Dark chocolate: delicious recipes and health benefits

Give the gift of chocolate ! Here’s a way to turn this tradition into a healthy one with two recipes that use raw cacao (or cocoa)!

Raw cacao is a super food—in other words, it has exceptional nutritional properties. Cacao was traditionally used by the indigenous people of Mexico and Central America, in particular the Aztecs and the Mayans.

Following the conquest of Mexico, the Spanish introduced cacao to Europe. There was little consensus among the conquerors about this warm, bitter beverage that they had discovered. However, the Spanish modified the recipe by adding sugar, making it better suited to their taste, and it was adopted among the colonial elite with huge success; thus chocolate was born on the Old Continent.

Here are some of its nutritional benefits:

  • Magnesium – excellent source, especially for women—it helps the immune system to function properly
  • Iron – essential for transporting oxygen and for the formation of red blood cells
  • Zinc – stimulates immune responses and helps to heal wounds
  • Copper – necessary for the formation of haemoglobin and collagen
  • Potassium – helps to balance the pH levels in blood, and stimulates the formation of hydrochloric acid in the blood, thus facilitating digestion. It helps muscles, such as the heart, to contract
  • Vitamin B2 – plays a role in metabolizing energy in all cells and contributes to growth
  • Vitamin B3 – converts food into fuel (energy), makes skin and hair more beautifu

For chocolate addicts, here are 2 delicious recipes.

1- RAW CHOCOLATE

  • 50 g cocoa butter
  • 15 g virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1½ to 2 tbsp. sweetener (agave syrup, coconut sugar; if you’re using stevia, 1 to 2 drops will suffice)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • You can flavour your chocolate with:
  • Vanilla (scrape out a vanilla pod)
  • Essential oils (lemon, orange, spearmint)
  • Blackcurrant or raspberry cordial
  • Espelette pepper

Method

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

Whisk in the cocoa powder.

Whisk in the sweetener and the salt.

Pour into moulds and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

2- CRUNCHY TRUFFLES DUSTED WITH REW COCOA

  • 50 g cocoa butter, melted
  • 50 g coconut oil, melted
  • 100 g cashew and almond nut paste
  • 1 tsp. coffee extract (or more, to your taste)
  • 40 g cacao nibs, raw if possible
  • 30 g raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. agave syrup or coconut sugar (to your taste)
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

Place the first group of ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix well.

Mix in the nibs. Then stir in the cocoa powder. Finally, stir in the agave syrup and vanilla.

Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and leave until it reaches room temperature.

Once the chocolate has hardened sufficiently, take small spoonfuls of the mixture and roll them between your hands.

Dust them with cocoa powder.

> You’ll find all the ingredients in any store that specializes in organic and natural foods.

About the Author

Emilie McBride

Emilie Mc Bride is a passionate cook, certified in living food and in vegetarian yoga food. On the Basque coast, she offers a delivery service, The Nourishing Box, for cures, juices and detox meals. She also offers cooking courses and her services as a private chef. You can call on her for private or corporate events. Follow her on Facebook (The Nourishing Box) and Instagram (@the_nourishing_box).

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