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I’m sitting here right now munching on some of this beautiful raw chocolate and thought I just have to share it with you!  It’s so delicious and totally healthy.  It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Xmas day – we all gorge on chocolate all day right??  OK OK you shouldn’t have that much of it but it’s pretty delightful..

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Raw cacao butter  (you can purchase these from a health food store – I get a big bag of ‘chunks’ but you can also buy it in a tub)

Raw cacao powder (note – this isn’t regular cocoa – cacao is the unprocessed version)

Whatever you want to add to it (I’ve got fresh strawberries, goji berries, nuts and seeds in this one)

Something to sweeten it such as vanilla paste or agave nectar.  I don’t think I added anything to this batch as the strawberries made it lovely and sweet already.  Because there are fresh strawberries in there though, it isn’t going to last as long as it normally would and must be kept in the fridge!

A greased tray (I use the dish you can see in the picture above and just lightly coat it with coconut oil before pouring in the chocolate mix).
 

Method:

Melt about 1- 2 cups of the butter over boiling water

Add a couple of tablespoons of the cacao powder and stir

Add in your yummies and stir it all around (you don’t want it too chunky, so don’t go overboard.  It’s really up to you though – just do what feels good!)

Then you pour it in to your tray and pop it in the fridge (or freezer if you are impatient like me!) and wait for it to set.

Voila!

 

Benefits of Raw Cacao:

  • High in antioxidants (much higher than the processed chocolate varieties)
  • Contains magnesium which helps with calcium absorption, metabolism, and protein synthesis.
  • Cacao also contains iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc.

 

You CAN have too much of a good thing….

Cacao has lots of amazing benefits but you still shouldn’t have too much of it.  Which is tough, because it actually has properties that make us FEEL really good.

Raw cacao actually stimulates high levels of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, three crucial neurotransmitters involved in regulating mood, pain, sleep and appetite, and the cycle of addiction, and has high levels of other chemicals like phenylethylamine and anandamide.  Ok lots of big words there.   Serotonin is our natural anti-depressant, dopamine provides feelings of happiness, pleasure, focus and attention, and endorphins are our natural pain relievers.  No wonder we love chocolate!

But too much of it can be over-stimulating and mess with our brain so that it cuts back on producing these neurotransmitters on it’s own.  Then we get addicted because the only way we can feel good is by consuming more chocolate….  It’s a vicious circle!  But such a yummy one….

So if you feel like chocolate, go for the raw kind, but still don’t have a pig out session.  Though because raw chocolate is a bit more intense you probably won’t want to.  🙂

 

Keep on shining,

 

Amanda xx

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