Balance. Something I'm not too great at when it comes to eating chocolate! Over the last years of finding relative nutritional balance (well, compared to my younger days), I have held dear my love of dark chocolate, and at times the low sugar / natural varieties of this wonderful food have been virtually my one indulgence.
Throughout my life I have been sensitive to the wrong foods. I remember as a child thinking to myself one day how I often didn't feel well and hardly ever felt really good enough to run around and play at family gatherings with the other kids after eating the usual party fare. I did have loads of energy to run at school - I packed my own school lunches and maybe I had just enough of the right balance (protein!) to keep me going.
Through vegan, vegetarian, soy and dairy free, gluten free, alcohol free and coffee free phases, I tenaciously clutched to this vice, consoling my sometimes slightly out of balance tendencies with the knowledge that the raw, natural kind gives me beneficial nutrients (including iron and magnesium) and mood enhancing properties.
It is this enduring love of chocolate that has inspired me to want to sell the wonderful raw and nutritious ingredients to make your own decadent raw chocolate and Cacao-based treats. I always make my chocolate and other recipes with as little sweetener as possible (I've found sugary foods to be the culprit for many a health issue), whilst still making it a palatable, satisfying treat.
Health-wise, the benefits of dark chocolate are well documented - read this article to get some idea of what these benefits are.
I was so happy to come across Lifefoods raw, natural, sustainably grown and organic heirloom cacao along with their range of wonderful superfoods from South America, that I decided to start experimenting further with making my own chocolatey treats resembling actual chocolate. (Beetroot chocolate or courgette chocolate brownies are other old favourites I'll post another time.)
Recently I've been trying to make something close to (or better than!)
some of the wonderful shop bought chocolates available - (Whittaker's dark almond and Rapunzel dark being my current favourites - husband jokes with me about my chocolate "library"!) ...using raw chocolate, cocoa butter and coconut oil as a base. This testing culminated in a recent weekend with my niece visiting me whereby we made a simple chocolate base and tried all sorts of yummy fillings / toppings.