Chocolate. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve eaten and enjoyed many different shades of chocolate in my 34 years on this earth, but my one true love is and always will be; dark chocolate. And I can say without a single doubt that the best dark chocolate I’ve ever had, is the one that I make at home. It’s just the right amount of bitter, just the right amount of sweet. It’s rich, decadent, satisfying-it’s everything.
Here’s some fun facts about cacao, from one of my favourite books called Genius Foods:
“Some of the most impactful benefits of eating chocolate, a naturally fermented food, come from its abundance of flavanols, a type of polyphenol. Cocoa flavanols have been shown to reverse signs of cognitive aging and improve insulin sensitivity, vascular function, and blood flow to the brain, and even athletic performance”
Now you can feel really good about your chocolate eating habit, assuming you chose your chocolate carefully…
“To start, check the label to make sure that the cocoa has not been “processed with alkali”, also known as Dutch processing (usually it will say on the ingredient list, right next to the cocoa). Such processing greatly degrades the phytonutrient content of cocoa, taking what would otherwise be beneficial and turning it into empty calories. The amount of sugar contained in store-bought chocolate varies widely-you want something with minimal sugar and a high percentage of cacao, so look for a chocolate with a cacao content above 80%.”
Or better yet, make your own! Here’s my basic recipe,
- ½ cup of virgin coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup of cacao powder (raw is best)
- ¼ cup of natural almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of powdered erythritol or preferred low-carb sweetener
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup of toasted unsweetened coconut, roasted almond or cashew pieces, your choice *optional, if you like some texture in your chocolate
- Start by melting coconut oil. You can do so in a pan, or a double boiler.
- Poor melted oil into a mixing bowl and gradually add each ingredient, making sure to incorporate it well before adding the next.
- Once all ingredients are mixed and your truffle mixture is nice & smooth, you can add coconut or nut pieces, then pour or scoop into a silicone mold. Place in the freezer and allow mix to set, usually about 2 hours.