The chemical compounds (flavanols) in chocolate help: -Act as UV filters, protecting you from the sun -Help your cells make more of their own tiny power houses (mitochondria) which means that your cells do not age as fast -Feed your good gut bacteria, helping your digestion and overall health (because all health starts in the gut) -Reduce memory loss
Strengthen your cardiovascular system by: -Decreasing "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increasing "good" (HDL) cholesterol -Increasing you sensitivity to NO (nitrious oxide) that allow your blood vessels to contract and expand more easily. This can decrease your chance of having a stroke.
Acts as a mood enhancer. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that is released when we fall in love.
Improves insulin sensitivity
Can reduce appetite by signalling to the brain "I'm full"
So how do you get all these benifits without the detriment of all those other yukey ingredients?
Well you can buy high quality chocolate from the shops, I like Lindt 70% dark and above, Loving Earth Chocolate and Pana Chocolate. But all to often the budget doesn't stretch to these amazing brands, so I make my own. You can get all the ingreindts from your local health food store or online.
Super Easy, No Refined Sugar, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, Healthy, Homemade, Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe
50g cacao butter
20g coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
optional add ins
1 tablespoon cashew nut butter (this will give it a more "milk" chocolate taste)
candied or dried fruits like sultanas, ginger or figs
nuts - roasted or raw
shredded or flaked coconut
activated buckwheat (buckinis) or cacao nibs for a crunch
scales, whisk and a double boiler (a glass bowl over a pit of simmering water)
Make Me Up
Add in your cacao butter and coconut oil. Cook 3min/70deg/speed 2 until the two are melted together. Now add your maple and cacao powder (you can add you nut butter and essential oils now too) and mix, speed 3, 2 minutes or until combined. Pour the chocolate into small silicone ice tray moulds for chocolates or onto a dinner plate or baking tray covered with baking paper to make a "bark". Sprinkle over any add ins or flavours you are using. Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least 2 hours.
In the glass bowl on top of your double boiler, add your coconut oil and cacao butter. Whisk the mixture gentle until they are completely melted together. Remove from the heat and add in your cacao powder and sweetener and whisk to combine. Once the sweetener and cacao are dissolved and mixed through, you can add you oils, nut butter and any other add in's you like. Pour the mixture into a silicone mould or ice cube tray or onto a dinner plate or baking tray covered with baking paper. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.