Love and Chocolate

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! It is more of a couple’s day, but it can also be a day to treat you. I am probably speaking for every woman when I say I love dark chocolate. Chocolate is definitely a weakness. I eat it every day. Only a few squares (usually). After a stressful day at work or a broken heart, it always seems to make everything a little better (in my head it does). A year ago I used to eat any chocolate. I loved chocolate bars; oh henry, snickers, you name it. Now I have a love for the good stuff and I have not looked back. I buy organic dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa solids. There are some really great brands out there. I have a couple pieces a day and I am satisfied. Currently in my cupboard I have ‘Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate with 85% cocoa solids.’ It just melts in my mouth!

There are two recipes I am going to share today. I tried one of the new recipes posted on Beyond Vitality. I kept seeing similar recipes posted on different websites and I finally decided to try it. It is chocolate avocado pudding.

The second recipe I am sharing is a hot chocolate recipe made with raw cacao powder. Not only did I eat those chocolate bars that were horrible from me, but I bought those sugar backed tubs of hot chocolate mix. You can’t even pronounce have the ingredients they put in there.

Raw cacao is amazing. You can get it in powder form or in nibs. The powder I use in smoothies, hot chocolates or baking, and the nibs I also use for baking and sprinkle them on top of yogurt with fruit and other deliciousness.

I got this off of one of my favourite sites for recipes: It’s a food for lovers because it promotes blissful and loving feelings. Raw cacao is what I’m talking about here (not the processed junk). It has traditionally been used to elevate mood due to compounds such as Phenylethylamine (PEA), known as the “love compound” and Anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule.”

Also written by Holistic Nutritionist Joy McCarthy, ‘Raw cacao is a superfood because of its high level of antioxidants. In fact, it’s higher than green tea, red wine and blue berries. (Please note that I am not talking about processed candy bars, these high levels of antioxidants are only in the raw and most pure form of cacao).

Here are the recipes I tried: 

Smooth Chocolate Avocado Pudding (Recipe from Beyond Vitality)

1 large, ripe avocado
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Organic almond milk as needed to blend

I used honey instead of maple syrup and sprinkled mine with chia seeds at the end! I used a little less than 1/4 cup as well, but it depends on how sweet you like it.

Slice the avocado through the middle so you have two halves.  Remove the big seed. Take a spoon and scoop out the avocado into your food processor (or blender).  Pour in the maple syrup, cacao and vanilla and blend.  Add the almond milk as needed.  Continue blending together until smooth.  Refrigerate your pudding for 30 minutes and serve fresh.  You can even freeze it for a cool and refreshing frozen pudding.

I am telling you this recipe is amazing. I tried it today! It is amazing and you can hardly tell that its avocado. It is creamy and rich. This is proof that there are creamy and rich things that can be good for you. I am officially in love with this pudding! 

As I said earlier I used to love hot chocolate, but the stuff you buy in the big tubs is not good for you. Try this recipe and not feel guilty about it!

Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate

2-3 cups of almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolately you like it)
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp of natural vanilla extract

A pinch of cinnamon 

Heat almond milk in saucepan. Once at desired temperature add raw cacao and honey, whisk until dissolved. Stir in vanilla and enjoy. 

Here are a few interesting articles if you have the time

Eating Chocolate May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Dark Chocolate Protects DNA and Lowers Anxiety 

4 Valentines Day Recipes Made with Love and Raw Chocolate

I found this quote today. It made me really happy because it is very true.

“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”

I hope you all have a very wonderful day. Whether you are spending it with someone special or taking time for yourself. Love yourself today, treat yourself, relax, think about all the amazing things you have accomplished and even the things you didn’t. Everything you have done so far has made you the amazing person you are today. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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