Chocolates are always a delight to eat at any age. Although chocolates were always termed as causing tooth decay and adding to unnecessary body weight, the rich dark chocolate is certified as having health benefits. This sends a surge of happiness among chocolate lovers as they can eat the chocolates as much as they can and reap the health benefits at the same time.
However, it is to be noted that the health benefits associated with chocolates is not your average chocolate that you’re buy over the counter, the real good thing is named as cacao; this one can benefit your health in many decent ways.
Differences Between Cocoa and Cacao
Now the confusion goes over cacao and cocoa. Cacao and cocoa butter are the main ingredients in your beloved chocolate. Cocoa is obtained by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans. Cocoa and Cacao are similar in looks but altogether different. Raw cacao when roasted at high temperatures converts into Cocoa powder.
However, roasting unfortunately changes the cocoa bean’s molecular structure. While roasting the enzyme content gets reduced and the nutritional value goes down. Therefore even if the medicinal properties of dark chocolate are proven, the chocolates that we consume are not actually helping us as they do not contain cacao in the real form.
While it is an arduous task to give up on chocolate completely, there’s a way where you can incorporate healthy raw cacao chocolates to substitute your regular chocolates and reap all the health benefits. One of the best ways to cheat on your diet and yet maintain your health levels is to make the food that you like in your own way. This is the way you can use the healthiest of the ingredients and also have the food you have been craving for.
Even the most popular brand that you almost swear by, cannot guarantee you the real chocolate. Most chocolate manufacturing empires use cocoa butter with other vegetable oils which actually make your chocolate something other than chocolate. That is the irony of it. Although research advocates consumption of dark chocolate, it is of utmost importance that you understand the least processed chocolates which will actually be beneficial.
Dark Chocolate has higher assimilation of antioxidants compared to milk chocolate. Milk chocolate on the other hand contains a high level of sugar or fructose which leads to fat accumulation in the body. Raw Cacao is known to have many health benefits. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in cacao in а high quantity. It is known to be an important element in protecting your nervous system.
As many studies have confounded cacao helps prevent controlling blood pressure. Magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and potassium are also found in good proportions. Also it is the eternal mood fixer. Whenever you are feeling low, eat that cacao laden chocolate and you’ll soon find yourself in high spirits. Some studies have even shown it to be effective against cancer.
You will be surprised to know that you can make your own chocolate and that too as healthy as possible. This simple recipe will only require 3 ingredients and is sure to fill your chocolate craving albeit with all the nutritional value intact. This is like having your chocolate and eating it too! The best part is that it doesn’t consume much of your time and you will not feel guilty about indulging in an extra bite or two.
The Real Chocolate Recipe
- ½ cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 4-6 tablespoons of raw honey
You can also go for organic cacao powder to make it even healthier. The ingredients can be easily sourced and now with so many online grocery shopping options available it is all the easier.
Take a medium sized bowl. Put the entire ingredient together in it and mix it thoroughly. Please note that you can vary the quantity of honey as per your taste. Considering that this will be a dark chocolate, do not make it overly sweet.
A hand blender can really be of great help to make a smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture into various molds as per your liking to give your chocolates a unique shape and appeal. Keep the mold in the fridge for approximately one hour.
You very own home made, completely delicious yet healthy chocolate is ready. You can take out the chocolates a few minutes before you actually want to consume it. You can make variations in the recipe by experimenting with different flavors. Vanilla Extract, adding chopped roasted nuts, berries etc can give you really tasty and healthy results.
The most important part of making your own chocolate is that your body is getting the exact nutritional value from cacao that is unadulterated. It is not only appealing but also delicious to have. Apart from helping you stay healthy it will surely save you a lot of money which you would otherwise spend on buying chocolates which are not the real chocolates in any case.