Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.
Well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.
Which begs the question…
Is Chocolate Good for You?
The answer is both yes and no.
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.
But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, the wrong kind of fat and junky ingredients.
So how do you eat it responsibly?
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, (think commercially produced candy bars) the fewer healthy components remain.
So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?
- Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
- Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao. Supermarkets even sell 90% now!
- Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible. Loving earth chocolate is a great healthy alternative when you have those sweet cravings and you can find it at most health food stores.
Looking for more fun ways to enjoy your favorite food? You’ll love this dark chocolate treat. Invite some friends over and make a batch!
Raw Chocolate Truffles
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes 25 truffles
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
½ cup rice malt syrup (honey or maple syrup is also ok if your not ready for the rice malt syrup yet!)
Water (to mix)
Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love
Mix cashews in a food processor until a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
Add syrup to cashews and pulse to process.
Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
Form teaspoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!
And most importantly...... ENJOY with your favourite herbal tea!