Say hello to my little friend: raw cacao! I have always loved chocolate, until I discovered real, pure, raw cacao. Raw cacao and processed chocolate are as different as day and night. Generic chocolate contains primarily sugar and the cacao used is roasted. Raw cacao is made by grinding raw cacao beans. No heat damage occurs so all the vibrant nutrients stay intact. And when I say nutrients, I mean a ton of nutrients!
“One tablespoon of raw cacao contains over 25,000 antioxidants”
Holy shits! Cacao is one of the most (and perhaps the most) antioxidant rich foods in the entire world, leaving blueberries and red wine feel ashamed of themselves . Raw cacao is at the top of the ORAC list: ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and measures a foods ability to neutralize free radicals (aka: antioxidant capacity). Free radicals are guilty of promoting disease like cancer, and for premature skin aging. Raw cacao is a superb (and yummy!) health promotor, it fights off disease and keeps you looking young & fresh.
Raging PMS no more
Raw cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium and also contains notable amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and fiber. It is believed that women in particulair crave chocolate because they are likely to be deficient in magnesium. These cravings are magnified during the lovely PMS & menstrual cycle because iron is lost, and iron and magnesium are strongly interlinked. It is said that 50% of all cravings are chocolate cravings. So ladies: eat raw cacao all month long & fight off those cravings effectively & healthily!
Stimulating with only a fraction of the caffeine
Raw cacao does contain caffeine, but only a fraction of the amounts found in coffee and even black tea. Rather, chocolate contains theobromine which is a much weaker stimulant than caffeine. Together, these stimulants can give you a real boost. Note to newbies: take it easy with raw cacao, as it is very potent! If you eat too much, you’ll know what I mean ….
Raw cacao: potent aphrodisiac & legal drug
Now comes the good part. Raw cacao is loaded with tryptophan, a chemical that is needed to synthesize serotonin. Serotonin is what makes us feel happy and it’s for that reason tryptophan is dubbed ‘chocolate extacy’. I can tell you from my own experience that yes, eating a good amount of raw chocolate indeed boasts the effects of xtc, but without the negative side-effects .
Raw cacao is famous for it’s phenylethylamine content. Phenylethylamine produces feelings of attraction and excitement and works wonders on libido (trust me). Phenylethylamine stimulates the brains pleasure centure, it is the chemical released during orgasming. For this, phenylethylamine is dubbed ‘chocolate amphetamine’.
I love raw cacao because now we can all openly become love, sex & happiness junkies without withdrawel symptoms and a need for rehab .
Eat yourself happy!
Other chemicals found in raw cacao (like the ones also found in weed) have been linked to alround feelings of well-being and contentment by activating your brain to produce dopamine. Like a subtle, natural, non-invasive high.
The wonderful thing about raw cacao is that even though it contains drug-like chemicals, the amounts are very small. It’s the combination of these happiness inducing chemicals that works so well as a mood elevator and libido enhancer, without being radically addictive.
After this shameless promotion of raw cacao powder, and the accompanying food porn, here’s a wonderful recipe for you all to enjoy. I made this last month actually, but upon the first taste I wasn’t satisfied, and they lingered in the fridge for almost a month. That is, until a few nights ago. I had a chocolate craving (or more specifically, a more intense chocolate craving than usual ) and grabbed one of these ‘nibs’. I was shocked: they taste amazing! I think I wasn’t too fond of them when I made them because they hadn’t firmed up yet, and at the time I was still consuming only processed chocolate from the supermarket. In this last month though, I have been eating primarily raw chocolate and raw cacao (added to smoothies, puddings, mousses, etc) and my tastebuds have navigated more towards the heavier, bitterer taste of actual cacao. So, a small precaution: don’t expect the taste of sugar laden milk chocolate . These babies are pure, raw, satiating, rich, healthy, heavenly.
Raw Chocolate Nibs
Yields 15-18 nibs
* 1 cup raw cacao powder (90 grams)
* 4 T raw coconut oil (60 grams)
* 45 grams dried, shredded coconut
* 1/4 cup Goji berries (or other dried fruit, like cherries)
* 3 T agave (45 grams)
* 1/4 t salt
* 1/4 t vanilla extract
Warm the coconut oil au bain marie. Soak your Goji berries for a few minutes in a little warm water, and drain (optional). Mix all ingredients until the mixture is slightly sticky. Form into balls and flatten. Refridgerate for at least half an hour before eating. Store in the fridge (or freezer).
Tip: enjoy these with your significant other while lounging on the couch one evening
Or go wild all by yourself…
Other ways to enjoy raw cacao: in a smoothie, in mousse, as a sauce (with coconut oil and agave), as truffles: the possibilities are endless! I buy my raw cacao only from iHerb.com, a 450g (1 pound) bag costs €10 and lasts a long time! In Holland, the prices are usually outrageous (€18 for 250 grams) but I found a pretty sweet deal at unlimitedhealth: 500 grams for €14,95. Bonus: use the code NUH241 to get $5 of your iHerb order via some-like-it-raw.
My fav raw chocolate bar!
Have a great day all! Tomorrow I’ll do the CSD review I promised for today