Holy Cacao!

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - April, 15th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Happenings at AME, Health Coaching, promotion, recipes

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“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson

Cacao has often been referred to as a superfood. It is delicious and has many health benefits. Cacao is beneficial in managing PMS symptoms, metabolizing glucose, keeping the heart healthy, guarding against toxins, easing depression, and it also helps act as a delivery agent for many other superfoods like mushrooms, goji berries, and spirulina not to mention, it is high in minerals. The idea that chocolate is good for us comes from the health benefits of raw cacao. Unfortunately, once we heat the cacao and turn it into your average, traditional chocolate, many of the health benefits referred to have been lost. Consuming raw cacao is a great way to satisfy  your sweet tooth as well as reap some healthy benefits.

What is cacao? Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. In it’s most natural form cacao is a seed. Everything chocolate comes from this seed known as cocoa beans.  Chocolate does not have sugar or dairy until it is added in.

What is in cacao (and how it’s beneficial to our health)?

Magnesium
heart, brain, muscle cramping, elimination, alkaline, bone strength

Iron
blood

Chromium
balances blood sugar

Copper
blood, immunity

Manganese
blood

Vitamin C
Zinc
immunity, liver, pancreas, skin

Omega-6 Fatty Acids
healthy unless chocolate is cooked and then it is a trans fat

Phenylethlamine
focus, alertness, appetite suppressant

Anandamide
endorphin (same as what is released after exercising)

Tryptophan
mood enhancing

Seratonin
stress defense

Fiber
elimination

Methylxantines
antibacterial, cardiovascular

Oxalic Acid
when cooked is bad for the kidneys

There are many reasons to eat chocolate only when pure and raw.  The oxalic acid and omega 6 fatty acids become problematic (trans fat and oxalates).  There are a lot of delicious ways to use raw cacao.  You can buy nibs, powder, and cacao butter. Blue Mountain Organics carries many great cacao products. One of the special qualities cacao has is that it hides the flavor of foods that might not taste so great to you (or your kids!).  You can eat spirulina with cacao and never even taste it.

One of my favorite recipes with raw cacao is super easy, healthy, and delicious! This protein immunity pudding can be modified according to your tastes and it is really hard to mess it up so feel free to add or subtract ingredients. I’m not a fan of mushrooms so I skip those and I like to add in maca powder.

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Chocolate Protein Immunity Pudding

Ingredients Needed:

1/2 cup coconut milk
1 little chunk of cocoa butter
1 tsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp reishi mushroom
1 tsp chaga mushrooms
1 Tbsp spirulina
1 handful of spinach
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 handful goji berries
a very small pinch of raw vanilla

Preparation:

Soak the chia seeds in the coconut milk for 30 minutes. Then place chia seeds and milk in a mixer along with all other ingredients and blend. Sprinkle with cacao nibs if you like. IT IS YUMMY and healthy.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz.

There are so many raw goodies you can make with cacao that are really healthy. One of my favorite treats is cacao covered raisins.

Brendan Brazier put out a maca bar recipe for Mother’s day. Those are another one of my favorites!  Raw cacao, maca, maple syrup, macadamia nuts, coconut….yummmmm.  They make a delicious and good for you treat!

Another good use for cacao is to make protein bars with raw cacao, hemp protein, coconut oil and a few other wonderful ingredients of your choice.

I also make smoothies with cacao, coconut milk*, banana, and spinach. It is healthy as can be and it tastes delicious!

*It is important to use a non-dairy milk when making recipes with cacao as research has shown that dairy inhibits the antioxidant absorption in raw cacao

How do you cacao? Please share any good recipes!

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For more details on Spa Week services, please visit our website!

Disclaimer: Please note: Spa Week services are only available with select providers. Spa Week services are only available during the promotion period April 13 – April 19, 2015. May not be combined with any other promotions and/or offers. Call AME for details.

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