Homemade healthy Chocolate with real ingredients
Over the years experimenting and testing different types of diets from Vegan to Paleo and many more in between, I realized that the quality of the food matters more than the diet alone. No matter which diet you are following the rule of thumb should always be: “garbage in, garbage out.” Nasty kinds of stuff in low-quality food can cause the body to inflame, and as the result, histamine is released. I think that is the reason why Nam and myself as well, do not react to pure and high-quality food ingredients as we did with the same type of food but poorer quality.
I love chocolate like crazy. The smell of chocolate alone is enough to make me feel happy. Unfortunately, since chocolate can trigger the release of histamines, I had to give up chocolate while I breastfeed Nam. I replaced chocolate with Carob, and quite like it. Carob is naturally sweet and has a subtle sense of coffee bean. However, I still missed my chocolate. So when Nam got less sensitive, I tried to incorporate chocolate bit by bit in our food, and it works. Nam loves chocolate and he does not react to it anymore.
Again, the quality of the chocolate does make the difference. High-quality dark chocolate is a superfood. However, it is hard to find, also expensive. I remember buying a bar of 40z dark chocolate from a local shop for $5.60. All the nice ingredients such as organic cacao powder, raw cane sugar, dairy free etc… still couldn’t help me to stop feeling guilty about buying that bar. Regular commercial chocolates, even ones claimed dark chocolate, often contain dairy, high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy fats and hydrogenated oils, soy lecithin, additives and artificial flavorings. Certainly, we are better off without consuming them.
The idea of making chocolate came when I bought a bag of cacao butter for making homemade lip balm. I didn’t know we can eat cacao butter until I read the instructions on the back of the bag. Wow, cacao butter is edible, and it smells like chocolate. Of course, it should smell chocolate because it also comes from cacao beans. I just didn’t know at that time. Even better, cacao butter is a healthy fat.
This homemade chocolate is super easy to make (will take you less than 15 minutes), and the result is phenomenal. Also, it can be used as a chocolate base for other purposes such as coating cookies, or cakes. Yet, there is one problem that I need to work on this receipt. Unlike store-bought chocolate, homemade chocolate melts fast and you have to put it in the fridge all the time. I will update with you when I figure out how to make the chocolate more stable in temperature.
Nutritional values of Cacao powder
Cacao is a super source of magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Due to the increased stress level and the depletion of nutrients in the soil, magnesium deficiency has become a big issue for modern citizens today. That is the reason why when you find yourself stressed out, real cacao powder can help to calm you down.
Antioxidants and flavanols:
Real cacao powder is packed with powerful antioxidants, even higher concentration than in green tea and red wine and most other foods. Antioxidants protect you against aging and inflammation. When our body is inflamed, outside allergens can attack us quickly and in return causes the body to release more histamines. Hence, one of the key to deal with histamines intolerance or mast cell disorder is to add foods high in antioxidants to your diet.
Flavanols in cacao powder can strengthen human cognitive functions including better memory, focus, and processing speed. Also, chocolate interacts with some neurotransmitter systems such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins which help to regulate mood and happy feeling. That means you are not alone, your brain loves chocolate as well.
Flavanols in cacao have been found beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- 2 ounces Organic Cacao powder
- 4 ounces Organic Cacao butter
- 2 ounces Organic cold press unrefined Coconut oil
- Raw unfiltered honey
- Sea salt
- Melting: in a small pan on a very low heat, melt cacao butter, and coconut oil
- Add cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt
- Turn of the heat, slowly add raw honey in and whisk vigorously for everything is well blended and smooth
- Pour chocolate mixture into molds, or any rectangular glass container you have to harden. I use molds when I want to make it as a gift for someone.
- Put your chocolate in the fridge or freezer to harden for at least 4 hours, best overnight; then remove from molds
Ta-dah. All done. You now have on your hand your homemade healthy chocolate which you don’t have to feel guilty to snack on. The chocolate goes beautifully with warm herbal teas.
Don’t overheat raw honey because we want to preserve all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants in raw honey. Also, according to Ayurvedic medicine principles, heating above 40C may turn honey into a toxin.
Cocoa is roasted Cacao. Cacao is often treated under lower heat which helps reserve more antioxidants. Even though a lot of people claim about the benefits of raw cacao, we need to be aware that raw cacao contains Theobromine which can be lethal when consuming in large amount. I had tried to eat raw cacao nibs, but ended up getting them all in the oven and toasted them because raw cacao nib does not have the appealing smell. In my opinion, the food by itself will tell you the best way to eat it. If we can make the food taste and smell better then that the way it should be consumed, the same way as onion always should go with pork, and lemongrass for beef.
Chocolate is acidic and high in histamines. Remember to drink more water after eating chocolate.
Cacao powder, especially raw cacao does contain caffeine. Therefore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should be very careful.
Since it contains caffeine, please don’t overeat chocolate at night. I have experience sleepless night because of my indulgence. Everything in moderation is a key to a guilt-free life.
Lee, K. W., Kim, Y. J., Lee, H. J., & Lee, C. Y. (2003). Cocoa Has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51(25), 7292-7295. doi:10.1021/jf0344385
Kris-Etherton, P. M., & Keen, C. L. (2002, February). Evidence that the antioxidant flavonoids in tea and cocoa are beneficial for cardiovascular health
Socci, V., Tempesta, D., Desideri, G., Gennaro, L. D., & Ferrara, M. (2017). Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoid