Here is my very easy recipe for my homemade Raw, Organic Fruit and Nut Chocolate.....
Monique's Raw, Organic Coconut, Fruit and Nut Chocolate
100gm Organic Cocoa Butter - preferably Fair Trade
100gm Raw Extra Virgin Organic Coconut oil (Available here)
8-10 Tbsp Raw Organic Cacao Powder - preferably Fair Trade
3-4 Tbsp Organic Honey (Agave or Maple Syrup if VEGAN)
pinch of Sea Salt
1/2 cup chopped Organic Almonds
1/4 cup chopped Organic Dried Apricots
1/4 cup Organic Raisins
Place the Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil into a double boiler and gently warm till they have melted. Be careful not to heat over 42 deg C. Once it is completely melted add the Cacao Powder, Salt and Honey/Agave or Maple syrup. With a wooden spoon mix thoroughly and keep warm for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and using a 'stab mixer' blend to evenly distribute the Honey/Agave or Maple Syrup through the mix. Keep blending on and off as the mixture cools until it starts to thicken. Once thickened, stop blending and add all the chopped fruit and nuts, mix well with the wooden spoon. Pour onto a slice tray or alternatively into chocolate moulds or cup cake papers which have a tray underneath. Once poured, refridgerate for 1 hr to set, or alternatively 30mins in the freezer. Once set remove from the slice tray and break into pieces. Store in the refrigerator.
There are many benefits to making your own chocolate including knowing exactly what is in it and just as importantly what isn't in it IE: PALM OIL/refined sugars/etc
My recipe for chocolate is made with Raw Cacao Powder. This is cold pressed without solvents (unlike Cocoa Powder) and as such has a much higher nutrtional content. It generally has over 360% more antioxidants than regular Cocoa. Thats 14 X's more potent anti-oxidants than red wine, 21 X's more than Green Tea and 7 X's more than dark chocolate.
Cacao is a great source of phytonutrients and is now considered a "Superfood". It contains aminos, protein, niacin, calcium, chromium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium and is one of the worlds best food sources of Magnesium which is muscle relaxing and stress relieving and possibly the reason that chocolate is craved by women each month. It's a great excuse to indulge!
Cacao is generally grown in Peru or Mexico and of course you should always look for Organic and Fair Trade. That way you are assurred of a quality product that is grown in a sustainable an ethical manner, that way everyone wins, the grower/harvester, the environment and the lucky people that get to eat it.
Replace any Cocoa called for in a recipe with Cacao instead. You can make a hearty hot chocolate, great at this time of the year and then in the summer months you can make a Dairy Free, Choc Banana Ice Cream by simply blending a frozen banana and a tablespoon of Raw Cacao Powder. Yum!
It is a great treat and lots of fun to make, so what are you waiting for?