In this series, we’re going to show you healthy snacks or sweets that you can eat everyday at home that are completely healthy. In this first video we will look at an herbal chocolate.
There has been many interesting scientific studies about chocolate in the past few years proving it’s good health. There's seems to be a lot of confusion about what type of chocolate to eat, and how much (see below for amounts). When using the right type, chocolate can even be used therapeutically. Consuming poor quality chocolate, or one loaded with sugar and chemicals, like anything else is terrible for your health and cancels all the benefits of the antioxidants in chocolate. In order to have a better understanding of the ingredients lets look at the terms:
It's first helpful to understand the distinction between cacao, cocoa and chocolate. Here are some definitions:
- Cacao: Refers to the plant, a small evergreen tree of the species Theobroma cacao, cultivated for its seeds, also known as cacao beans or cocoa beans
- Cocoa: Refers to the powder made from roasted, husked and ground cacao seeds, from which most of the fat has been removed
- Cocoa butter: The fat component of the cacao seed
- Chocolate: The solid food or candy made from a preparation of cacao seeds (roasted); if the cacao seeds are not roasted, then you have "raw chocolate," which is also typically sweetened
What Is The Difference Between Cacao Butter And Cocoa Butter? Both cacao butter and cocoa butter begin the same way. Cocoa butter is heated to a high temperature, whereas cacao butter is not. The difference is in the end product: cacao is more pure with a higher number of antioxidants.
Cacao butter is used a great all natural moisturizer (as you will see in my deodorant here) Studies have also shown eating it has a list of benefits that include improved memory, mood, and boost immunity.
See the list of the incredible benefits of chocolate below.
How to Make a Healthy Chocolate
- In a double boiler, place equal amounts of coco (cacao) butter and coconut oil and melt. You can add raw organic grass fed butter as well, if you can get it.
- - ½ cup of Cocoa butter
- - ½ cup of Coconut oil
- - ¼ cup or 4 table spoons of Cocao Powder
- - 3 table spoons of natural sweetener any one or combination of lohan, xilitol, organic honey, or stevia.
- - 1 Pinch of Pink Salt (1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)
You can also add a small amount of any other ingredients you like such as, cinnamon, vanilla, mint, or ground coffee beans, almond butter, or whey protein.
If you can get organic grass fed butter split the coconut oil to ¼ cup and ¼ cut of the butter. Note: These raw healthy fats (cocoa butter, coconut oil, grass fed butter) are great for you and do not stimulate and insulin release or resistance, which is the primary reason we gain weight.
- After melted and mixed together, pour into chocolate mold, or plate (non-plastic).
- In a plate you can pour it over bananas and organic peanut butter (when frozen is a great snack in itself), over almonds, over hemp seeds or any other nuts. I usually sprout the nuts and dehydrate them first.
You can use any of these sweeteners Lo Han Purelo Lo Han Sweetener (Monk Fruit) 7 oz (200 grams) Pwdr
Xylitol Now Foods Xylitol, 2.5 pound bag
Organic Peanut Butter - Maranatha Pnut Btr, Og, Crmy, Salt, 16-Ounce
Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate contains flavonoids. These are antioxidants that have cardiovascular benefits, studies have shown they reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation, can control diabetes, may improve cognition in older adults, may reduce slowing of fatigue and depression, may help prevent disease and more.
(I don’t recommend taking flavonoids in supplement form because they have side effects such as nausea and headache and more. They are helpful in small amounts found in dark chocolate such as this one, not so as much with commercial chocolate because they contain sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.)
Cacao also contains antioxidant called epicatechin that is thought to help shield nerve cell damage. The Kuna’s of Panama who consume up to 40 cups a week of this have less than a 10% risk of stroke, heart failure, caner and diabetes.
Cacao is also high in the antioxidant resveratrol found to help protect your nervous system.
According to Ori Hofmekler, health advocate & author of the Warrior Diet, in order to fully benefit from chocolate, you'd have to consume about 3.5 to 7 ounces per day. He states:
- "The problem is that even the healthiest dark chocolate brands today are not designed for such a large consumption. Yes, a moderate serving of three to four ounces of dark chocolate per day may be sufficient enough to affect your blood sugar and waist size."
Note if you are buying chocolatebe sure it is dark chocolate with the highest percentage possible, preferable 70% or higher. Milk chocolate is never a good option because it contains pasteurized milk, which is bad for you, and large quantities of sugar. White chocolate is also high in sugar and contains none of the phytonutrients, so is not a good option either. I would also avoid any of these that contain any artificial sweeteners. Also avoid cane sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sugar malt, maple, honey, dates, rice syrup, tapioca syrup, coconut sugar, or molasses. The same holds true for chocolates made with sugar alcohol or artificial sweeteners. These will cause bloating, digestive disrupting and toxic side effects. Also avoid any GMO cocoa beans and buy organic.
As with anything else, overindulging can have side effects. Eating more than a your body can handle could cause trouble sleeping because of the caffeine, or other issues such as depression, aggression. So pay attention to your body and how it reacts.