As a holistic nutrition coach, many people are surprised to learn that I eat chocolate almost every day! Not only is chocolate a comforting and delicious treat, it also has health benefits.
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. Also, it helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial health benefits it contains. The percentage number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean present in chocolate. Look for dark chocolate that has 70-85% cacao – or make your own raw chocolate.
Raw Chocolate Recipe
Makes 16 small 1” heart chocolates
Base Chocolate Recipe:
1/2 cup raw cacao
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
Pinch of vanilla powder
Chopped pecans or almonds
Pinch of sea salt
And more – get creative!
Also needed: silicon baking sheet or mold or parchment paper if making bark
Add the chocolate ingredients to a small saucepan on low heat until melted, stirring continuously. Stir in any add-ons – I used chopped pecans and dried cranberries.
Immediately spoon or pour into the silicone mold you are using. I have a small hearts silicone mold, but I’ve also used a silicone muffin pan. Additionally, you can pour the chocolate onto parchment paper to make bark. I like to sprinkle a small amount of sea salt on top. Cool in the refrigerator until completely solid – at least 1 hour.
Note: This chocolate is not tempered, so it must be stored in the refrigerator. It will literally melt in your hands:) Also, you can purchase a heart mold here.