It is twice as high as the antioxidant concentration in processed cocoa and ten times as high as blueberries!   Researchers at Cornell University have shown that cocoa contains more antioxidants per cup than a similar serving of red wine or green tea and may be a healthier choice.

Magnesium
A whopping 80% of North Americans are magnesium deficient. This can cause problems that range from cramps and spasm to heart attacks.
The good news is that chocolate is heart healthy. You may be thinking yahoo bring it on but remember the more dairy added to cacao, the less benefits you receive. That’s why what you read in the news ALWAYS mentions that it is dark chocolate, 70% or darker, that has the health benefits.

 

choccoco

Recipes

Hot Chocolate the delicious healthy way

2 TBSP cocoa powder
8 ounces hot coconut or almond milk
Honey to taste

Mix 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder with 2-3 tablespoons of hot almond or coconut milk. Stir until you have a paste. Add a sweeter of your choice. Honey works well. Fill the cup with the rest of the hot milk and enjoy. If you are a fan of having whipping cream on your hot chocolate here is a different kind of delicious.

Chill a can of full fat coconut cream. Place the chilled coconut cream into a chilled bowl and beat until it resembles whipping cream. Place a dollop on top of your hot chocolate. The coconut cream can be sweetened if you like. Try using agave to sweeten it.

Basic raw food Chocolate Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup cocoa powder
10 pitted medjool dates
8 ounces walnuts

Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse till it combines. This should take one minute or less. This is the basic dough.
For cookies: Form small balls and lay out on a tray covered with waxed paper. Place a walnut or pecan half on top and press down. Either refrigerate or freeze.

Snow Balls: Form small balls of dough and roll in either unsweetened coconut or cocoa powder. For something a little different grate white chocolate or 70% dark chocolate and roll the balls in this. Place in freezer to harden.

If you plan to store these cookies or snowballs be sure to layer them between waxed paper.

The health benefits in these treats include magnesium from the cocoa, cholesterol reduction from the walnuts and fibre, antioxidants and eye healthy vitamin A from the dates.

Raw food desserts are both healthy and delicious. The best part is that they can be whipped up quickly and easily. For 2 of my favourite raw recipe guru’s see

Ani Phyo at http://www.aniphyo.com
Her Raspberry Chocolate Ganache Cake is heavenly.

Emily Von Euw at http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com
Her Ice Cream bars are amazing

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays folks