Raw-ish Cacao Bites (...and cacao vs. cocoa)
Cacao...the real deal chocolate. To be honest, in my twenty something years of life, I've only come across a handful of "not your average joes" who didn't care for the heavenly creation. My mom probably just fell off her chair in shock and total disbelief. Though that's a mini truth bomb, the majority of us are avid fans (both hands raised) and crave it's deliciousness quite often.
To clear things up a bit, I'm not talking about your typical run-of-the-mill Hershey bars (or those cadbury eggs you've been eye balling at the checkout lately) that are made with cocoa. I'm talking the plant derived superfood CACAO. Don't let their almost identical look fool you.
Yes, you read and reread that correctly - cacao is a plant. While this stealthy 'green' does NOT replace a salad, it does have a powerhouse of benefits:
- was found to be the number one antioxidant food on the planet! (the WHOLE planet people!)
- the most nutritionally complex food on the planet!
- has enough magnesium to help reverse deficiencies of this mineral (something MANY in our culture are highly deficient in - and may be the number one reason we crave it so often).
and some cacao vs. cocoa facts....
CACAO VS. COCOA
raw chocolate superfood // processed chocolate powder
aids in weight loss // may cause weight gain
promotes health skin // stripped of nutrients
high in antioxidants // highly processed
improves brain function // heat refined
quells headaches // low levels of cacao
mood enhancing/aphrodisiac // often contains: artificial flavors & sugars
Off to the kitchen you go to let loose, embrace your inner cacao-tier, and start creating. This, as I am continuously reminded of by two of my favorite gals who inspired me to make this (Jessica McCleskey Hood -&- Taryn Mason), is goddess food. Just let yourself go and start stirring up some magic in the kitchen. And for all you kitchen perfectionists, this is your chance to get a little wild, it's chocolate, you can't mess it up (a love note from Taryn).
A few words of advice from Julia Child: "The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what the hell attitude."
2/3 cup raw cacao (not a spelling error...make sure you don't grab 'cocoa')
1/3 cup organic/unrefined coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp local raw honey (or other sweetener of choice)
i kicked mine up with...
1 tbsp coarse ground coffee
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp local bee pollen
A whole lotta love (not optional)
Smallest pinch of fine sea salt for good measure
-or- add at your own risk...
- cinnamon (menstrual pain relief - perfect addition during chocolate craving week)
- cayenne (spice. it. up!)
- maca (hormone balance and...increased libido. wink.)
- cardamom (oral health and a mighty detox)
- ashwagandha (stress-relief...and we all know we go to chocolate for that)
- damiana (anti-anxiety/depression and look at that...another aphrodisiac)
- ground ginger root (anti-oxidant/inflammatory)
- turmeric (check it out)
get to mixing, freezing -&- tasting.
Give the raw cacao, coconut oil and your herbs of choice a good mixing. Line a small glass dish with parchment paper and pour chocolate in evenly. You can just as easily pour a thin coat of the chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper, cover and freeze. Do as you wish cacao-tier!
I sprinkled mine with a bit of bee pollen to help fight my seasonal allergies, and of course to beautify! Toss in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. While you patiently wait, go ahead, feel free to lick that chocolate lined spoon (and bowl) you've been ogling. No one's looking.
Remove from freezer, break off a chunk of heavenly deliciousness and enjoy every damn morsel.
love note: there is such thing as too much of a good thing, keep that moderation thing in check dude(tte).
Don't forget to come back and share your favorite cacao creation in the comments below - I'd hate for any of us to miss out on a killer combination when it comes to homemade chocolate!