Yes that's right, vegan, healthy, raw, antioxidant rich CHOCOLATE (that still tastes decadent). Is it normal (read: healthy) to be in love with a food so much? Let's not answer that ;) I seriously can't believe I haven't been making this forever! No more will I forgo making a recipe because I am out of baking chocolate/chocolate chips. Or become moody because all I want is a piece of chocolate and there is none to be found. Because this is just so easy and healthful that as long as you have 3 basic pantry ingredients, you can make it! The Ingredients Cacao:
- high in antioxidants which protects the cells from toxins and promotes health in so many ways such as improving circulation and reducing cardiovascular risk and repairing and resisting damage done by free radicals, reducing cancers
- increases serotonin and other neurotransmitters- promotes a positive outlook and just makes us feel good!
- rich in minerals like magnesium (deficiencies linked to heart disease, diabetes and joint problems), sulfur (a beauty mineral- helps detoxify your system and promotes healthy skin!), calcium, iron, copper, manganese and potassium
- yes it is composed of mostly saturated fats BUT much of the fatty acids come from lauric acid might is a medium chain fatty acid that is claimed to help combat both viruses and bacteria
- lauric acid also helps prevent heart problems like high cholesterol and blood pressure through it's promotion of "good" cholesterol (HDL) and reduction of "bad" cholesterol (LDL). Also reduces injury to arteries!
- promotes weight loss by increasing metabolism- the fatty acids are super easily absorbed so can be burned instead of being stored. It also supports our organs, such as the pancreas allowing us to burn more energy.
- improves digestions and helps with digestive related problems such as IBS. Also improves absorption of vitamins and minerals! (I can personally attest to this benefit)
I could go on and on about these two stellar ingredients, but basically they act as major health, beauty and mental boosters. They make you look good and feel good from the inside out!
but I remember eating healthy, vegan, raw chocolate :)
I've made this a few times now, using slightly different recipes every time and while I have a favourite, they are all awesome and I suspect they are widely open to interpretation. I stuck to the basic chocolate flavour for now but I seriously can't wait to start incorporating other flavours and textures by adding flavour extracts like peppermint or orange and other add-ins like almonds and goji berries. I serisously have so many ideas of what to do with this I am bursting! I'm going to share with you 2 recipes that I used over the course of my chocolate-making adventure and highlight how they differ and my impressions on the applications they would be best for and finish off with a recipe that includes one of the chocolates. But I mean, just take the basic recipe and go with it! It's so easy, it's almost impossible to mess up! Although it has to be said that I actually did mess up once because of a stupid mistake. BUT don't worry. None of you will make it because you can learn from my example. Do as I say, not as I do (except DO make this because it is amazing).
Procedure: The procedure for both recipes is the same. First, melt the coconut oil over a low heat. REMOVE from the heat as soon as it's melted. Do not leave it on the heat and proceed with the next few steps. If you do, you will be left with chocolate with a funky texture. I think in the chocolate world this has something to do with improper tempering of the chocolate. Basically heating it too much making it get kind of pasty and chunky. It still tasted good but definitely not visually appealing and doesn't have as nice of a mouth-feel. After taking it off the heat sift in the cacao powder and whisk until completely combined. Then add in the sweetener of choice. And that's it! You are ready to do whatever you please! Drizzle it over fruit, pour it into molds or just spread it on a baking sheet and make bars. To get the chocolate to set, put it in the fridge for 10-15 min. One thing to be careful of, is this chocolate gets melty pretty fast, so you should store it in the fridge and be prepared to have a little chocolate left on your fingers after eating it. A little mess never hurt anyone :) Note: I used agave and stevia as my sweeteners in these recipes, but feel free to play around: maple syrup (not raw though) and coconut nectar could be used and honey for the non-vegans! Experiment and see what tastes you like the best!
Raw Chocolate Recipe #1 (Gluten-free, Raw, Refined Sugar-Free)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2/3 cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp agave/coconut nectar/maple syrup
- 5 drops stevia
This one was sweeter than the others, probably really good for people who tend to be into milk chocolate. I found I could detect the stevia in it, which I didn't mind but I think it definitely lended to the intense sweetness. Really nice in small doses for those sweet cravings. If you love sweet chocolate, this one is for you. *And for all the Canadian's out there, these chocolate loonies taste wayyyy better than the cheap ones you buy in the store.
Raw Chocolate Recipe #2 (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Refined Sugar-Free)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2/3 cup cacao powder
- 4 tbsp agave nectar/coconut nectar/maple syrup
This one is still sweet, but more of a chocolately taste. This would be great to make bars with maybe chopped up nuts and dried fruit. Or some peppermint extract and cacao nibs. The possibilities are endless.
Raw Chocolate Recipe #3 (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Refined-Sugar Free)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 5 drops chocolate stevia (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
This one was my favourite. The texture was the same as recipe #1, a little runnier than above. I found that the flavour that came from the agave and the chocolate stevia made for an incredibly rich chocolate, that was, for lack of a better word, more chocolatey than the other two. I have always been partial to darker chocolate so perhaps this is why I enjoyed it so much. I was also ridiculously happy with the way I used this chocolate. Raw Almond Butter Cups. Step aside Reese's there's a new cup in town.
Raw Almond Butter Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Refined-Sugar Free)
- 1 recipe of Raw Chocolate (I used #3, but any will work!)
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp nutritional yeast (trust me here. It helps give the filling a "Reese's taste")
- 8 drops vanilla creme stevia (or some agave to taste)
- pinch of salt
First, you need some muffin liners. I made 4 normal sized ones and 6 min sized. Fill the bottoms of each liner with chocolate making sure the bottom and sides are covered. Should look like this: Put them in the freezer to harden for 10 min and while you wait, mix up the filling. When the chocolate has set, take out of the freezer and put some of the almond butter in the center of the cups. I used about 1 1/2 tsp of the filling for the larger ones and 3/4 tsp for the small. Like so: Next spoon in more chocolate on top of the almond butter and spread it out to the sides of the cups, completely covering the almond butter. Make sure there are no gaps or there will be almond butter peaking through the finished products! Return to the freezer for another 10 min or so until the chocolate has set. Then take them out and try not to eat every single one. It's tough, believe me! I had a little chocolate left over so I decided to dip some strawberries in.
And just in time for St. Patrick's Day:
A little pot of gold with chocolate money :)
Wishing you all a wonderful, chocolate-filled day!