Did you know that chocolate in its purest form comes from a nut?
The Cacao bean originates in South America with a deep history embedded in the Aztec and Mayan cultures, often used in rituals. In the 1500’s the Spanish conquistadors discovered the Aztec’s using the cacao bean as a means to purchase and trade. They took the bean back to Europe, added sugar and milk powder to develop chocolate as it is commonly known.
Raw cacao does not contain sugar or diary, although not to be confused with cocoa. Raw cacao is just pure chocolate! And, it is loaded with nutrients – antioxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, Omega 6 and a bunch of other essential components to the body such as tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin. We know that serotonin is the ‘feel good’ hormone so we want lots of that!
There are many plant based chocolate bars appearing on the market providing lots of choice. While these don’t contain artificial sweeteners or dairy, they often have a natural form of sweetener as a replacement. Sweeteners such as agave, rice syrup or coconut sugar. These can be high on the glycemic index so it can be helpful to learn how to read labels to ensure you are making wise choices for you and your family. However, we all love a treat from time to time and you should enjoy those moments.
Raw cacao powder is readily available in stores making it super easy to get creative and add to your own delicious recipes. From protein balls, to avocado chocolate mousse, to cacao hot chocolate. Cacao pairs beautifully with chilli or cinnamon or vanilla bean. Add it to your coffee or smoothie or chia pots or porridge. Its versatility means its not just a desert, but can added to any meal.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.
Photo by Jenni Miska on Unsplash