Easter eggs are popping up everywhere, and I don’t know about you but this time of year my chocolate cravings tend to escalate rapidly. So I decided that it would be a great idea to share a healthy, decadent and nourishing chocolate recipe. A recipe that’s indulgent and free from guilt. A recipe that’ll leave your saliva glands working on over time. A recipe that’ll keep you coming back for more…. I’m sure by now you get the picture.
This Raw Vegan Peppermint Chocolate recipe, I hope, will be one that will be referred back to time and time again. One that will be scruffy and dog eared, as it lays gently on the kitchen counter top, time and time again. Special occasions, birthdays, gifts and those midnight cravings, I hope this recipe will find a way into your home, and be used again and again 🙂
One of the things I love about a chocolate recipe, is that you can be so creative in using your end product creation. From pouring it into different moulds, to adding it to other tasty creations like muesli bars or coconut bliss balls, the possibilities are truly endless with a good base chocolate recipe.
The hint of refreshing peppermint tingles across your lips, and you simply can not resist but to have another bite! The fact that this chocolate is so good for you and bursting with antioxidants, makes the whole experience that much better!
So what are antioxidants, and why are they so good for us?
Antioxidants, produced by the body and obtained through foods, are a critical part of the body’s powerful defense system. To understand them, it’s important to know something about oxidation. In cells, oxygen is constantly involved in chemical reactions in which electrons (charged atomic particles) are shifted around. To generate energy, our cells remove electrons from sugars, fatty acids and amino acids and add them to other molecules, especially oxygen. This creates highly reactive, unstable particles known as free radicals, which combine quickly with other elements.
Free radicals are generated during normal cellular processes, but also when we are exposed to ultraviolet rays, air pollution, intense physical exertion and tobacco smoke, for example. Antioxidants help “spare” our cells by becoming oxidized themselves. For the most part, our antioxidant reserves can keep errant oxidation under control. But over time, cellular damage can result if we are exposed to more oxidative stress than the body can handle.
There are thousands of different kinds of antioxidants in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as in coffee, tea, chocolate and wine, which operate in different parts of cells and participate in different chemical reactions in the body. As a first line of defense, some antioxidants suppress formation of free radicals, while others “scavenge” to remove them before they do damage, or work to repair damage once it has been done. Some familiar nutrients that act as antioxidants are vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and selenium. Source
Antioxidants are electron donors. They can break the free radical chain reaction by sacrificing their own electrons to feed free radicals, but without turning into free radicals themselves. Antioxidants are nature’s way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). As long as you have these important micronutrients, your body will be able to resist aging caused by your everyday exposure to pollutants. Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of antioxidants and the role they play in maintaining good health and reducing your risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Antioxidants also help slow down the aging process, which can have immense effects on your skin health. Source
So we know that antioxidants are vital to our well-being, and what better way to include them into your diet than by enjoying a piece of delicious, homemade, raw, vegan, sugar-free chocolate. Yum!
- 1/2 Cup Orgainc Raw Cacao
- 1/2 Cup Organic Cacao Butter
- 4-6 Tsp Rice Malt Syrup (Or sweetener of choice)
- 2-4 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (Food Grade)
- Cacao Nibs
- Sprinkle of salt
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, and reduce the heat. In a clean glass bowl (that fits over the pot), add the cacao butter and place over the hot water.
- Turning off the heat and slowly melting the butter until a liquid forms(bain marie). Ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water & no water goes inside the bowl.
- Once the butter has melted, whisk in the cacao powder until the mixture begins to thicken. It should remain runny and easy to pour.
- Add your sweetener of choice and whisk gently, the mixture should thicken slightly.
- Add a sprinkle of salt and the peppermint essential oil.
- Pour into your mold of choice. Sprinkle with cacao nibs, and allow to set in the fridge or freezer over-night.
- Serve and enjoy! Anytime! Anywhere!
- Use Organic where possible