No longer does anyone need to feel guilty about eating chocolate. Dark chocolate that is. I’m so amazed and impressed with how often I’m able to find quality artisan dark chocolate, almost anywhere I go now! If you know me, you know that I’m obsessed with hunting out the quality chocolates wherever I am . . it might be in a new country, new city or just at different coffee shops and grocery stores. To get the healthy benefits from it I always go 70% and up . . . and 70% is even when there’s NOTHING higher around. I prefer 100% myself but anywhere 85% and up is ideal for me, and I believe the ideal to go with for more benefits. Trust me, it’s still delicious, way more than that sugary milk chocolate! Basically, the darker the better and if you can get raw cacao, even more of a bonus! I will list some benefits first of all with dark chocolate, and then I will give you my own recipe for one of my superfood chocolates (which I’ve always kept secret unit this blog), which just supercharges the health and and taste even more!
Raw chocolate (cacao) is THE highest antioxidant food on the planet and one of the top longevity foods. Right there, it’s already a winner. It’s super high in magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, Vitamin C, chromium, fiber and Omega-6 fatty acids. It’s also high in theobromine, which helps for cardiovascular support, and anandamide, the “bliss chemical” . . basically it’s an aphrodisiac and elevates mood and energy, always a good thing.:) It also acts as a support for the absorption of nearly all other vital nutrients.
I use dark chocolate often for clients that have a sweet tooth but either need to go off the sugar for health reasons and/or want to loose weight, as it’s a natural appetite suppressant. Of course, everything in moderation, and anything but 100% still has some sugar in it. As well, all cacao and chocolate also have some caffeine. I always have my chocolate bit in the morning or early afternoon to not interfere with sleep, as I’m sensitive to both sugar and caffeine. Find what works with you, but have fun with all the amazing lovely dark chocolates out there. And experiment with my recipe to add some bonus nutrition and taste!
Fig and Ginger Superfood Chocolate Bars
*All of these measurements are for 1 serving. Also, much is based on your preference, so have fun with it!
**I use 100% often for this recipe because the figs provide some sweetness. If you’re used to sweeter, I would start with 70% and work your way over time to higher percentages.
4 squares of a 3.5 oz chocolate bar (if your bar is a different weight, look to see what 1 serving is on the back, and that will be your guide as to how much to break off)
2 figs (dried, not fresh), chopped into small chunks
1/2 Tbl of freshly grate ginger root
pinch of black truffle sea salt
1/2 Tbl of coconut oil
1 tsp spirulina powder
hemps seeds to garnish
Cookie cutters (any size and shapes you want)
1 tsp chia seeds or toasted quinoa (I like a crunch in my chocolates! Either of these provide that and great nutrition. Toasted quinoa is easy to make, just google a recipe online. I make up a large batch and keep it in the fridge to use)
1 tsp mushroom powder (optional . . I use an immune mix of mushrooms that I buy in powder form. They don’t add any taste, but I get the nutrition)
Heat the coconut oil in a pan on very low heat and add the chocolate. Let it melt down just a little and then add all the other ingredients. I leave out just a little ginger and cut figs for garnish on top. Mix all the ingredients together over low heat until well mixed. For some brands of chocolate, you may need to add a bit more oil if it’s looking too dry and not mixing well. But you don’t want it too runny so that it sets up. I place the cookie cutters on top of wax paper on a plate. I spoon the chocolate mixture into the cookie cutters, then sprinkle hemp seeds on top and garnish with just a little grated ginger and fig bits. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes on the plate, then take out and transfer to a tupperware with a lid and either place back in the freezer or fridge to solidify more. If you’re wanting to eat right away, they should be ready in about 15 minutes in the freezer. You can pop them out of the cookie cutters and enjoy! I eat them as my breakfast at mid-morning. Healthy and filling!