It’s no big surprise here that I love chocolate. In fact when you search “chocolate” on my blog, 14 different posts come up! I think I might have a bit of a problem….
Anyways, I love almost everything chocolatey but my absolute favorite is raw dark chocolate. Cacao is a superfood and when you eat chocolate in its lesser adulterated forms (meaning no dairy, sugar and other waxy junky stuff found in Hershey’s and the like) you are actually doing the body good! I wrote a little bit about healthy chocolate in this post with another recipe for raw chocolate.
Before we get to the yumminess, here’s a little bit of interesting nutritional information about this amazing superfood, courtesy of superfoodu.com
“Cacao is derived from Theobroma Cacao beans, which literally means “Food of the Gods”. Cacao contains over 300 compounds including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. Magnesium helps to build strong bones and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness. Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps form strong nails and hair.
In addition, cacao also contains the chemicals phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical that we create naturally when we’re excited. It also plays a role in feeling focused and alert because it causes your pulse rate to quicken, resulting in a similar feeling to when we are excited or fall in love!
Another ‘bliss’ chemical found in chocolate is the lipid anandamide. It’s there in our brain when we feel great. Anandamide is also called “chocolate amphetamine” as it causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement and alertness.
Anandamide works like amphetamines to increase mood and decrease depression, but it is not addictive like caffeine or illegal with undesirable side-effects like amphetamines. Anandamide is quite unique in its resemblance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical found in marijuana.
The good news is that even though the anandamide in chocolate helps to create feelings of elation, the effect is not the same as the THC in marijuana. It would take approximately twenty five pounds of chocolate to achieve a ‘high’ similar to marijuana and the nausea would overpower any feelings of bliss at all.
In the ORAC chart raw cacao powder is at the top of the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries.”
Wow – that’s pretty awesome…and it totally explains why I feel all smiley and stoneyface after downing a big hunk of raw dark cacao goodness.
I’ve been perfecting my chocolate creation recipes for awhile now and what follows is my most refined one to date.
These raw chocolate and coconut truffles are very decadently dark and bittersweet. I find that bitter chocolate is more satisfying personally, because the milkier chocolate is the more I want, whereas just a nibble of this potent stuff is totally fulfilling.
When I used to hang out at the ashram we would have jars of this raw cacao and coconut and we would just eat it with a spoon! But I find that it’s kind of nice to go through the trouble of rolling out the truffles. Much more presentable to your friends!
1 cup raw organic cacao powder
3/4 cup of organic coconut oil
5 – 7 dates (depending on your preference of sweetness…no pits of course)
2 vanilla pods (or a splash of vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp of pink Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 cup of raw organic macadamia nuts
1/3 cup of raw organic cashew nuts
1 TB of raw unfiltered honey (optional, but my preference for a little more rich sweetness)
1/2 cup of dried grated organic coconut (for the adornment)
– These measurements make a dark rich chocolate mixture. If you are looking for something a little lighter and “milkier”, I would increase the nuts and decrease the cacao proportionally.
Blend all the ingredients except the dried coconut in a blender or food processor.
Then pour into a container to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Once the mixture has hardened, begin rolling small balls and place on a board or large plate. I imagine there might be a better way to do this…perhaps dropping spoonfuls of the chocolate viscous on a silpat and then chilling?
This is messy but super fun! You might need to let them chill again before rolling in the coconut for the final touch.
Eat up and feel HAPPY!