Chocolate. There are few of us that would turn down an offering of chocolate. I’m not talking about name brands, Swiss Chocolate or the kind filled with goo in a fancy box. I’m talking about pure, dark, fair trade cacao.
One thing I really love to make from cacao powder is Raw Vegan Chocolate. It is simple and contains only three ingredients. Because one of the main ingredients is coconut oil, these treats don’t remain solid with any amount of heat, so I keep them in the freezer and eat a few at a time. These Chocolates are dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, and absolutely delicious!
Cacao is well known for its feel-good qualities. It opens the heart and stimulates the mind, causing blissful feelings and increasing pleasure and desire. Cacao has also been reported to stimulate the hypothalamus – the part of our brains that controls certain parenting and attachment behaviors, among other important things – with psychoactive chemicals. Cacao can affect the levels of serotonin and endorphins in the brain, as well as dopamine and adrenaline.
Chocaholism is totally real y’all!
There is a rich sexual history to chocolate as well, going way back to stories of the Mayans giving offerings of Cacao beans to their sacred prostitutes and the Aztec rulers binge drinking cacao drink before group sexy time with their Harem. Even recently, scientists have continued studying all of the constituents that make up cacao to solve the mystery of the aphrodisiac qualities. In a chocolate/sex study, doctors from Milan’s San Raffaele hospital questioned over a hundred women about their consumption of chocolate and their sexual fulfillment. “Women who have a daily intake of chocolate showed higher levels of desire than women who did not have this habit,” the study found. “Chocolate can have a positive physiological impact on a woman’s sexuality.” I have a feeling this goes for all humans.
Let’s talk about the ingredients!
Raw or roasted fair trade cacao powder (raw has more medicinal qualities roasted has more flavor nuances) –
As stated above, cacao is sexy, stimulating, and full of antioxidants! What we call the cocoa bean, or cacao bean, is actually the seed of a tropical tree that grows in the Rainforests of Central and South America.
Unrefined (virgin) Coconut Oil (Fair trade is so important when you are using ingredients from other countries, whose ecosystem is being bought and sold in the name of health) – Coconut Oil is fat burning, anti-fungal and sebum reducing.
Maple Syrup – This my favorite vegan sweetener, for its rich mineral content, lower than honey fructose content, and distinct flavor. You can use any sweetener you like, or none at all if you get used to the dark rich flavors of the chocolate and oil. Another of my favorite sweeteners is homemade date syrup. For this recipe, I’m using Grade A maple syrup which has a high mineral content and a lighter flavor than B grade.
Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipe (so easy)
1/2C coconut oil
1/2C raw cacao powder (you can totally use cocoa powder in a pinch but it won’t be as medicinal)
Maple Syrup to taste (I’ve gotten to where I can use a Tablespoon for the batch, but you could use more or less. Taste test until you enjoy the flavor)
All you have to do to make this raw vegan chocolate is mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl or cup and pour it into a mold! If you don’t have any candy molds lying about, fill in the bottom of each cup of a muffin tin, or make a bar by pouring it into a loaf pan. Whichever mold you do use, pour in the chocolate and stick the mold in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until it is solid. If you want, you can add nuts and seeds, nut butter, fruit, coconut or anything else you think sounds good, by adding them right into the mold with the chocolate before freezing.
Once it is frozen, use a spoon to pry the chocolate out of the molds. Eat it quickly so it doesn’t melt! What remains, gets stored in the freezer until eaten.
This is a rich, dark chocolate – not for the faint of heart. If it is too intense for you and reminds you too much of chomping into mom’s bakers chocolate as a kid, add more sweetener, coconut cream, or date butter. It’s fun to play around with the recipe, until you get it just right for your chocolate preferences. Some of my favorite add-ins are, freeze-dried strawberries, almond butter, coconut butter, powdered herbs, cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, homemade marshmallows and potato chips.
Experiment and tell me in the comments if you have made freezer chocolates. What ways did you alter the recipe? What is your favorite add-in? Have you ever tried raw vegan chocolate before?