Raw chocolate. The guilt free chocolate. A superfood snack. An energy booster. Your best friend!
My aunt use to make raw freezer chocolate in ice-cube trays with cacao and cacao butter. At the time when she introduced me to these delights I was still a student. The cost of making these new healthy treats was not exactly budget friendly, so I had forgotten about them.
I was re-introduced to raw chocolate when we visited family in England. We stayed with Dawid’s sister who shares my passion for healthy + real food. She made her version of raw chocolate simply by melting coconut oil, adding raw cacao and honey and then popping it in the freezer from where we enjoyed it.
In the last view years raw chocolate has become increasingly more popular. Small batch artisans have come onto the scene at local markets and health shops are stocking many varieties.
Raw cacao is not to be mistaken with cocoa. Raw cacao and cocoa look the same and come from the same cacao plant, but the nutritional value and the way in which it is processed differs.
Raw cacao is made by cold pressing raw cacao beans. The process preserves the fibre and nutrients from the bean making it a great source of nutrition and antioxidants.
In the case of cocoa, the beans are roasted at high temperatures and then ground down to a fine powder. The process of roasting changes the molecular structure of the bean. It gets sweeter and the nutritional values change. The cocoa powder is more likely to be the ingredient of most store bought and commercial chocolates and it is much less expensive than raw cacao. The cocoa is still a good source of fibre and can be used for cooking and baking. If you are buying cocoa, take a peek at the label to make sure there are no added ingredients or sweeteners.
Coconut oil will liquify at room temperature. So it should only be heated until it is melted, then you can add your sweetener and the cacao powder. This mix is the base of the raw chocolate, from here you can add combinations of oats, coconut, seeds, berries, superfoods, nuts, spices… you see where I am going.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp honey or sweetener of your choice
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 3 tbsp shelled pistachios
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp dried cranberries
- Melt the coconut oil on a very low heat. When the coconut oil is liquid, remove it from the heat.
- Add the cacao powder and the sweetener and whisk until the powder is dissolved into the oil.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Keep back a few cranberries and pistachios.
- Pour the mixture onto baking paper on a baking tray and sprinkle over the remaining cranberries and pistachios.
- Transfer the tray into the freezer.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours until frozen solid.
- Remove from the freezer and break up the raw chocolate into bite size pieces.
- Transfer the raw chocolate pieces to an airtight container and keep it in the freezer.