CHOCOLATE vs COCOA – the good, the bad and the best!
1 Sugar, but that’s not all. Most people are not after chocolate for the sugar content. I do not agree with the experts, because there are plenty of other sweet things, but chocolate is the one thing that most people crave. You can reduce the overall sugar percentage of bitter dark chocolate by doubling up with the things you add: like oats, nuts and ground up flax seed. This helps to lower the glycemic index. Dark chocolate has a GI of 48, the same as baked beans, but the addition of nuts, seeds and especially lecithin and olive oil lowers it considerably and pumps in the omega 3, 6 & other essential fatty acids, so needed by hyperactive little brains & menopausal women.
2 Kilojoules/ calories. Very High and weight for weight, the same as regular cheeses. People eat vast quantities of cheese and also crave it – ask my husband! A slimmer’s rule is always to have other things at hand when you tuck into cheese or chocolate: First try an apple, nibble a few nuts, scrunch up a nice leafy salad and then have your cheese. Likewise with chocolate, first slowly chew some toasted oats, mixed with flax seeds and yes, a few teaspoons of pure cocoa powder, olive or flaxseed oil and chopped nuts. You can mix it to an evil paste and spoon a little down when you have a chocolate attack. Most of us crave what’s in the cocoa powder and only feel better when the cocoa helps us to release endorphins, stimulate the central nervous system and release glycogen from the liver.
3 Saturated fats and stearic acid. Pure cocoa has zero cholesterol but the waxy solids they add to prevent commercial chocolate bars from melting are horrendous. We cut down on their effect with these recipes by adding olive or canola oil and teach you how to use lecithin to emulsify the fats. The result is a softer, tastier chocolate!
4 Keep it away from pets. Remember too, that sweetening it with xylitol makes it even worse for them.
ALL THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT COCOA!
If you crave chocolate, either for the minerals, trace elements, amino acids or stimulants, most readymade confections have a pathetically low amount present, so enjoy learning how to make your own smart chocolates using cocoa, it’s not difficult. 100% cocoa or very dark chocolate (the higher cocoa % the better) contain the most theobromine and this is why we love it: this chemical is stimulating, especially for the brain and heart and helps to lower blood pressure!
Furthermore, cocoa is a mild diuretic, fights tooth decay, hardens enamel (without sugar, so use xylitol or stevia) and it is rich in minerals. Cocoa is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the human diet and even a few grams of cocoa powder can lift your mood and boost concentration. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce the effects of cytokine storms.
Although the stimulating effects of theobromine are milder, they are longer lasting than caffeine. They improve concentration and cognition without the buzz and are better for mood stabilization. The compound has a half-life of 7.2 hours, so don’t take it before bedtime!
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEN – DON’T
If chocolates or pure cocoa do not agree with you (nausea or headache?), better not be led into temptation. Go for carob, nut butter or alternatives.
If you are addicted to chocolate, perhaps these recipes and notes will help you to solve the underlying problem.
A TOOTH FRIENDLY CHOCOLATE DRINK WITHOUT THE KILOJOULES
To your mug of boiling water, add 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of xylitol and a teaspoon of Nature Fresh Calcium Complex powder. This makes an excellent substitute for a cup of coffee as well as a slab of chocolate. Your teeth will love it! The extra magnesium is excellent to relieve cramps (including menstrual cramps) and is good for the heart.
MAKING VERY HEALTHY CHOCOLATES
Make these nutty delights in bulk for the family:
1: 200g chocolate melted as instructed. Add the oil, lecithin & extra cocoa – but never more sugar!
2: Mix the following together:
1 cup of ground up flaxseed or flax meal.
1 cup of toasted oats or homemade granola if you tolerate gluten.
1 cup of chopped nuts & dried fruit. Blood type A can have sunflower seeds & peanuts. But no coconut, ever & no peanuts for inflammation, arthritis, etc.
3: Mix this into the chocolate blend, spoon by spoon, till no more can bind with the chocolate.
4: Keep it warm, all the time, especially while you spoon it into little clusters on baking paper or into little chocolate moulds. Nice to make chocolate bars, as well.
THE CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN
HOW TO SOFTEN 200g OF COOKING CHOCOLATE
Warning: never add water as it affects the chemical process and the chocolate goes hard & gritty.
1 Use cooking chocolate or dark Albany chocolate. They are usually lactose free. My fundis have tested the local brands, and recommend Swiss. Nestle also makes pure alkaline cocoa powder, free of flavours and other nasties.
2 Take a small pot of hot water and keep it warm on the stove, but not boiling.
3 Fit a glass or metal bowl on top and chuck in the chocolate. 200g slabs, or use 100g and halve the recipe
4 Be patient as it melts slowly and I now add ½ cup of oil to this mixture. Use olive if you have it, or canola oil and especially the cold pressed virgins!
5 You can add lecithin as an extra, if you have some granules. Before melting the chocolate, soak 50ml of the granules in the same amount of water. It becomes a sticky goo
6 Add the lecithin mix & stir. This emulsifies the chocolate. You can leave it out, no problem, but it’s good for you and very tasty this way! Peanut butter often contains lecithin and you can also add some to the mixture. You will notice that peanut butter never freezes!
7 Stir gently, (licking your fingers all the time) Add more pure cocoa powder to taste: 2 – 4 tablespoons.
WHAT TO DO WITH THIS NEW CHOCOLATE
1 Whilst still warm, have a little over a hot pudding or your very own homemade health ice cream. Keep the rest warm, as it gets very hard when out of the hotpot.
2 Make chocolate drops by spooning it out onto baking paper. Let them harden and they are ideal for using on quick desserts or to pack into tuck boxes with nuts, etc.
3 Make a large, thin flat sheet of chocolate, called really stretching out your chocolate. Do this on baking paper and you can run a knife over it to make grooves for cracking into smaller pieces.
4 Go nuts, put walnuts, raisins and almonds onto the chocolate drops as they set.