I always assumed that National Chocolate Day would be Valentine’s Day or maybe Sweetest Day in October, but I found out this week that I was wrong. In fact, I find it funny they sandwiched it between Christmas and New Year’s, when most people are bemoaning their holiday indiscretions and attempting to swear off sweets. For example, yesterday’s post.
Let’s celebrate with something chocolately, only slightly sweet and loaded with good fat. With chia seeds and raw cacao powder, it’s a winner.
I like to use the black chia seeds from Nutiva through Green PolkaDot Box as they have a good nutritional profile and are a less expensive way to get additional omega 3s in your diet after you’ve taken your cod liver oil. They’re easy to digest and very flexible. I also use the raw cacao powder from Divine Organics, also from Green PolkaDot Box. Green PolkaDot Box has the best prices on both that I’ve found online or anywhere locally.
Raw cacao powder has many antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Two tablespoons has 5% of your daily calcium, 22% of your daily iron and 42% of your daily magnesium, along with 6 grams of protein and only 6 available carbs. In comparison, Hershey’s cocoa powder has 4% of iron, no calcium, magnesium isn’t listed and it only has less than 2 grams of protein for 2 available carbs. While chocolate does contain caffeine, it isn’t in large enough amounts that I feel an effect from it.
I don’t believe chocolate deserves the bad wrap it’s been given in traditional foods circles. It seems the sugar added to most commercial chocolates and the caffeine content are the two issues that caused its poor reputation among followers of Nourishing Traditions. However, I don’t believe it’s fair to give that judgment on home-made items done with quality sweeteners and raw cacao powder. It’s a food I continue to use in my diet, albeit in limited amounts.
When I do consume chocolate, I try to always use the raw powder instead of the processed cocoa powder and consume it with little sweetener and lot of good fat. For me, that normally takes the form of some type of coconut oil candy. This recipe is a good, creamy alternative if you find the nut butter cups or peppermint patties or even the peanut butter bean fudge are too much coconut oil at one time for you. It makes a regular appearance on my afternoon snack rotation.
From the Menu Mailer
Hands-on: 15 minutes
Hands-off: 20m-8hr, 2+ hrs
1 Tbs yogurt (dairy or coconut)plus enough water or milk to make 1/3 cup
2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil, heated until just melted and cooled but still liquid – virgin or expeller pressed will work.
1/3 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1-2 Tbs honey plus stevia to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla
Up to 1-1/2 cups chopped or finely ground crispy or raw nuts, coconut flakes, chopped, dried fruit and the like
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, water/milk and chia seeds. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to 8 hours.
Stir in the coconut oil, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and salt and whisk until well-blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Turn into an 8×8 pan and smooth the top. Cover and chill until set. Cut into pieces and serve.
Store leftovers in the fridge.
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