If you are reading this, it is because you love chocolate and the headline caught your attention, right? Well I love chocolate too. A little too much, so I have been on a mission to find a healthy alternative, taking it upon myself to research just how unhealthy our local, store-bought chocolate is. Believe it or not, it’s even worse than you think. Aside from the chemicals and added sugar, most big-name chocolate brands are made with cheap pasteurized skim milk, which is typically filled with steroids, antibiotics, growth-hormones, and goodness-knows what else that we don’t need in our bodies.
For now, let’s just be grateful that there are much healthier alternatives, which we can easily (and I mean easily) prepare in the comfort of home, in under 5 minutes!
My favorite chocolate recipe was invented at home after I researched the myriad benefits of raw cacao powder. Note – I wrote CACAO, not COCOA. Cocoa is processed cacao, and therefore devoid of any enzymatic value. Enzymes (i.e. the ‘spark of life’ give food their high nutrient content. When cacao is roasted at high temperatures to become cocoa, it becomes a dead food, just like any other processed food.
Cacao powder is considered a superfood, and it’s no secret as to why the Mayans called it ‘the drink of the Gods’. Not only is cacao a natural mood enhancer, but it also has one heck of a nutrient profile. Raw cacao is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, potassium, calcium, iron, and is a good source of protein and antioxidants. It’s also a natural antidote for depression, which is why we tend to crave chocolate when we are feeling low!
So….ingredient number one is, of course, raw cold-pressed cacao powder. You will also need:
- Blended raw almonds (great source of calcium)
- Cold-pressed organic coconut oil (the best saturated fat there is – great for brain health)
- Raw/Wild honey – (great antifungal, aids digestion, packed with phytonutrients)
- Organic coconut flakes (increases HDL – the good cholesterol – in the blood)
- Raisins (great source of fibre)
- Optional: Chia seeds (if you need this snack before a heavy workout. Chia seeds are great for muscle recovery).
It’s so easy to make, you can’t possibly go wrong!
- Pour the ground almonds and cacao powder into a bowl (measurements depend on you – do you prefer a nuttier taste, or a more ‘chocolatey’ one?
- Add the coconut flakes and raisins, and chia seeds if you have them (amount is up to you)
- Add the honey, mixing it in with a spoon until you have a slightly gooey texture
- Add the coconut oil, drop by drop, until the mixture becomes less gooey and more of a paste
- Roll into balls (as pictured)
- Dust with coconut flakes or cacao powder
Voila! Not even 5 minutes have passed and you have yourself a chocolate treat. Not bad, eh?
Not only is this snack a healthy and hearty alternative to chocolate, but it packs a punch in energy! This is a great alternative to a Red Bull or coffee break. And even better? You won’t experience the sugar high and crash that you normally would after a chocolate bar, but it will carry you the distance if you eat it before a workout. Try it, and see.
Let me know how you get on in the comments section below. Bon appetit!