Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Healthy Festive Raw Chocolates

I do not know many people who do not like chocolate, but even those who love chocolate sometimes voice concern about the sugar content and the caloric value of sweets. 


Anyone who makes his own sweets and desserts knows that one can improve the nutritional value of home-made concoctions. This is not difficult, everyone can do it. I hope you have time and the means to try out my recipe. My festive chocolates might be the healthiest sweets recipe you have ever tired. All ingredients are not only organic, they are really good for you.


Recipe makes 22 delicious chocolates

Ingredients: 

for the filling
  • 12 large Medjool dates, soaked in purified water until soft
  • 1 cup raw, activated pecan nuts (soaked in water for 5-6 hours, then dehydrated)
  • 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 2/3 cups powdered raw cacao
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 tsp fine pink Himalaya salt
  • 1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract
  • freshly pressed juice of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
for chocolate ganache
  • 1/3 cup melted raw cacao butter
  • 1/3 raw honey (use maple syrup if you are a vegan)
  • 2/3 cups powdered raw cacao
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

for garnish
  • 1/4 cup crashed pecan nuts


Method:
  • To make the filling place pecan nuts in a food processor and blend until they almost turn into a butter. Remember to scrape the walls of the food processor bowl and push the nut mass down from time to time.
  • Add soaked dates and process until smooth. Add melted coconut oil and all the spices. Blend until well combined. Add orange juice, orange zest and the vanilla extract. Blend again. The "dough" should be very smooth and firm enough to work with. If it is too flowing, place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.
  • Cover a tray or a flat baking from with a sheet of parchment. Take about 1 Tbsp of the "dough" and roll it into a ball between your palms. Set on the parchment. Proceed until you used up all the "dough." You may want to refrigerate the tray until your ganache is ready.
  • To make ganache use bain marie or a bowl placed over a hot water. Mix melted cocoa butter with raw cacao. Stir well. Add honey and mix well until very smooth. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix well. The ganache should be very smooth and liquid, but not too flowing.
  • Using a dipping tool immerse each of the balls in the chocolate ganache making sure that they are well covered on all sides. Place each chocolate on a parchment or a cooling rack and sprinkle some crushed pecans before the ganache sets completely.
  • Once all the chocolates are made you may want to refrigerate them overnight. They will not only set and become firm, but also taste better the next day.
  • Serve as a delicious treat after your festive dinner and enjoy in good company!


As I mentioned above, these chocolates are not only delicious, they are good for you. All the ingredients come with incredible benefits, but I will discuss only a few:
  • Pecan nuts -rich in magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, and the alpha- and gamma tocopherol versions of the Vitamin E. They also contain Vitamins A, C, the B-complex, and vitamin K, calcium, zinc, and potassium. They have anti-aging properties, help prevent cancer, and balance weight.
  • Turmeric - contains curcumin, a substance that is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Coconut oil - contains healthy combination of fatty acids that can help improve blood cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, and the Alzheimer's disease.
  • Raw Cacao - contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and has the ORAC value abput 20 times higher than that of blueberries. It contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, various antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Raw cacao can help lower bad cholesterol, improve cardiovascular function, and reduce cancer risk.

Tip: To speed up things a bit you can use raw pecan nut butter. You can also add a shot of Grand Marnier or any other orange flavored liquor to make an adult version of these chocolates.


In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Also of interest: Health Benefits of Spices

Dominique Allmon©2015


         


*The health information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.
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