FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE
The Oompa-Loompas direct from Loompaland would be so excited to learn that we know about and love Cacao beans (pronounced ka-cow), just like they do.
Mrs. Salt may insist that Loompaland doesn’t exist, but ah, it does… According to Willie Wonka,
‘The cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree, happens to be the thing from which all chocolate is made. You cannot make chocolate without the cacao bean. The cacao bean is chocolate.” -Source: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Ch. 16.
You have to believe that Chocolate is something to behold, Willie Wonka and the Oompa-Loompa’s can’t be wrong.
Recently, my friend gave me a bag of Raw Chocolate (Raw Cacao Nibs) to sample. She knows that I’m always on the look-out for food that tastes good and can benefit my health. When I took one bit out of the fudge she made from the Cacao nibs, it made a believer out of me!
The Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money! Now that’s putting your money where your mouth is!
Cacao beans contain no sugar and between 12% and 50% fat depending on variety and growth conditions. The company, Nature’s First Law, cacao beans are around 40% fat content (low compared to other nuts). There is no evidence to implicate cacao bean consumption with obesity. Source: Naked Chocolate by Michael Wolfe
• Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the menstrual period. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness.
Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium! Another reason to add cacao to your diet.
• Phenylethylamine (PEA) is found in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical that is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.
A recent study showed that only one out of 500 people who thought they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive. Allergies to chocolate are quite rare. It is typically the case that the person is in fact allergic to milk and dairy products.
**Cacao and dark chocolate boost antioxidants; however, the addition of dairy products/milk cancels out the effects of antioxidants. Studies indicate that dairy products specifically block the absorption of all the great antioxidants in chocolate!
What to do with Cacao Nibs?:
1. Try eating them straight, a tablespoon at a time. Chew thoroughly and experience the taste extravaganza of raw chocolate. (kind of like a party in your mouth!)
2. Add to coconut-based or fruit-based smoothies to enhance the flavor.
3. Add agave nectar or honey or another sweetening agent to the raw cacao nibs and chew! (My personal favorite)
4. Freeze cacao nibs with sweeteners (agave nectar or honey are fantastic). Eat cold.
5. Blend cacao nibs into herbal teas with the Peruvian superfood maca.
6. Add cacao nibs to raw ice creams for the best chocolate chips in the world.
Create a raw chocolate bar! Blend the following raw ingredients together: cacao nibs, agave nectar, carob powder, maca, coconut oil, angstrom calcium, and cashews. Pour into a mold and freeze. Eat cold and experience the truth about the food of the gods! (SOOOO Goood!)
Cacao is great fun for everyone – especially kids!
Refrigeration of cacao nibs is not required, although recommended.
Cacao nibs keep well in cool, dry conditions.
Certified Organic, Raw Cacao Nibs are exclusively sold in the United States by Nature’s First Law, Inc. Raw Food.
Resources: The Chocolate Tree and The True History of Chocolate by Michael Coe, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. Naked Chocolate by Michael Wolfe
“The superiority of chocolate for health and nourishment will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America that it has in Spain.” –Thomas Jefferson