If there is one item to stock up on this month it’s chocolate. I’m talking about pure, dark, raw, 100% cacao. Nothing beats the pleasure that comes from a dose of chocolaty goodness. Indulging in this decadence is even better because, in case you didn’t already know it, chocolate is actually good for you.
The purest form of raw chocolate is known as cacao, which comes directly from a bean or pod. Here is why it is so good for you:
1. Cacao provides your body with a host of nutrients including antioxidants, iron, chromium, and zinc. It even contains vitamin C.
2. Cacao contains extremely high levels of magnesium, which help to support the heart, increase brainpower, build strong bones, relax muscles, and increase alkalinity.
3. Cacao has a low glycemic index and therefore doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise and crash. A square of dark chocolate everyday can actually help to bring you into balance and reduce cravings for other forms of refined sweetness.
4. Cacao helps to increase your energy level and mood while reducing stress levels. Overall, chocolate makes us feel good. There is no questioning that!
5. The properties of cacao are even beneficial to the cardiovascular system because they can suppress the formation of blood clots. Be sure to fill your heart and your blood full of chocolate this month and all year around.
Here are some helpful tips to enhance your chocolate eating experience: Make sure you buy dark chocolate such as nibs, cacao powder, or cocoa butter and then blend them into your favourite smoothie, tea, cookie or pudding recipe. Add them to your morning oats, raw desserts, or even trail mix.
Chocolate avocado pudding
2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
4-6 Medjool dates (soaked overnight or in warm water for 20-30 minutes)
2 tbsp of pure raw cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp almond butter, coconut butter, or other seed-based butter (e.g. sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin)
1 banana, ripe
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Combine the ingredients in a blender and whirl on high until well blended, into a thick creamy pudding.
2. Divide the pudding into two or more servings
3. Top with cacao nibs, cacao powder, or shredded coconut and enjoy!
Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.