raw cacao ” a valentine superfood”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner many people have chocolate on their mind.  Yes, all those yummy, chocolaty treats can be very enticing and fun…but for many it can mean a sugar crash at the end of the day.  This year why don’t you explore the rich wonderful taste and health benefits of raw cacao.

Cacao has long been enjoyed for its healthful and invigorating properties in Mexican, Central, and South American cultures. In fact, Mayan civilizations associated cacao with the food that their gods chose to consume and thrive upon.

Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. In addition, cacao is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the menstrual cycle.  Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones and combats depression.  Cacao is the richest food source magnesium of any common food.  Magnesium is the number one mineral that assists and supports healthy heart functioning.  Due to our modern day diets and farming it has been reported that Americans are chronically deficient in magnesium.

In addition to the magnesium, cacao contains an impressively high iron content, and also possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities. In a recent study, Cornell University food scientists discovered that cacao powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea.

Cacao is available to us in many great forms.  You can purchase raw cacao at your local health food store and add it to all your favorite smoothies, teas, coffee mixes, protein drinks, desserts or anything else you can think of.

In addition to raw cacao, choosing  a dark chocolate bar which contains 70% cacao or above will give you some amazing health benefits as well.  Below you will find some great recipes and ways to incorporate cacao into your day and your healthy eating plan.

Enjoy the moments with the ones you love and share a taste of the gods for better health and wellness.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Healthy SKINNY Hot Cocoa

1 1/2 cups organic lactose free low-fat milk                                                                          
½ cup organic agave syrup
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, agave and cacao until smooth. On low heat bring to a simmer, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and prevent the cocoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When bubbles start to form, remove from the heat. Pour into cups and sprinkle with cinnamon or add whipped cream.
Vegan or Dairy Free: Substitute Soy, Almond, Rice or Hemp Milk.

Chocolate Pecan Coated Rounds by Lisa Taube

The base…..

2 cups cacao powder 1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup agave

1 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours                                                          

The outside…

2 cups ground pecans (or other coating of your choice)

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients and then roll the chocolate base into balls and roll the balls in the pecan mixture.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies by Lisa Taube

3 cups cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cup agave

1 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients to form a rich creamy mixture then process the next set of ingredients:

4 cups nut flour base made from almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

Take 2 cups of the chocolate creamy mixture                                                                                                           

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Make round balls and freeze for an hour or place in a dehydrator at 115 degrees.

For more great recipes like chocolate, cherry superfood cheesecake and chocolate mole sauce check out navitas naturals.

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