Let me introduce to you a little friend of mine.... I love raw chocolate!
Pure cacao is a goldmine of rich, delicious nutrition. Most cacao on the market today however is roasted at high heat which destroys all of the beneficial nutrition from this little nut. In addition most commercial chocolate includes dairy, sugar and chemicals which pose their own potential side effects. Never fear! You can still find raw cacao in stores. Check out the details below:
Cacao - Raw Chocolate
Cacao is harvested as a nut or "bean" from South and Central American trees. It is always in season and can be harvested anytime. More recently raw cacao has been classified as a "superfood". While all foods have many beneficial nutrients some have special functions making them closer to "food as medicine." Cacao can be used in this way. Plus - it's such a treat!
Use it for:
- Heart related pathologies (emotional and physical)
- Muscle cramping (including menstrual cramps)
- Stress defense
- Increased energy, stamina and alterness
- To increase "feel good" chemicals in the body
Raw cacao contains many beneficial components. It is extremely high in antioxidants, and minerals (especially iron and magnesium). Cacao also works on the energetic heart making it an ideal food for those dealing with emotional blockages related to a lack of joy or interpersonal connection.
Who it's not good for:
Raw cacao still contains a component similar to caffeine. For those who are cutting out caffeine from their diet, have trouble sleeping, or feel overly stimulated raw cacao may not be the best option.
You can find cacao at most natural grocery stores and online. Make sure to buy certified organic raw cacao. While it is not always necessary if you are familiar with the company you are buying from, buying cacao with fair trade certification ensures you are not contributing to the unethical farming practices still used in many countries.
How to use it:
Cacao is usually available in nibs, powder or whole bean form. Start with using small amounts (1 tbs of powder or 5-10 nibs) and slowly increase if desired. Mix it into warm or cold drinks (include it in smoothies for a velvety chocolate finish), or add to raw desserts. Use your imagination and enjoy!
Cacao Almond Milk Smoothie
2 cup Almond Milk
1 ripe banana
1 tbs raw cacao powder
1 tbs coconut oil
3 medjool dates (pitted)
Blend ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.
Want to experiment with more raw chocolate recipes? Check out my Raw Chocolate Treats