It is that time of year again - Easter! And for those of us that avoid sugar and the general Easter Egg style chocolate - how do we still take part in the fun and not feel like we are missing out??
My answer Raw Cacao!!
I love this stuff and have been a convert for quite a while.
One of natures superfoods with nutrients including Vitamin C, E& A, magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, potassium and zinc.
It is packed with a ton of antioxidants, that protect you from free radicals, more so than any other food, even surpassing the superstar blueberries, acai and goji berries.
It is great for
* Cardiovascular Health
* High Blood Pressure
* Mood booster
* Enhancing mental focus and concentration
* Ageing and prevention of degenerative diseases
However it is very important to distinguish between raw and processed chocolate. The heat required to create the average chocolate product destroys most of the nutrients. Many of course also contain sugar and milk, which changes the solid food product.
Raw Cacao is heated very gently at low temperatures to separate the seeds from the bean, then cold pressed, which leaves most of the nutrients intact.
I like to get my chocolate with at the highest percentage of raw cacao possible, and use completely raw cacao powder and cacao nibs for my smoothies and cooking.
One of my favourite chocolates if you are in Australia is Pana Chocolate - raw and organic. Honestly I still have found no comparable product for it so far anywhere in the world (I'm campaigning to bring it to Copenhagen!) My favourite is the coconut and goji. http://www.panachocolate.com
In Denmark I am a big fan of the restaurant Simple Raw which does delicious chocolate fudge, and I love their chocolate smoothie. http://simpleraw.dk
And here is one of my favourite raw cacao recipes to make at home - and so easy!
Raw Chocolate Balls
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of dates
1 cup of chopped almonds (or alternative nuts if you prefer)
Shredded coconut for rolling.
I also occasionally mix in some Goji Berry's for another little antioxidant boost, and cinnamon is also a nice little optional extra.
I prefer to soak my nuts and dates before hand.
Mix together in a bowl and then put it all in a food processer and blend.
If it is feeling a bit dry add a little bit more coconut oil.
Put the mixture into the fridge to cool.
Then roll into equal sized balls.
And roll in the shredded coconut.
Now I am not so crafty in the kitchen as to be making my own Easter chocolates, but if you would like to try your hand at it. See these recipes from I Quit Sugar. http://iquitsugar.com/diy-sugar-free-chocolates-easter/
Also just in... Teresa Cutter - The Healthy Chef, has just created the first sugar, dairy and gluten free drinking chocolate. Now I haven't tried this yet but it looks fabulous. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to experience it. http://www.thehealthychef.com/2014/04/naked-chocolat/
Happy Easter og God påske