Chocolate is vegan
Chocolate is widely known as a delectable treat; a romantic gesture, a guilty pleasure and a natural product that has you marvelling at diversity of what the world beyond man made products has and can create. Chocolate has you thinking there might just be a god.
There is cacao and cocoa and often confused; are they one the same? Let see.
‘Theobroma cacao’ aka the cacao tree; produces seeds and beans and after the harvesting, fermenting, drying, roasting, extracting, and grinding either cacao is produced; minimally processed or cocoa which is the highly processed form of the bean. Well, that’s explains it then.
Today we are more familiar with the final product of the cacao bean; we identify cacao as being chocolate which after all the processing has been carried out and the cocoa liquor and cocoa butter is produced, manufacturers add sugar along with traditionally dairy milk to blend to then make your favourite chocolate product. It is worth noting, any milk; dairy or non-dairy can be added to cocoa to make chocolate.
Going back a step before you think the highly identifiable chocolate bar or block; ‘chocolate’ products come in many forms and one of our most recommended is the raw unprocessed version; cacao; both powder and nibs.
Again, cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa. This unprocessed and raw product tastes a little different to the cocoa products we are generally more accustomed too; bitter in taste; which is an indication of its nutritional potency it’s seen as the ‘healthier’ version of cocoa and in a way, yes, they are right, it is.
The better choice
Raw is [considered] better than processed so this is where you read ‘choose cacao’ plus being raw it contains more minerals and antioxidants. Looking at cocoa which is the more processed version of the cacao bean; it’s roasted and processed to cut the bitterness by adding sugar making it taste more attractive I guess, and this is more so what we think of when we think lovely sweet chocolate; but we want to encourage you to eat your chocolate and benefit from it too.
Time to taste different
When a natural product such as cacao is minimally processed, it maintains all the impressive nutrients, and this must taste better than the alternative right? We have become more accustomed to the sweet flavours of cocoa that our taste buds are shifting further away from the raw earthly tastes of cacao, and we want to change this.
Otherwise known as a Superfood
Cacao is one of the many original superfoods that were most talked about in the early 2000’s; these years were the boom of health and wellness; when we started looking at the benefits of natural, minimally processed foods because highly manufactured foods were starting to show their true colours; disease and obesity.
Cacao is packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients; B group vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, tryptophan (amino acid), copper and theobromine along with more antioxidants that blueberries and green tea combined.
Cacao is a nutritional powerhouse, and all this equates too greater:
- cognitive function
- energy levels
- cellular health
- release of feel-good hormones
Your daily ritual
When it comes to incorporating your new chocolate into your daily routine; then let’s start with the products you are looking to use:
- Earthy tones that are slightly bitter
- Use in both sweet and savoury dishes, chocolate mousse, muffins, brownies even Mexican bean stew and hot drinks.
- Slightly chewy in texture; tastes like unsweetened dark chocolate.
- Use in both sweet and savoury dishes; substitute for chocolate chips, use as a topping to breakfast bowls and added to smoothies for an extra nutritional kick.
Cooler weather brew
As we put the warmer months behind us; we are moving into the seasons of a greater need for warmth and hibernation; we are grounding our practices to look more inwards for greater peace and tranquillity.
To help move through the next few months; we recommended adding a new habit into your day; a warming cacao latte (and yes this can replace your morning coffee/caffeine fix).
All you need to make a warm brew of comfort is:
- ½ cup hot water
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp maca [optional]
- Heat water and milk in a small saucepan until very hot but not boiling.
- Pour into a blender.
- Add cacao power and maca if using.
- Blend until frothy.
- Pour into a cup and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Often chocolate; powder or solid is viewed as a food that is not good for you. But as you have read, in its purest form, it has numerous health benefits due to its nutrient profile.
We thank you, nature, for providing us with this delicious natural made product that we so love and adore that helps accelerate our health and wellbeing.