I was I chocolate heaven today. Made 2 delicious brunch items and enjoyed it ALL BY MYSELF! Honestly, how to share?
For the following 2 recipes, I used lots and lots of raw chocolate in its various forms – Cacao powder, cacao nibs and cacao butter. So let me share a little bit more about this amazing ingredient.
Cacao powder is basically RAW CHOCOLATE. It comes straight from the cacao beans in its unprocessed and unadulterated form. It is a nature superfood because it contains a wealth of nutrients and benefits for our body. Unfortunately, commercial chocolates have ripped cacao off most of its benefits. The process of making commercial chocolate involves processing cacao at a high temperature which kills the natural enzymes, antioxidants and nutrients. They also add in a chock full of calorie inducing ingredients like white sugar, milk, flavourings and saturated/hydrogenated fats.
Some benefits include:
– #1 source in magnesium among all superfoods. Magnesium is needed for oxygenating blood flow and is crucial for balancing the brain chemistry.
– Rich in the antioxidant flavonoids that promotes cardiovascular health and protects against toxins. It also helps improve blood circulation and blood pressure.
– Enhances mood, energy levels and acts as an anti-depressant. I can attest to this!
– Raises level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps reduce PMS symptoms. Listen up ladies!
– Rich is sulphur which is required for building strong nails and hair.
Side effects of cacao:
Cacao is naturally a healthy ingredient but because cacao is a natural stimulant, we should not over indulge on it. There was once I had a greedy episode and ate TWO 90% pure cacao bars. My face and neck started to flush for over an hour and I felt like I was having a fever. I also felt light headed and dizzy; same feeling i get when i take those medication that makes you sleepy.
Chocolate heaven parfait
Ingredients & How to
This parfait has a few layers so lets do it step by step
Chocolate sauce layer
– 3 tbs Cacao powder
– 1 ½ tbs Cacao butter
– 1 tbs Lucuma powder (use additional cacao powder if you don’t have lucuma)
– ¼ cup Coconut oil
– 1 tsp Agave
Stir everything in a bowl till it turns into a smooth chocolate liquid. Do some taste tests in between and adjust accordingly. I personally like my chocolate bitter but if you don’t, add in more agave. Don’t put this in the fridge because it will solidify quickly. There are a few online recipes that omit cacao butter but I personally find that it makes a huge difference in the taste because it makes the chocolate more creamy.
Overnight chia pudding
– 2 tbs Chia seeds
– Nut milk (I used homemade almond milk)
– 1 tsp Cacao powder
I divided the chia pudding into 2 batches – one to make a “white” chia pudding, another to make a chocolately pudding. For the first container, use 1 tbs of chia seeds and stir in nut milk. For the second container, use the other tbs of chia seeds and stir in nut milk and cacao powder. Leave overnight. If you find that the mixture is too thick the next morning, simply stir in more milk.
Coconut cashew whipped cream (optional)
– ½ cup cashew soaked overnight
– ½ tbs of coconut oil
– 1 tsp agave
– A little bit of water
Process all ingredients in a food processor till the texture becomes like whipped cream. You may need to do this for a few minutes and keep scraping down the sides.
Fruits and toppings
– 1 banana
– 6 -7 chopped strawberries
– Cacao nibs
– And anything other toppings you desire!
Putting it together
I layered the parfait as follows, from bottom up:
Layer 1 : Solid chocolate!I layered the bottom of the cup with chocolate sauce and them put it in the freezer because I wanted a hard chocolate base. Its like when you eat the cornetto ice cream and at the end of the cone, you find solid chocolate. LOVE THAT. Freeze for around 10 min.
Layer 2 : White chia pudding
Layer 3 : Chopped strawberries
Layer 4 : Chocolate chia pudding
Layer 5 : Sliced bananas. Top with cacao nibs, and drizzle with more chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
I still had a little raw chocolate sauce left but it wasn’t enough to use in another recipe. So I made one of my fav snacks.
Chocolate banana crunch
– 1 banana (not too ripe because it needs to be firm)
– Raw chocolate sauce (see above)
– Cashew butter
– Cacao nibs
– Cashew coconut whipped cream (see above)
– Crushed pecans
1) Peel the banana and insert a stick through like a skewer
2) Put the banana on a plate and place in the freezer for around 10 – 15 min. It’ll be cold but not frozen =) This step is crucial as the chocolate sauce will turn solid when it touches the cold surface of the banana.
3) Coat with your remaining chocolate sauce and top with cashew butter, whipped cream, crushed pecans and cacao nibs.