Here it is, y'all! The long awaited chocolate recipe!
Ever since I shared that I make this chocolate weekly and stash it in my freezer, so many of you have contacted me asking for the recipe. The truth is, I didn't really have an exact science for the recipe. I have been making it for so long (about four years!) so at this point I sort of just throw all of the ingredients together and it makes perfect dark chocolate. I did a little experimenting and I *think* I've found the perfect recipe to share with you.
Before we get started, I wanted to give a little background info. I feel like in today's world when you see "healthy" and "chocolate" in the same sentence people are immediately thinking, "well, that probably won't taste good..." or "yeah...right. that can't be true." but please promise that you will give this one a chance! My husband and I started our healthy eating journey nearly six years ago when we found out we were food sensitive (and in his case, highly allergic and reactive) to many foods. We both mourned the loss of many of our comfort foods but we quickly got back up and decided to find things that worked.
That's when we met raw cacao.
Who knew chocolate could be so HEALTHY!? Raw cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging and disease caused by free radicals. It contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional powder, and has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world. Say whhaaattt?? If that isn't enough for you to be convinced, peep these five benefits of raw cacao.
- It has 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries.
- Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
- Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
- More Calcium Than Cow's Milk.
- A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant
Healthy chocolate full of health benefits... LET'S GO!
The five ingredients in this chocolate are raw cacao powder, coconut oil, raw local honey, vanilla, and himalayan sea salt. So not only is the cacao good for you... ALL of the other ingredients have health benefits as well. Basically it's the chocolate dream team.
Coconut oil can get a bad rep because it's high fat content. But I'm all about that good fat. Have you ever heard of the KETO diet? We've been brainwashed to think fat is bad, but if you get the right kind of fat, it's so so good. Coconut oil is known to control blood sugar, help prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and help with digestion...just to name a few.
Raw honey is my favorite natural sweetener. Honey can help with everything from low energy to sleep problems to seasonal allergies. Substituting raw honey instead of sugar and high fructose corn syrup is bound to help with weight loss if that's something you are concerned with. You can read more about the benefits of raw honey here.
I always thought vanilla extract was just a good way to add some extra flavor to things, but it turns out it has some health benefits as well. It's proven to lower cholesterol, act as an antibacterial, and reduce inflammation in the body.
Personally, I love my chocolate salted. A few years ago we switched to himalayan sea salt and I promise, you can taste the difference. Not to mention it helps balance the electrolytes in your body, increases hydration (seems backwards, right?), balance the pH of your body to help reduce reflux, help the function of your metabolism, among many other things. If you want to read more about switching from table salt to himalayan sea salt, check this out. We also have himalayan salt lamps in each of our rooms and at first I thought it was just a pretty ambiance, but I swear I have noticed a difference in all of our sleep habits, including my children's!! Basically a mother's dream come true.
Wondering where you can find all of these ingredients? We order from Thrive Market about 1-2 times per month. We have been on a strict budget (hi, one income family!) for the past several years, so my husband did his research on how to save us money on our grocery bill. And I really mean research. He curated a spreadsheet where he listed all of the staples we purchase regularly. He took the prices from Whole Foods, Publix, Trader Joes, and Harris Teeter and listed them for each product. He then went onto Thrive Market and compared each price. He found us some killer savings!
Unfortunately health food is expensive, and we aren't willing to compromise our health. If it doesn't fit into our budget, we don't buy it, but Thrive Market has saved us in this area and we are so thankful! We purchase most things from there, but when we don't, we shop around on Amazon. If you're interested in the best things to purchase from Thrive, let me know and I'd be happy to share in a new post!
We got the raw cacao from Thrive, but you can also find it on Amazon(linked above). The coconut oil is from Costco, because that's the most cost efficient for our budget, but you can find it in the link above on Amazon. The vanilla is from Trader Joe's, and the himalayan sea salt is also from Costco. We fill our little salt shaker from the big salt container that has lasted us nearly a year (or maybe more!). We always look for raw local honey for a few reasons. First, to support local bee farmers, and second to help with our seasonal allergies. Not to mention it has the best health benefits when it's raw and unfiltered. But you can definitely use pure maple syrup instead if you'd prefer. Trader Joe's has a good maple syrup for a good price! This one is from Publix, but it looks similar at TJ's.
Now for the recipe!
Step 1: Melt coconut oil in a pan on low heat or in a double broiler. It doesn't have to be fully melted, and you want to make sure it doesn't get too hot.
Step 2: Add all ingredients to a food processor, we use this one. I will use the smallest container for this recipe. It was a wedding gift (six years ago!) and it still works great! Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds or so.
Step 3: Put a piece of parchment paper in a cake pan or glass tupperware. Friendly tip, don't skip the parchment paper.
Step 4: Pour the chocolate into the prepared dish and spread it out to be as thin or as thick as you'd like it.
Step 5: Put into the freezer to harden. This usually takes about 10-20 minutes.
That's it! I take small bites throughout the day to get my chocolate fix...I mean, to get my full magnesium intake. ;) You can also add walnuts, raisins, goji berries, or whatever other healthy fix-in you'd prefer.
You can get away with much less honey, but I adapted this recipe with the thought that most people are used to really sweet treats. I typically put only 1/4c, if that, but if you like your chocolate sweet, you'll want to stick with the full 1/2 cup. Feel free to experiment with your own rations of the ingredients!
The possibilities are really endless with this recipe. I made my son peanut butter cups for Easter, and we've also drizzled it on coconut milk ice cream as an extra special treat. You can also put it in a tupperware and store in the fridge for an "icing" like treat or a chocolate dip. Or to just eat spoonfuls. :) See what I mean, endless possibilities!
You can find the links to all of the ingredients above. I've added them here to make it helpful for you to find anything you need, but obviously feel free to shop around if you find the ingredients elsewhere.
Now go TREAT YO SELF to some healthy chocolate!!
Be sure to come back and let me know what you think about it!