Cacao-Lucuma, Raw, Vegan Chocolate
Raw, vegan chocolate is a true, homemade delicacy! Using just a few whole food ingredients, including a couple of invaluable superfoods, it requires little time to prepare and you won't be able to resist making more!
I credit Crystal Bonnet, raw food blogger of Raw Revive in Edmonton, with teaching me how to make my own healthful chocolate during a recent weekend retreat she served as chef for. Seeing this process in action, using ingredients I always have stocked in my pantry, had me realizing that I will likely never have the need to invest in store-bought chocolate again. It's just too feasible and delicious to not do yourself, and completely acceptable as part of your breakfast! ;)
Knowing the handful of ingredients that form the basis of raw, vegan chocolate (coconut oil, raw cacao, a natural sweetener of your choice and a dash of sea salt), I extended my experimentation using Peruvian superfood "Lucuma Powder" and one of my favourite sweeteners, - raw, unpasteurized honey.
Here's my recipe!
*Makes approximately one dozen chocolates, depending on the size of mold you choose to use.
1 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup raw, organic, cacao powder
1/2 cup raw, organic lucuma powder (found at speciality stores)
1/3 cup raw, unpasteurized honey
Dash of sea salt (I used pink, Himalayan sea salt)
*You will also require a liquid dispenser like the one show below, as well as a mold of your choice. I purchased both the plastic dispenser and the silicon mold from Michael's craft store, in the baking section.
Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop, placing a stainless steel mixing bowl containing the coconut oil on top once boiling (double-boiler method). Stir the coconut oil until melted, then remove from the boiling water and turn off the stove.
Add the remaining ingredients to the coconut oil and whisk until thoroughly stirred.
Pour the mixture into the (closed!) dispenser until about 2/3 full. Fill each space of the mold until full.
Place the mold into the freezer to set. If you're looking forward to consuming these in the short-term, have no worry, they will set sooner than you think.
Serve immediately/shortly after removing from the mold. Enjoy!
About Lucuma Powder:
Known by the locals of Peru as the “Gold of the Incas”, Lucuma (an exotic Peruvian fruit) possesses a creamy, citrus flavor with a dash of maple and to some, what tastes like sweet potato.[i] Resembling something similar to an avocado, given its firm green shell and its soft interior, Lucuma was a staple food source in Incan culture.[ii]
This fruit is dried at low temperatures in an effort to retain its dense nutrient value, then milled into the superfine powder that we find it in at our local health food store or specialty market.[iii]
Key Nutritional Benefits:
Low on the Glycemic Index (GI), so a good choice as a natural sweetener
Rich in antioxidant activity, due to is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial activity
A healthy carbohydrate and source of dietary fiber
Dense with various vitamins and minerals (i.e. calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin C, niacin and beta-carotene) and a source of protein[iv]
Believed to be useful in assisting with skin health, digestion, wound healing (its oils), cardiovascular health and with decreasing inflammation[v]
How Can It Be Used?
In baked goods
In desserts (frozen treats, raw vegan chocolate/fudge!)
[i] BeGoodOrganics: 10 Reasons to Love Lucuma. Retrieved March 11, 2016 from http://begoodorganics.com/blogs/subscriber-only-recipes/8952515-10-great-reasons-to-love-lucuma
[ii] Global Healing Centre: What is Lucuma? – Health Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 11, 2016 from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-lucuma/
[iii] BeGoodOrganics: 10 Reasons to Love Lucuma. Retrieved March 11, 2016 from http://begoodorganics.com/blogs/subscriber-only-recipes/8952515-10-great-reasons-to-love-lucuma
[iv] BeGoodOrganics: 10 Reasons to Love Lucuma. Retrieved March 11, 2016 from http://begoodorganics.com/blogs/subscriber-only-recipes/8952515-10-great-reasons-to-love-lucuma
[v] Global Healing Centre: What is Lucuma? – Health Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 11, 2016 from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-lucuma/