I’m having a love affair with Cacao. All the girls at work will tell you I have a bit of an obsession.
Cacao is pure, raw, unrefined, unprocessed chocolate with all its vitamins, nutrients and feel good hormones still intact.
In fact, cacao is so good for you it has superfood status.
When you think about “normal” milk chocolate, its been through a pretty full on process to get it to packet stage. Its heated at extremely high temperatures, powdered dairy milk has been added (think artificial hormones, fillers, homogenising, pasteurising = all goodness destroyed), lots of refined sugar (think nutrient depleter, diabetes) and other fillers, soy, stabilisers and so on. The cheaper the chocolate the less of the actual chocolate you are buying and more of the other “stuff”. “Stuff” that your body doesn’t really like or utilise very easily.
Before I give you a great cacao hot chocolate drink recipe I just want you to know when you make this drink this is what you are getting and your body is going to LOVE YOU for it:
Raw Cacao consists of:
Phenylethylamine (PEA) – feel good hormones, in fact the same hormone that gets released when you fall in love. Does that explain my addiction?! PEA is only retained when chocolate is not heated.
Anadamide – an endorphin produced in the body after exercise. Cacao is the only food known that can reproduce this.
Tryptophan – a powerful mood enhancing nutrient. Critical in the body for production of serotonin, a mood stabiliser, and helps protect the body against stress. Cooking or heating destroys this amino acid.
Theobromine – an effective antibacterial substance that kills streptococci mutans (the bug that causes cavities). Theobromine is a relative of caffeine but is not a stimulant, in fact its beneficial for the heart and makes the cardiovascular system dilate, enabling the heart to work easily.
Vitamin C – 28 grams of cacao supplies 21% of the RDI of Vitamin C. Extraordinary high levels for a small amount. Cacao must be raw to obtain this vitamin C.
Zinc – an excellent source of zinc. Zinc plays an important part in our immune system, liver, skin, pancreas, and enzyme reactions.
Magnesium – supports the heart, nervous system, strengthens peristalsis (bowel movements), relaxes menstrual cramps, muscles, increases alkalinity in the body, and is responsible for over 300 biochemical functions in the body. Pretty important! Most people on a Standard Australian Diet (SAD) are deficient in magnesium.
Cacao also contains high levels of Iron, Chromium, Manganese and Antioxidants. By weight cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries, acai, pomegranates, goji berries and red wine combined.
Don’t forget when you make it with fresh home made almond milk you are getting your dose of good fats, proteins (20 nuts is 12% RDI of protein), calcium, zinc, selenium, niacin, riboflavin and more magensium than spinach!
AND when you add warming spices of cinnamon and star anise you are helping your body normalise blood sugars, boost brain function, calm your digestion and increase your libido!
What are you waiting for?! Oh, the recipe. Here it is: