Cacao Is An Olympic Food! Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Candy Bars!

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“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson

I know it is always strange on cooking shows when the cook eats the food and says how good it is.  But I am going to toot my own horn here and say wowsa I knocked this one out of the park!!

mmmmmm! dreamy!

 Okay so I might be taking the Olympic thing a little far, but I wouldn’t be over the top in saying a little Cacao would probably boost even the best Olympic athletes a little bit.

Beans
Powder
Butter
Nibs
Paste

Cacao (chocolate) is one of the most delicious and healthy super foods that exist.  It is beneficial with PMS symptoms, good for metabolizing glucose, keeping the heart healthy, easing depression and it also helps as a delivery agent for many other super-foods like mushrooms, goji berries and spirulina.  In addition to supporting cardiac health and lifting moods, cacao is well-known to east symptoms of PMS, enhance glucose metabolism and may even help prevent colon cancer.


“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz.

In it’s most natural form cacao is a seed.  Everything chocolate comes from a seed and is called cocoa beans.  Chocolate does not have sugar or dairy not unless you add it.  If you want a delicious, high energy weight loss food; chocolate is your bean!

What is in chocolate and what it does

Magnesium – #1 source of
heart, brain, muscle cramping, elimination, alkaline, bone strength
Iron
blood
Chromium
balances blood sugar

Copper
blood, immunity
Manganese
blood

Vitamin C
Zinc
immunity, liver, pancreas, skin

 

Omega-6 Fatty Acids
(healthy unless chocolate is cooked…then it is a trans fat)
Phenylethlamine
focus, alertness, appetite suppressant
Anandamide
endorphin (same as what is released after exercising)
Tryptophan
mood enhancing,
Seratonin
stress defense (feel good)
Fiber
elimination
Methylxantines
antibacterial, cardiovascular
Oxalic Acid
(when cooked is bad for the kidneys)

There are also many good reasons to eat chocolate only when raw.  The oxalic acid and omega 6 fatty acids become problematic (trans fat and oxalates).  There are a lot of delicious ways to use raw cacao.  You can buy nibs, powder and cacao butter.  One of the special qualities cacao has for is to hide the flavor of foods that don’t taste so great.  You can eat spirulina with cacao and never even taste it.

 

Not your momma’s hershey bar! (no offense momma!)

these are seriously dark chocolate lover’s bars!

IMG_2710[1]

the simple ingredients! with any kind of add-ins you like! today I am adding in raisins, gogi berries, coconut, cacao nibs, and pistachios (not pictured a sprinkling of mesquite powder).

1/2 cup cocoa powder (raw cacao if you prefer)

4 Tbls. Coconut Oil – option to trade in up to 1 Tbls cocoa butter

raisins

gogi

pistachios

stevia (nu naturals is my preferred for this) – this varies greatly to taste,  so start with 10 drops

(If you don’t prefer stevia you can sub. in 1-1 1/2 Tbls liquid sweetener of choice -I recommend Maple syrup)

 *note I love bitter stuff so don’t hesitate to add more sweetener to taste but remember when you add sweet dried fruits and things that will help the sweet factor too so don’t go overboard – this is a recipe made for customization for sure!*  A little peanutbutter melted in would make it so fudgy! Or peppermint extract!  Please tell me what you try!

Melt the coconut oil/cocoa butter in a small sauce pan on low heat.

When melted turn off heat, let cool a little so that it is warm to touch but not hot.

Whisk in cocoa powder, add sweetener of choice and all of your add-ins of choice.  I really like to pack these with stuff!  Especially raisins – I am a huge sucker for chocolate covered raisins!

Then pour into your  molds or containers.  Mine are standard muffin tin size so they make really big hockey puck style chocolate bars.  This is a little bit of over kill, perhaps mini muffin cups would be good!  Stick them in the fridge or freezer depending on how much patience you have.  Eat em!!!!!

 

melt your coconut oil and optional cocoa butter on low heat, turn off heat as soon as it is melted, let cool slightly.

melt your coconut oil and optional cocoa butter on low heat, turn off heat as soon as it is melted, let cool slightly.

 

add cocoa powder to the warm oil.

add cocoa powder to the warm oil.

whisk it all in so there are no lumps of powder - add liquid sweetener of choice.

whisk it all in so there are no lumps of powder – add liquid sweetener of choice.

 

I love to stuff my chocolate full of fruits and nuts!

I love to stuff my chocolate full of fruits and nuts!

pour in to your chocolate shapes or molds of choice.  these are a little bit gigantic for a bar but they are cute!  try mini muffin papers or tins.  I like to top them off with more stuff just because!

pour in to your chocolate shapes or molds of choice. these are a little bit gigantic for a bar but they are cute! try mini muffin papers or tins. I like to top them off with more stuff just because!

 

These rock especially if you love dark chocolate!  You do need to store them in the fridge and eat soonish because they are melt in your mouth delicious!

 

Ohhhhhh Yeahhhhh! She Shoots She Scores!

Ohhhhhh Yeahhhhh! She Shoots She Scores!

I know it is always strange on cooking shows when the cook eats the food and says how good it is.  But I am going to toot my own horn here and say wowsa I knocked this one out of the park!!

I know it is always strange on cooking shows when the cook eats the food and says how good it is. But I am going to toot my own horn here and say wowsa I knocked this one out of the park!!

 

You can make protein bars with raw cacao and hemp protein and a few other wonderful ingredients including coconut oil.

There are so many raw goodies you can make with cacao that are really healthy.  The one feeling I think I can say that I consistently get when eating chocolate is “decadence”, frivolous and lovely indulgence of the sweetest and healthiest kind.  I make smoothies with cacao, coconut milk, banana, spinach and that is it. It is healthy as can be and it tastes delicious!

David Wolfe’s established recommended moderate daily intake is 1 cacao bean per 11-17 pounds of body weight.  If you weigh 150 pounds you would eat about 10 cacao beans a day.

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What is your favorite chocolate food? Please share!

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