Tag Archives: raw cacao

Best and easiest raw chocolate recipe ever

10 Aug
best, easiest, yummiest raw chocolate recipe ever

best, easiest, yummiest raw chocolate recipe ever

Having now taste-tested/gorged myself on the many new brands of raw chocolate popping onto the shelves at my local health food stores, and in the spirit of the current financial crisis, I decided to find the easiest, tastiest recipe to make my own.

There are loads of recipes for raw chocolate on the internet, and loads of raw recipe books with some great ideas in them. The ultimate recipe I looked for would, as usual, not involve too many strange ingredients, no fancy equipment and wouldn’t take too much time. But i found that even following the most basic recipe, it’s very expensive to set up! However once through the financial pain barrier – and even in mid mix – I can guarantee it is worth it. Particularly as I am not only satisfying my chocolate addiction, I am also adding lots of really important nutrients and antioxidants into my system without the dairy found in classic cooked chocolates. As per an earlier blog, some of these include sulphur (the beauty mineral), magnesium (balances hormones), PEA (molecule of joy), neurotransmitters and aphrodesiacs…

As I discovered, the key is to get the basic mixture just right for your taste and then adding whatever extras you like; raisins, goji berries, almonds, orange zest, chilli, peppermint oil, cinammon, sunflower seeds…

KATE MAGIC
I started with Kate Magic’s basic recipe, which is based on an equal ratio of fats, sugars and chocolate. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Kate Magic is something of a raw chocolate guru and fountain of knowledge on raw food lifestyle. She shared this recipe with me at one of her raw chocolate talks in Camden.

The key ingredients:
200g of ground cacao nibs (or 150g of cacao powder)
200g of coconut butter (or cacao butter)
200g of natural sweeteners (agave syrup, date syrup, Lucuma powder, zylotol)

How to make it
1. Mix cacao with melted cacao/coconut butter and add sweeteners to taste.
2. Put in cake tin.
3. Pop in fridge.
4. Cut into pieces

SUNNY RAW KITCHEN and CHOC CHICK and BUZZLE
These recipes are so similar – I’ve combined them all. Hence I also would say that if you follow this formula, you can’t go wrong.

The key ingredients
1 cup (100-150g) coconut butter
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
4 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
2 tsp vanilla (orange, mint would be good too)

How to make it
1. Put coconut butter in a bowl and place in another bowl of hot water, stirring until liquified.
2. Stir in other ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and pop into freezer for 5-10 mins. Alternatively, you could put mixture into little moulds.
4. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours or in the freezer for half an hour.

Top tips from Choc Chick
1. Around 70g of powder (4tbs) and 100g of butter makes approximately 2 trays of chocolates (slightly less powder makes the mix easier to pour but equal amounts make a slightly harder chocolate – so experiment to see what suits you).
2. Keep the heat low so as to not overheat and take care not to boil the butter as this will damage the nutritional benefits of the raw chocolate
3. Enjoy yourself or place in gift bags for the perfect gift!

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ok tasting, hideous looking, seriously good-for-you green smoothies

13 Jul
Looks like nuclear waste but does wonders for your system

Looks like nuclear waste but does wonders for your system

I’ve been back from Thailand for a month and I am proud to say that I’ve been drinking green smoothies for breakfast every day.  Thank you Jennifer! As exciting as this news must be to you, I have to confess that I haven’t quite figured out how to make them taste really, really delicious. I have tried numerous options and I haven’t cracked it. And when I looked at this morning’s concoction, I asked myself  ‘What the hell am I doing drinking that disgusting looking muck?’ 

These browny-green-muddy smoothies may not taste of heaven exactly, but they are definitely drinkable.  I’m sure that’s sold you!  The selling point of these is not flavour (although I will persist) – they give me all the nutrients I need for my day, a full stomach  (I make a litre at a time), and thanks to the enzymes and extra fibre; clear skin, a tougher immune system, a regular digestive system, a positive outlook (thanks B12) and more energy. 

So – I thought I would chill the perfectionist streak in me and release these recipes for your own continued exploration into the world of raw green smoothy health and happiness.

Here are my recipes for ‘ok’ tasting green smoothies:

THE BASIC:
¼ blender full of fruit
¾ blender full of dark green leaves
A plugged-in blender

THE DETAIL:
Locally produced, ripe fruit in season
1/3 bag of baby spinach
1/3 bag of water cress (this can make it spicey so be careful…)
½ a lettuce (not iceberg)
A big stack of sprouts (I go for alfalfa)
1/3 cucumber
1 x glass of water/coconut water
Juice of a lime/lemon.

HOW TO MAKE IT:
Add the fruit first, then the greens and the water and then blend.

As for fruit:
Amongst others, I tried honey dew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, pear, pineapple and apple.  I particularly recommend a combo of 2 apples and half a punnet of strawberries or 2 apples and 1/3 of a pineapple and the flesh of a passionfruit only added after blending.

As for supplements:
I add spirulina algae (Hawaiian variety), which smells HIDEOUS, but it’s a great way to get B12;
Probiotics in powder form;
1 tbpsn of soaked flax seeds (added after blending), and
When I really don’t feel like the slightly grassy taste, I add 2 BIG tablespoons of raw cacao powder.

THE VITAMINS
A, B1, B6, B12, C, K, folate, iron, calcium and more…

Raw Travel Snacks: Raw Fruit Balls

11 May

Travelling raw can be tough and knowing the limitations of Eurostar, I made a few snacks to fill the five of us on our way to Belgium.  Thankfully these raw fruit balls satisfied all of us on the 2 hr journey, including my potentially toughest critic, 1yr old, 2-toothed Hunter.  Phew.

Fruity raw fruit balls are an ideal raw travel snack

Fruity raw fruit balls are an ideal raw travel snack

The ingredients
1 big grated carrot
2 grated apples
8 dried apricots
8 pitted medjool dates
½ cup of raw oats
½ cup of raw cacao
1 tbspn honey
Dessicated coconut

How to make it
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend.
You’ll see it gets a bit sticky but keep going and add date syrup or a dash of coconut water if you feel it really needs it. 
If it’s too mushy, add more oats but only a few.
Mould the mixture into 10p sized balls and roll in dessicated coconut.

Conscious Bars are a Raw Chocolate Treat Deluxe Supreme

1 May
Conscious chocolate bars wrapped in conscious recycled paper

Incredibly amazingly superlatively delicious Conscious Chocolate bars

Okay – I know I said I would stop writing about raw chocolate but I can’t help it. I’ve just had a bar of Conscious Chocolate called Love Potion Number 9. It’s amazing. It’s so amazing it’s beyond amazing and I’ll say that it could even be beyond ‘beyond amazing’. Actually, I’m holding back, it is so good it is nothing short of a culinary epiphany. Sorry –I know I might be going a little bit over the top about this chocolate bar (as I was over the others) but really and truely this is the best. I promise. And yes Vivian, you were right!

The raw ingredients in the few tiny crumbs of chocolate left on my lap are cacao butter, cacao powder, agave nectar, carob, coconut butter, spices, Himalayan salt, maca and essential oil of Otto rose. It’s also sugar free (even good for diabetics), pesticide free, gluten free, raw, vegan, handmade and wrapped in lovely recycled paper.

Based in Kent, Conscious Chocolate was founded in 2006 by vegan chef, Iyengar yoga teacher and chocolatier Emma Jackman for small scale distribution of their 40g chocolate bars only. Only a couple of years later Emma’s stunningly clever and delicious choccie bars are now, unsurprisingly, stocked in more than 50 outlets across the UK, including my local Planet Organic and Wholefoods. And best of all there are several delicious varieties:

Sunny Easter Feast
Yummy Mummy
Berry Christmas
Fruit Fantasy
Chocha Mocha Magic
Nicely Nutty
Best Ever Plain Chocolate
Best Ever Fiery Hazelnut
Best Ever Spiced Up
Fruity Goji and Coconut Delight
Love Potion No. 9
Love Your Heart Superfood
Best Ever Hint of Mint
Best Ever Citrus Zest
Best Ever Chilli Hot
Best Ever Essential Orange.

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

I don’t think I need to preach the benefits of raw cacao to you once again but in case you forgot or missed my post about it – it’s basically an aphrodisiac, serotonin booster, appetite suppressant, a cannibanoid without any side effects, and it’s rich in anti-oxidants, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and sulphur (the beauty mineral).

I’m officially addicted and have the long list above to get through.

You can buy it right here.

Brief history of the raw chocolate revolution

15 Apr
The first raw chocolate bar in the UK - clearly packaged with male consumers in mind

The first raw chocolate bar in the UK - clearly packaged with male consumers in mind

While cacao has been around in Mayan and Aztec cultures since time began (200BC), it was only ever consumed in its cooked form, often as a hot drink given to armies on their way to war.   

The key ingredients of raw chocolate are raw cacao butter and/or cacao powder.  Both are produced through a compression process, apparently only invented in Ecuador a few years ago.  It’s this revolutionary process that ensures the integrity of the vital nutrients is kept intact until they enter our hungry digestive systems.

As you may have seen on Willy’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, the cacao that usually goes into our ‘normal’ chocolate is put through a heating process, killing off some of the vital and beneficial nutrients we desperately need in our hectic lives. While Willy’s chocolate is absolutely delicous too, raw chocolate has many healthy and nutritious bonuses as well as completely satisfying flavour.

Amongst other raw food pioneers, the rather dubiously named Shazzie’s Naked Chocolate brand claims to have produced the UK’s first ever raw chocolate bar in 2003. Before that great day, we raw food types lived with the best that carob could deliver, which, to be frank, wasn’t much to talk to about. 

If cacao in its cooked form is considered a nutritious boost for big tough soldiers on their way to conquer civilisations towards world domination, I wonder what they’d do with raw chocolate.

Viva La Revolucion

Raw Cacao Top Ten Bliss Benefits

15 Apr
raw cacao nibs

raw cacao nibs

According to my raw chocolate guru, Kate Magic, ‘we are defined as either healthy do-gooders or live-hard-die-young types and raw cacao is the bridge between the two.’ Sounds good doesn’t it?

 And to prove it – Kate gives this list of benefits:

1. Raw cacao is known as a ‘grounded’ food because it contains so many minerals from zinc, calcium, phosphorous, copper…and it is therefore thought to be spiritually ‘grounding’;
2. It’s an aphrodisiac because amongst other things, it contains anandamide, often described as an euphoric substance;
3. It’s high in essential feel good neurotransmitters such as seratonin;
4. It carries PEA (phenylethylamine) also known as the ‘molecule of joy’.  While this super molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue green algae;

raw cacao butter
raw cacao butter

5. It’s also considered a natural appetite suppressant on the basis that it apparently helps the body ‘tune into its natural appetite’;
6. There are two cannibinoids in the world. One is racked with downers, paranoia, appetite increase and bad publicity and the other isn’t;
7. It’s the best source of sulphur there is, which is, by the way, also known as the beauty mineral;
8. It’s a rich source of magnesium, which is great for keeping anxieties and hormones at bay;
9. It’s extremely high in antioxidants – according to the US ORAC scale – seven times that of normal chocolate;
10. It tastes delicious.

As Kate continued; ‘Everyone is addicted to something so just choose your addictions wisely. Mine are my children, green juices, raw chocolate and yoga.’

So – raw cacao gives the high of cannabis without any of the lows, it carries something called the molecule of joy, it has the beauty mineral in it, it’s an aphrodisiac and an appetite suppressant. See you later – I’m off to Venezuala.

You can buy raw cacao in its various forms from Rob at Funky Raw or from Kate at Raw Living.