We could give up chocolate; but why oh why would we want to? As long as you go for the low or zero sugar variety, and you can tolerate it OK, chocolate provides some nutritional & mood enhancing benefits. Add in adaptogenic herbs and you have the perfect bite-sized pick-me-up.
So what are adaptogenic herbs? Also known as tonics, adaptogens are herbs that are traditionally used to rejuvenate and regenerate the body, mind and spirit. They are used to fortify the body and spirit against difficult and stressful conditions. Taken regularly, tonic herbs support optimal energy, happy outlook, restful sleep and a calm spirit.
When I make adaptogenic chocolate, I aim for the lowest sugar possible while giving an enjoyable flavour.
I've given two options here: either make the base using my Raw Chocolate recipe, OR, for those time-poor amongst us, simply melt 70+% dark (vegan) chocolate as your base. If you choose store-bought chocolate, I highly recommend you add a little coconut oil and/ or cacao butter as you melt it, to off-set the powdery texture of the powdered herbs. This also reduces overall sugar content.
Not essential - but a silicone chocolate-bar mould is great. I bought mine on Fishpond. It means you can make a proper bar and break pieces off without making a mess.
Otherwise just use a shallow dish/ tray with sides. Tip: if you want to be able to take your whole bar out of your dish unhindered, for a waste-free solution, try lining it with a honeywrap. Just ensure you've cooled your chocolate mixture in the fridge a little before pouring onto your honeywrap - as you don't want to melt i!
- Chocolate - if store bought, it's best used with the addition of some coconut oil and/or cacao butter
- Adaptogenic herbs - suggestions:
- Any Misty Day Plant Potions brew or single ingredient - my favourites for chocolate include He Shou Wu (smokey), Ashwagandha (not an amazing flavour, but amazing for health), and Lover's Brew (delicious!) I've also tried all 3 together and it was (in my humble opinion) yummy!
- Fresh herbs - such as rosemary or edible lavender
1a. If you're using my raw chocolate recipe, just make the chocolate base (cacao butter, coconut oil, cacao powder) and follow till step 3 when your mixture is melted.
1b. If you are using ready-made chocolate, chop your chocolate into 2-3cm chunks. Melt SLOWLY - I use my induction stove-top on low heat, as it has amazing temperature control. Otherwise use an oven on no more than 40 degrees Celsius (stirring occasionally). You can also use a double-boiler method as follows:
2/3 fill the same saucepan with water and start to heat towards a boil (but reduce the heat as bubbles start to appear in the water). Place your chopped/ broken up dark chocolate into a small bowl and carefully place onto the saucepan of water, ideally before the water gets too hot, being VERY careful not to get ANY water into the bowl. Gently stir the chocolate in the bowl until it melts.
2. If you're using store-bought chocolate, you want to add a little coconut oil or cacao butter into the melted mixture. This will off-set the powdery texture of the powdered herbs.
3. Mix your adaptogenic herbs in. Quantity depends on how much you're making, and how much chocolate you plan to eat in one go! As a guide on the herbs I've suggested above per 30g/ 12 square chocolate bar:
Misty Day Plant Potions:
4 tsp Lover's Brew
1 tsp He Shou Wu
2-3 tsp Ashwagandha
4. Pour into chocolate moulds or shallow dish and refrigerate till set. As I can't be bothered with tempering my chocolate (holding it at a set temperature for a set amount of time), I keep mind in the fridge, otherwise it melts a bit at room temperature.
5. Enjoy and share with friends!