Almost everybody around the world who has tasted chocolate won’t be able to resist it ever again. Chocolate is like a drug – it’s super addictive and it brings a certain high whenever we eat it (but in a much healthier way than actual drugs of course). Chocolate is just irresistible, but if there are any chocolate virgins out there, the experience of a first taste is like a warm sunshine setting in your mouth, and the aftertaste is akin to being embraced by someone you love. That’s chocolate.

Cacao pods and cacao beans . Image credit: www.cacao-beans.com

Cacao pods and cacao beans . Image credit: www.cacao-beans.com

Why Is Cacao Considered A Superfood? 

Most people associate chocolate with very sweet candy bars and other decadent desserts. Yes, most popular chocolate products are very sweet, but its main ingredient, cacao, is considered a healthy superfood. Cacao contains 700 healthy compounds and is an effective antioxidant that helps in maintaining healthy cells and prevents reactive oxygen species from destroying the cells. Cacao also helps in lowering LDL and the chances of developing coronary disease. Cacao is also responsible for making us feel good because of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Cacao products possess effective anti-depressants and mood elevating properties. Cacao, cocoa and chocolate are considered superfoods because they are:

  • Effective antioxidants. Cacao products pack a wallop of antioxidants, with more antioxidants per weight as compared to red wine, blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries and Acai.
  • Effective mood uppers. Cacao is rich in the amino acid called acid tryptophan that is used by the body to produce the feel good chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
  • Good for brain health. Health studies have found that nutrients found in chocolate are effective in enhancing cognitive performance.
  • Rich in magnesium. Cacao is known to be rich in magnesium and promotes good health.
  • Rich in vitamin C. Cacao is known to be a rich source of Vitamin C
  • Healthy heart promoters. Many studies have shown cacao to be beneficial to cardiovascular disease. It is also a natural blood thinner, which helps promote efficient blood circulation.

Healthy Cacao Recipes

Take note that cacao or cocoa on its own or in its raw form is very bitter, so make sure to include any healthy sweeteners or sweet fruits to bring out the real chocolatey goodness of cacao. Let’s begin!

1. Chocolate Super Smoothie Recipe

1 cup milk (it can be almond, raw milk or hemp milk)

1 frozen or fresh  medium or large banana

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

½ fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or a mix of all three)

½ tablespoon of cacao nibs

A dash of sea salt

1 tablespoon of Chia seeds

A little maple syrup or honey to sweeten the smoothie

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for about 45 seconds until nice and smooth.

2. Basic Raw Chocolate

70g of raw cacao butter

2 tablespoons of sweet freedom

50g of raw cacao powder

Place a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.

Grate the cacao butter and add to the bowl. Allow it to melt slowly and remember not to keep the water boiling.

Once the butter is melted, add the cocoa powder and whisk it until it slightly thickens. The chocolate mix should have a runny consistency and easy to pour.

Add the sweet freedom and stir thoroughly. It will thicken after adding the sweetener. Taste the mixture and make the necessary adjustments until it suits your taste.

Pour the mixture into molds, place it in the fridge for an hour. After that, enjoy your home made chocolate.

3. Raw Chocolate Mousse

For the crust

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup dates

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of cacao

For the mousse

1 avocado

3 tablespoons of cacao

¼ cup of honey or maple syrup

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

4 tablespoons of any nut butter

½ cup of vegan milk (almond or soy)

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup of prunes or dates

1 vegan chocolate bar

For the chocolate sauce

5 tablespoons of almond milk

1 tablespoon of cacao

2 tablespoons of almond butter

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Crust preparation

Put all ingredients in the food processor. Process until the all ingredients stick together. Press the crust mixture into cupcake molds lined with tinfoil and then put in the fridge.

Mousse preparation

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender or a food processor.  The mixture should be thick enough to be spooned into the cupcake molds. Put in the fridge for an hour. Stir everything and take the mousse cups out of the molds. Drizzle with the sauce, serve and enjoy.

4. Date And Nut Filled Raw Chocolates          

70g of cocoa butter

50g of cacao powder

2 tablespoons of sweet freedom (this sweetener sounds like democracy fired from a missile)

3 dates

Any nut that you prefer (walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews)

Chop the nuts and dates small enough to fit each mold with enough space around them.

Place a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.

Grate the cacao butter and add to the bowl. Allow it to melt slowly and remember not to keep the water boiling turn the heat off.

Once the butter is melted, add the cocoa powder and whisk it until it slightly thickens. The chocolate mix should have a runny consistency and easy to pour.

Add the sweet freedom and stir thoroughly. It will thicken after adding the sweetener. Taste the mixture and make the necessary adjustments until it suits your taste.

Pour the mixture gently into the mold using a spoon filling half of each mold.

Put a piece of date or nut into each mold and top up with the chocolate mixture

Place it in the fridge for an hour. Enjoy.

5. Raw Cacao Fudge Balls

1 cup of raw cacao powder

1 cup of cashew nuts

1 cup of raw carob powder

¼ cup of hemp seeds

1/3 cup of extra virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup of  honey

1 tablespoon spirulina

1 dash of sea salt

Shredded dried coconut

Place the cashew nuts in the grind until crumbly. Add all the other ingredients and blend well until it forms a doughy consistency.

Roll the batter into small balls and cover with the shredded coconut

Place the balls in the freezer for an hour or the fridge for longer. Enjoy.

6. Raw Chocolate Cake

4 cups of cacao nibs

2 cups of walnuts

1 cup of dried coconut

2  tablespoons of cocoa butter

¾ cups of pitted dates

1 tablespoon of Mucuna extract

½ cup of dried figs

1 tablespoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of mocha powder

I tablespoon of stevia

Resize tonic tea

For the frosting

1 cup of fresh coconut meat

1 cup of cashews

1 tablespoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of raw carob powder

2 tablespoons of lacuna

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of honey

¼ teaspoon of stevia

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Coconut water

Cake preparation

Soak the figs and dates in the Reishi tonic.

Process the cacao and then place in a bowl.

Process the coconut and walnuts until fine as flour. Add to the bowl.

Process the figs and dates in a blender and then add to the bowl.

Process all the cake ingredients in the food processor. Add more tea if needed and keep it as doughy as possible.

Mold the dough into a round cake shape and refrigerate.

Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil in a bowl over boiling water.

Soak the cashew in coconut water and then place all ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth, add more coco water if needed. You want to the frosting to be thick not runny.

Refrigerate for an hour.

Cut the cake in half to form a top and bottom part.

Apply frosting on the mid section and put cake top after.

Apply the remaining frosting all over the cake. Decorate with the cacao nibs and enjoy.

 

Make sure you share these healthy and delicious cacao recipes for your family and friends and let them know that chocolate can be as healthy as any other superfood. Enjoy!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.