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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Real chocolate for Valentines Day

soullachamberlain

P1010757If anyone wants to buy their loved ones chocolate for Valentines day, ditch the commercial ones that are full of nasties and opt for the real raw cacao deal. So what’s in commercial chocolate that is so nasty? Most popular brands of chocolate contain:

  • sugar (usually the white refined variety which is highly processed) or glucose syrup (made from wheat starch);
  • soy lecithins (and/or other emulsifiers)
  • cocoa (which is the processed version of cacao – note the difference in spelling!)
  • milk powders (which are heavy processed and devoid of nutrients)
  • barley malt extract (which is heavily processed and contains gluten and phytates)
  • preservatives (usually 220 which affect asthma sufferers), flavours and colours (eg 122).

img_7706

And don’t kid yourself in thinking that the world famous brands like Lindt are immune from this litany of ingredients. The first (and hence dominant) ingredient in one certified organic brand is rapadura whole cane sugar and the fourth ingredient was soy lecithin. And while rapadura is much less processed than white refined sugar, sugar is still sugar which is still sugar and if that is the main ingredient in what is going into my loved ones’ mouths then I’m going to think twice about it. Many trendy organic brands sweeten with agave syrup, which I am not a fan of as it is 90% fructose and creates severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels with insulin spikes and crashes.

There is no chocolate that I know of on the market that ticks all of the boxes…which is why I started making my own years ago. My hand-made chocolate coconut balls are made from unprocessed raw cacao powder (75% content), raw cacao butter, extra virgin coconut oil and sweetened slightly with whole medjool dates. I roll these into 20g balls then coat in desiccated coconut. No sugar or other sweeteners required. When the quality of the underlying ingredients are the real deal, then you don’t need to add much, if any, sweeteners (natural or otherwise). The raw cacao powder I buy is from Loving Earth and is long fermented and high in antioxidents. Raw cacao butter and coconut oil are high in healthy saturated fats and also slow down the release of fruit sugars contained in the dates.

Chocolate coconut balls

In his new book “Your Personal Paleo Code” Chris Kresser writes: “There’s nothing wrong with dark chocolate (with greater than 75 percent cacao content); in fact its one of the most nutrient-dense foods available…”

To purchase a packet just text me 0407 871 884 and collect from my home at a mutually convenient time at 23 Kent St Waverley 2024. $15 for a packet of 6 balls.