real raw kitchen: RAW superfood, Cacao

Friday, April 6, 2012

RAW superfood, Cacao

Cacao is an incredible superfood with so many benefits overflowing from its natural state. My favorite benefit from cacao is the belief that cacao supports the heart in a literal, metaphysical, and spiritual sense (Wolfe, 2009). Cacao is known to reconnect us to the intuition of Mother Nature. It is a very grounding substance. Yes!

The more measurable benefits are as follows:

  • Antioxidants- highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world
  • Magnesium- number one source, increases brain power, strong bowel movements, and muscle relaxation
  • Iron- one serving contains 314% the RDA of this oxygen-carrying protein
  • Chromium-balances blood sugar
  • Manganese- assists in oxygenation of blood
  • Zinc- immunity, sexual fluids, skin health
  • Copper- immunity
  • Vitamin C- immunity
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids- healthy omega that helps balance overall intake
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA)- chemical naturally present when we fall in love
  • Anandamide- natural endorphin
  • Tryptophan- a powerful mood-enhancing nutrient
  • Serotonin- the primary neurotransmitter in the human body
  • Fiber- smooth and regular bowel movements
A real cacao plant I saw in Miami

Where to start? Here are some basic and quick recipes to get cacao (the raw, unadulterated version of cocoa) into your diet (recipes from Wolfe, 2009):

RAW avocado mousse
3 avocados
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup or agave (or 1/4 dates)
1 tablespoon maca powder

Combine in a food processor and serve with berries or nuts (or both!).  Serves 2-3. 

Awesome Chocolate Shake
2 frozen bananas
1 cup nut mylk
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon raw almond butter

Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy immediately. Serves YOU.

Cacao Goji Trail Mix
handful raw cacao nibs
handful goji berries
handful pumpkin seeds
handful macadamia nuts
handful sunflower seeds

Mix well and store in a glass jar. I keep mine at work and munch on it whenever I'm hungry but have a long ways to go before my next meal. 

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