Raw Vegan Chocolate
Long gone are the days where I would get my chocolate fix from a store-bought bar. What the food industry has done to chocolate is – in my humble opinion – nothing sort of sacrilege. Cacao was revered for millennia by the Meso-Americans: its consumption can be traced back 4000 years to the Maya, Aztec and Toltec civilisations. For them, Caca0 was considered ‘food of the Gods’; it was used as currency (it had more value than gold), and drunk ceremonially at religious festivals and weddings.
Why did they love it so much? Probably because cacao makes you feel amazing. Like, really amazing. It offers mental clarity, energy, motivation, as well as feelings of peace, and even blissfulness. I absolutely adore it for its stimulating, mood-boosting effects. I can practically feel the dopamine receptors light up in my brain when I consume it, so potent is its effect (on the neuro-physiological level, this is exactly what is happening). Cacao stimulates the production not only of dopamine, but serotonin too, and is especially helpful for women on the luteal phase of their moon cycle.
Raw cacao has 20x the amount of antioxidants than blueberries, and is packed with flavonoids and phytochemicals, as well as being rich in zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and theobromine – in fact the cacao tree’s scientific name is ‘theobroma cacao’, with ‘theobroma’ literally translating as ‘food of the gods’ (from the Greek). This alkaloid beneficially impacts the cardiovascular system and helps to strengthen brain-heart axis, creating a ‘heart-opener’ effect. Raw cacao also contains ‘anandamide’, colloquially known as the ‘bliss molecule’ (the name comes from the Sanskrit ‘Ananda’, meaning ‘bliss’). The mix of theobromine and anandamide is a potent combination, and is why cacao can be particularly beneficial before prayer, meditation, shamanic journeying, or visualisation (the act of imagining and consciously manifesting one’s future).
In this recipe, I use high quality powdered cacao, which is unrefined and locally sourced – I am lucky to be in Costa Rica, where cacao is naturally abundant. For those of you elsewhere in the word, I suggest sourcing the highest-grade cacao possible, making sure it is raw and organic. You should be able to get this in Wholefoods etc, if not Amazon. I also use ceremonial grade cacao in this recipe – this is the block of cacao that you can see. I source this directly from Indigenous tribes based in the South of Costa Rica. The potency and sacredness of this grade of cacao deserves respect and intention. So, when I made this batch of chocolate, I put my intentions into it as I was making it. In this instance, I invested the chocolate with the intentions of energy, motivation, grace and compassion (these are qualities of being that I wish to embody and experience more of in my life).
This recipe is so simple, and only takes 15/20 minutes or so.
Powdered raw Cacao (200g)
Ceremonial-grade cacao (optional) (70g)
Cacao butter (200g)
Pink Himalayan Salt (1tbsp)
Coconut Sugar, or Maple Syrup (4tbsp – of either – play around according to taste – bear in mind that it comes out sweeter when the chocolate has solidified)
(note: they didn’t have maple syrup in the shop, so I experimented using coconut sugar – I like the taste it gives, but it didn’t dissolve completely, so all-in-all I would suggest using maple syrup. Make sure it’s organic and super high-quality).
1. Melt the cacao butter in a bain marie– keep the heat LOW
2. Add the maple syrup or coconut sugar
3. Add the salt
4. Add the powdered cacao (and ceremonial cacao shavings if you have it)
5. Keep stirring and make sure the heat is low – you do not want to overheat or burn the cacao.
6. Pour into silicone moulds and put in the freezer. And, voila! So easy!