For The Love of Chocolate!
COCOA - THE MIRACLE SUPER-FOOD
Cocoa is one of the nature's many miracles! In fact, it is one of the most sought after super-foods! It makes other super-foods pale in comparison.
Cocoa is a titan of health benefits and may be more protective for your body than most people realize.
Along with its well-established role in the manufacturing of chocolate, the healing and medicinal benefits of cocoa have been appreciated since the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations.
Cocoa contains over 700 known compounds out of which the antioxidant compounds are of particular interest to scientists. In the human body, these compounds prevent reactive oxygen species (ROS) from destroying cells and causing premature aging and disease.
It is especially rich in polyphenols, a group of protective antioxidant compounds known for their beneficial influence on cardiovascular health.
Cocoa is also rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper and manganese. It is a good source of selenium, potassium, zinc, and it provides the body with carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber.
It offers anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities and has demonstrated positive effects by imparting numerous health benefits.
Health benefits of cocoa include but are not limited to:
Lowers high blood pressure
Improved brain health
Balances cholesterol levels
Relieves bronchial asthma
Speeds up healing
Improves cardiovascular health
Reduces chronic fatigue syndrome
In other words, you can have your cocoa AND eat it too!
We're sharing our love for chocolate with a few clean and healthy cocoa recipes - try one... or all!
Let us know which is your favorite and don't forget to subscribe! :)
Cocoa Coconut Banana Bread
2 overripe mashed bananas
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned organic coconut milk
3 1/2 tbsp coconut butter
2/3 cup organic raw honey
1/8 tsp uncut stevia
1 3/4 cup spelt flour, loosely packed
1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp raw organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips for decoration, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan very well, going up the sides.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients
3. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and stir very well.
4. Pour dry into wet ingredients, and stir until just evenly combined.
5. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and spread out evenly.
5. If desired, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the banana bread and press down.
6. Bake 35 minutes. Then turn off the oven but DON’T open the door! Let sit 10 additional minutes in the closed oven before removing and slicing.
7. This banana bread tastes even sweeter the next day, and it freezes well after slicing
Cocoa Balls with Protein Powder
1/4 cup raw organic cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup protein powder (chocolate)
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1. Add the almonds to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbles, about 30 seconds
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the coconut oil and shredded coconut. Pulse another 10 seconds until combined.
3. Add half of the coconut oil and pulse 10 seconds. Continue to add in coconut oil until the consistency is wet but it’s still clumping together a bit.
4. Sprinkle the shredded coconut onto a piece of parchment paper.
5. Form little balls with the cocoa mixture and roll in shredded coconut.
6. Put them in the fridge or freezer for 20 min to set.
7. Store in a Tupperware.
Cocoa Peanut (or Almond) Butter Protein Bars
1/2 cup Roasted Organic Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Crème Flavored Liquid Stevia Extract
1¼ cups, lightly packed Chocolate Brown Rice Protein powder
2/3 cup Oat Flour
2 tablespoons Unsweetened Raw Organic Cocoa Powder
⅛ teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Mini Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Chips (or No-Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Baking Chips)
1. Line an 8×8” brownie pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In an electric stand mixer bowl fitted with a beater attachment, add all of the ingredients except the mini chocolate chips.
3. Mix on low speed until everything is fully incorporated.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Mix on medium speed for one last mix. Mixture should be thick and fudgy, like cookie dough.
6. Scoop the mixture into the brownie pan and flatten it out.
7. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top and press them into the surface.
8. Tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
9. Lift the mixture out of the pan.
10. Slice into 10 bars & individually wrap the protein bars in plastic sandwich baggies.
11. Keeps in the refrigerator for ~1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Flour-less Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
1/2 cup Organic Almond butter (or Peanut butter)
1 ripe banana (medium-sized )
1 large organic egg
1/4 cup organic raw honey
1/2 cup unsweetened organic raw cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess liquid
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare an 8x8 inch baking pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper. Leave a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal & set aside.
2. Add all the ingredients except for the zucchini and chocolate chips to a high-speed blender and process on high until the batter becomes smooth and creamy.
3. Stir in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips by hand.
4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan, using a spatula to distribute it evenly.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.