January is a wonderful time to cultivate new positive habits and embrace all the opportunity that the new year brings. Learning to make more of your food from scratch is an incredibly beneficial goal to set. In the last five years I've been so thrilled to master things I used to buy from a store (stock, yoghurt, sauerkraut, pastry). It's such a great feeling.
This past year I started making my own raw chocolate. Making treats like chocolate at home gives you the satisfaction of knowing every ingredient that is going into it and also to control the sweetness. I enjoy a small sweet treat every day (around 3pm with a mug of green tea) and I prefer to keep the added sweetener to the lowest level possible, while still being delicious. The flavour of raw chocolate is deeply satisfying. You only need a small amount to tackle that craving.
I've been working on recipes and photos (I have the best job!) with the wonderful folks at Bio Balance the last few months so I'm using their products in the recipes below. They have just launched a Homemade Raw Chocolate Kit. It would make an amazing gift and as I write this it is on special. You can find a link to buy it HERE.
Bio Balance Organic Raw Cacao Powder
Far to superior to regular processed cocoa powder, raw cacao is rich in antioxidants and also magnesium, a powerhouse essential mineral that among a host of other incredible benefits promotes relaxation.
Bio Balance Coconut Sugar
Made from the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm, this low GI sweetener retains all of its natural minerals making it a more wholesome choice. It has a lovely light caramel flavor.
Bio Balance Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil gives the wonderful richness and smooth texture to the raw chocolate. This healthy oil is anti-bacterial, anti microbial and high in lauric acid which promotes immunity.
Bio Balance Organic Sweetened Cacao Nibs
With all the benefits of raw cacao, these insanely delicious raw cacao nibs add rich chocolatey crunch and have just a touch of coconut sugar sweetness. Perfect in raw chocolate recipes or eaten by the handful!
Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe
The beauty of this recipe is that it is incredibly simple and versatile. Once you’ve made it once you’ll be off and running with fun (and delicious) versions of your own.
½ cup Bio Balance Organic Coconut Oil
½ cup Bio Balance Organic Raw Cacao Powder
4 tablespoons Bio Balance Organic Coconut Sugar – ground to a find powder in a spice grinder, high speed blender or mortar & pestle
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence
½ cup Bio Balance Sweetened Raw Cacao Nibs (optional)
Place the coconut oil in a saucepan over a very very low heat. Let the oil become liquid before removing from the heat.
Place the melted oil and all remaining ingredients into a blender and blitz until well combined. Ensure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour into silicon chocolate moulds, small paper patty cases or onto a tray lined with baking paper.
Sprinkle with raw cacao nibs (if using) and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours to set.
Store in the fridge or freezer
Raw Chocolates filled w/ almond butter
The combination of raw chocolate and almond butter is irresistible and these gorgeous chocolates are so much easier to make than they look. My partner Luke adores these chocolates! You will need silicon chocolate moulds which are available from all cookware stores. This recipe will make enough for 12 chocolates.
1. Make your raw chocolate mix as per the basic recipe.
2. Fill each silicon cup 1/3 full with raw chocolate. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
3. Use a small teaspoon to place a small amount of almond butter inside each cup. Take care to make sure the almond butter only sits in the centre. Leaving the sides clear to be filled with chocolate.
4. Use the remaining raw chocolate mixture to fill the cups to the top. If the raw chocolate mixture has become solid you can very gently heat (over a very low heat) until liquid. Place chocolates in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set.
5. Store finished chocolate in the freezer or fridge.
Raw Chocolate Bark w/ Goji Berries & Pistachios
I love the rustic beauty of this raw chocolate slabs. It looks great broken into rough pieces and speckled with pretty berries and nuts. You can add whatever dried fruit or nuts you enjoy.
1. Make your raw chocolate mix as per the basic recipe
2. Pour into a small slice tin lined with baking paper.
3. Sprinkle with ¼ cup goji berries and ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachio nuts.
4. Place in the freezer to set for at least 2 hours.
5. Use your hands to break into pieces. Store in the freezer or fridge.
Other Ways To Use Raw Chocolate
· Add sweetened raw cacao nibs to your favourite granola or trail mix recipe.
· Sprinkle nibs on top of a smoothie.
· Use the raw chocolate recipe as a sauce to top ice cream or fresh berries.
· Dip bananas into the raw chocolate and place in the freezer to create a creamy and wholesome treat.
Important to Note
Cacao is a powerful superfood so should be enjoyed in moderation by children or those sensitive to caffeine.
Your finished raw chocolate loves being stored in either the freezer or fridge. You’ll have a mess on your hands if you leave it at room temp for too long!
Hugs. Kelly xox