I LOVE CHOCOLATE. Especially healthy chocolate recipes that are easy to make and oh so delicious.
Before I jump into sharing my NEWEST Healthy Chocolate Recipes, let’s review! Here’s Ayurveda’s low down on CHOCOLATE…
1. In its raw form – as in raw cacao or cacao nibs – raw chocolate is bitter – a taste that encourages healthy elimination.
2. Chocolate is warming. It can really light a fire in your belly and even help you digest a heavy meal. Ever noticed how after-dinner dark chocolate helps you feel a little lighter?
3. It’s a stimulant, an aphrodisiac, and has soothing and sedating properties. In fact, when you’re looking for a brain boost, look no farther. Chocolate’s theobromine content naturally stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain that help you feel blissful, loving, and smart.
4. Did you know? Chocolate is packed with nutrients! including antioxidants and the anti-stress mineral, we all need more of – magnesium.
5. Chocolate is both rajasic (stimulating) and tamasic (dulling). It increases all 3 doshas and, when used in the right amount and without excess, it can help turn around depression.
6. Quality Matters. When it comes to chocolate, it’s the QUALITY of ingredients that make or break how health-giving it is for you. Most chocolate is prepared with white sugar, which doesn’t do anyone any good. And some people just can’t tolerate it – they break out in skin rashes or worse. In that case, carob powder is your friend – and a highly nutritive substitute for chocolate.
7. Allergic to or over-stimulated by chocolate? No worries! When you make your own chocolate recipes, you can always substitute raw cacao powder with nourishing, cooling carob powder – either raw or roasted. It’s surprisingly delicious.
I wrote out some of my favorite, time-tested recipes to share with you today – ones that show off chocolate’s more beneficial side due to the stellar ingredients featured alongside chocolate in it’s whole, raw form – cacao.
But first! If you want to taste for yourself how incredible raw chocolate can be, explore a few of my personal favorite brands! Here are their links and what I love about each one.
Coracao – Their truffles. All of them. I need not say more…
Elements Truffles – I discovered this Ayurveda Inspired Artisinal Chocolate company when I went to visit my friend and colleague Divya Alter (at her NYC Ayurvedic restaurant, Divya’s Kitchen!) Elements Truffles is made by one of Divya’s Ayurvedic cooking students. Their chocolate is pure heaven and made from raw honey – which they manage to keep at low temperatures to preserve the enzymes and health benefits. Listen to some of their Ayurveda inspired flavors… Raspberry with Beetroot (this one is probably my fave. Divya’s, too). Sea salt with Turmeric. Maple Toffee Crunch with Moringa. Ginger with Black Pepper Infusion. WOW. They also make my all-time favorite hot drinking chocolate – with Ashwagandha or Turmeric!
Chocalatl– They run with the concept of food as medicine by making a bunch of herb-infused varieties. What I really love about this brand is their adorable, compostable packaging that reminds you to “Give Thanks for Chocolate” when you open it up.
Lulu’s – Graceful simplicity, high-integrity ingredients, and a woman behind it that’s a super high-vibration, healing mama! She has a new line of micro-dose cannabis chocolate which I can’t wait to try. Her truffles are to die for, too. I love the Maca Butter and Hazelnut Love Truffles.
RAD Chocolate – My newest discovery. I love it because it’s vegan, organic, small-batch, made with maple sugar, California based, and, of course, RAD (with the same name as my RAD Cleanse seasonal detox programs!) Here’s what it says on their label: “Good for the heart. Even the broken one. Improves memory retention to never forget what good chocolate should taste like.”
When I come up with chocolate recipes, I aim to make them rich and special – a true experience of the senses. I add touches that make it easy to digest and beneficial for the body in a big way.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Yield: About 20 chocolates
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup raw cacao butter, melted
½ cup raw cacao or roasted carob powder, use carob for Pitta
½ cup raw almond butter or pumpkin seed butter
¼ cup maple syrup, coconut nectar, or Jerusalem artichoke syrup
½ teaspoon good quality, mineral-rich salt
2 teaspoons Spirulina
1 teaspoon Ashwagandha or Shatavari powder, optional
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder, omit for Pitta
½ cup raw walnuts, crushed, optional
Use a high-speed blender to combine the coconut oil, cacao butter, raw cacao powder, almond butter, maple syrup, salt, spirulina, optional ashwagandha, and cayenne.
Once smooth, transfer the chocolate to a bowl and stir in the optional walnuts. Pour into greased (with coconut oil) silicone candy molds. Chill in the freezer until solid, about 20 minutes.
Store Every Day RAD Chocolates in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 weeks. Serve chilled.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
4 Cups Milk – full fat is best. Cashew, Coconut, or Macadamia milk works, too (use plant milk for Kapha)
4 whole Cardamom Pods, optional
2 whole cloves, optional
3 teaspoons Coconut Sugar, omit for Kapha
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Good Salt
8-ounce Chocolate Bar, chopped – maximum 60% cacao
Two drops Orange or Grapefruit essential oil, optional (I use doTERRA brand)
Zest of one organic Lemon, optional
Chop the chocolate into small pieces (small enough that the chocolate is able to easily dissolve into the milk). Set aside.
Put the milk, cardamom pods, and cloves into a small, thick-bottomed pot on low heat and bring to a low simmer. Whisk once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
After 10 minutes, remove the milk from heat. Allow the cardamom and clove to steep for 5 more minutes. Strain the milk, place it back in the pot and return it to a simmer.
Add the vanilla, salt, and chocolate and whisk vigorously until the chocolate has melted. Heat for another 3 to 4 minutes, constantly stirring, and add the optional essential oil. Serve.
If you want, add a dollop of whipped cream to each serving. Garnish each cup with a pinch of lemon zest.
Preparation Time: 90 minutes + additional overnight fridge time
Yield: About 35 Truffles
First, make the Brazil nut ganache…
1 cup raw Brazil nuts
1 cup water
1 drop Rose essential oil, optional (I use Floracopeia brand)
1/2 cup raw cacao butter or coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup, coconut nectar, or agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces raw cacao powder or carob powder, by weight
1/2 teaspoon ground rose petals, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
Put the Brazil nuts, water, and optional rose essential oil into a blender. Puree until the nuts are completely broken down and the cream is smooth. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain through a nut milk bag (not a whole lot of water will filter out, FYI).
Melt the cacao butter using a double boiler method. Meanwhile, transfer the nut cream back to the blender and add the maple syrup, salt, cacao powder, and optional spices. Blend until smooth. Once the cacao butter is liquid, turn the blender back on and slowly, slowly, slowly add the melted cacao butter until smooth. Pour into a container and set in the fridge or freezer until the mixture has totally firmed up (I leave mine in the fridge overnight).
Scoop out 1-inch to 2-inch sized ganache truffles, rolling them into balls with your hands. Set them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze the ganache truffles for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate coating…
1 ¾ cups cacao butter, melted
¾ teaspoon vanilla bean powder, optional
11 ounces raw cacao powder, by weight
¾ cup Sucanat, finely ground in a coffee grinder
½ cup, minus 2 teaspoons, raw agave nectar or maple syrup
Melt the cacao butter using the double boiler method over medium-high heat. Pour it into a high-speed blender with the vanilla. Blend until smooth – just 10 seconds.
Pour one cup of the melted cacao butter into a food processor with half of the raw cacao powder. Leave the remaining cacao butter-vanilla mix in the blender. Process for 1 minute. Stop to add the salt and Sucanat. Resume processing for 1 minute.
Go back to your blender and give the cacao butter-vanilla combination another whirl. While still blending, slowly add the agave. Once incorporated (give it one minute), transfer this mixture to the one in the food processor and process for 1 minute.
Stop to add the remaining cacao powder and process for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the work bowl with a spatula as needed. Use immediately. Dip the frozen Brazil Nut Ganache balls into the raw chocolate (or pour the chocolate over the balls – whatever works). Let them set on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving. WOW!
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Yield: About 16 Pieces
½ cup raw cacao butter or coconut oil
1 to 2 heart-shaped silicone ice cube trays*
2 teaspoons coconut oil or olive oil
½ cup carob powder, raw or toasted
1/8 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon TOTAL: ground maca, spirulina, protein powder, Ashwagandha or Shatavari, optional
¼ cup raw cacao nibs, optional
½ teaspoon digestive spices – such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, or grated citrus peel, optional
1/8 teaspoon coarse, high quality, mineral-rich salt
Put one cup of water in a small stockpot and bring to a boil. Set the Pyrex cup into the boiled water (imitating a double boiler method) and reduce the heat to medium-high.
Chop up ½ cup of raw cacao butter with a sharp knife and put it into the Pyrex cup. You’ll have to estimate the exact quantity initially. But as it starts to melt, you’ll get a feel for how much cacao butter is in the cup – and you can always add more as it melts.
Melt the cacao butter, stirring occasionally. While it melts, grease each opening of the silicone ice cube tray with coconut oil. Put the tray on top of a solid, level cutting board or plate and set aside.
Once the cacao butter is melted, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Immediately fill the silicone ice cube trays with the carob mixture. Sprinkle the optional salt over each heart and refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes on a flat, even surface.
When the hearts are solid, they’ll easily pop out of the tray. Just push from the back of the ice cube tray to “pop” out each one. Store the hearts in an air-tight container – either in the freezer or refrigerator. They’ll last several months!
*You can use any silicone mold tray for this recipe. Flexible mini muffin or mini brownie pans also work well. Use any shape you want… I just love hearts.
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