Updated: Mar 15
Raw cacao, hot chocolate, sugar free, anandamide
The first time I saw cacao was in Ecuador, I could not believe this is where we got our chocolate from. I tried the pale flesh, it is sweet and also slightly sour with the texture of lychee. We get the cacao from roasting the brown beans inside.
Since then, I've learnt of the powerhouse of nutritional benefits of raw cacao and I'm happy to share them with you here:
Magnesium helps normal psychological function and energy levels
Copper helps with energy-yielding metabolism
Zinc protects from oxidative stress
Recent research has revealed that cacao contains an ingredient called anandamide, which is a molecule that actually creates a feeling of euphoria and bliss. Cacao in its raw form contains the highest levels of anandamide. Anandamide actually helps to increase neurogenesis, which is the formation of new nerve or brain cells. This also helps to create both an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect - even more reason to enjoy a mug!
Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate Recipe
Makes one big mug
250ml of unsweetened plant-based milk such as pea, almond or coconut. (I like Wunda Unsweetened pea milk, but there are loads to choose from)
2-3 heaped teaspoons of organic cacao powder or even better, organic freshly grated raw cacao
Pinch of cinnamon
Vanilla extract - a couple of drops
Small pinch of Himalayan salt
Simple and super-quick to make: a ritual of wellbeing
Gently heat the plant-based milk in a saucepan.
Add the raw cacao and stir gently.
Add the cinnamon, Himalayan salt and vanilla.
Ensure it is combined and piping hot.
Turn off the heat.
Either using a handheld or electric whisk, whizz up to create a foamy mixture.
Voila! Your hot cacao is ready. Get a good book, put on some tunes, and enjoy.
Sweeter: If you want a sweeter hot chocolate, use a lower-carb sugar replacement, like erythritol. Add one teaspoon to taste. Erythritol is a low-carbohydrate plant-based natural sweetener. It has a much more natural taste than that of stevia.
Creamier: If you want a creamier hot chocolate, add coconut cream or whipped cream, and sprinkle more cacao or cinnamon on top.
Optional Adaptogenic and Medicinal Mushroom Synergistic Boosts
Maca powder: 1-2 tsp - a malty taste, and a fantastic addition to improve energy and libido!
Ashwagandha powder: ½ tsp - relaxing calming effect
Chaga mushroom powder extract: ½ tsp - perfect for adding at your moon times, or if feeling tired and depleted
Reishi powder: ½ tsp - for an extra mood boost. Beware, it is bitter but works a treat to improve sleep and mood!
Grass-fed collagen powder: 1 tsp - a boost of muscle building blocks, great for post-exercise
Orange zest: ½ tsp - for an orangey kick
Drop of rose tincture/tea: for a love boost!
Turmeric: ½ tsp - great for period pains
Essential oil of orange or mint: 1-2 drops - orange or mint choc effect
If you keep the sugar out (this includes honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar), this hot chocolate is a healthy, low-carbohydrate nutritional treat that can easily satisfy sweet cravings.
Buying the good stuff:
Try to get good quality cacao, Fairtrade and organic if possible.
The Natural Dispensary do a good range and you can get 20% off if you use my discount code at the checkout SR20
I recommend the brands Naturya and Organic Traditions
Ceremonial Grade Cacao
This is the highest quality cacao -use as a special treat or for energy work, dances or to share with friends.
My good friend Dani stocks raw cacao from Peru. You can find her on Facebook or Instagram @rawchocomama
Email her to order: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more health-boosting recipes and tips follow me on Instagram @sararooneyherbalist