Easter is coming up this weekend and that means chocolate. For some people this entails a losing battle with will power, a bloated stomach and an extreme repulsion of chocolate for the next six months. If you’re one of these people I’m here to tell you there is another way. Is it possible that you can eat chocolate and still be healthy? This might shock you, but yes it is.
Cacao powder contains a mood-enhancing compound called anandamide, which produces a feeling of bliss so the next time you eat chocolate and think you’ve gone to heaven and back this is why. Raw cacao is an anti-inflammatory, which has been said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and improve blood circulation. It has also been known to slow down aging, shed fat and improve digestion.
I’m not talking about the kind of processed chocolate you might be used to. I’m talkin’ ‘bout the raw, unrefined kind that’s better for you and richer in flavour. The following is three recipes that show you how to make raw treats using cacao for Easter. They’re oil free, dairy free, hassle free, delicious and really popular with the kids! 100% of the ingredients are available from the Co-op.
COOKIE DOUGH BITES.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yields: 12 bites (the smaller the bites the more you get!)
1 cup cashews
1 cup oats
2 tbs coconut sugar
7 medjool dates
1 tbs water
¼ cup cacao nibs or chocolate drops
- Transfer the cashews, oats and coconut sugar to a food processor and blend on high speed until it turns into a flour-like consistency.
- Add the dates and process until dough forms, pouring in the water when it gets too sticky.
Scoop mix into a bowl and press in the cacao nibs. Then roll the dough into balls and freeze for about one hour. These things keep for ages in the freezer but mine are usually gone by the end of the day.
CHOCOLATE COCONUT FUDGE
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yields: 16 squares
1 cup loosely packed medjool dates
2 tbs maple syrup
3 heaped tsp raw cacao powder
¼ cup desiccated coconut
- Line a brownie tin with baking paper.
- Blend all ingredients together except for the coconut in a food processor until it is smooth and fudge-like.
- Transfer mix to the brownie tin and press down firmly into the desired shape. I like cutting mine into strips about a centimeter thick.
- Sprinkle over desiccated coconut and freeze for one hour.
CHOCOLATE CHIA SEED PUDDING
Preparation time: 5 minutes
1 cup almond milk
2 ½ tbs chia seeds
1 tbs cacao powder
1 tbs maple syrup
Toppings e.g. cacao nibs, goji berries and coconut flakes
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until all the lumps are blended in.
- Pour into a glass jar, close lid, place in fridge and allow to set for about four hours or overnight.
- When it is set transfer to a cup, or leave in the jar, and sprinkle over desired toppings and serve!
Thank you to our very own Easter Fairy, Kirsty for sharing this wonderful recipe trio.
Kirsty is an avid wholefoods recipe creator for her blog. She loves demonstrating that being conscious of what you eat is not only beneficial to your health and the planet, but also really fun. She uses ingredients that are seasonal and package-free to maximise health and minimise waste. All recipes are free of meat and dairy. Visit her website at: livnfree.com.au or contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org