Decadent Cacao Banana Smoothie

Chocolate-Banana-Smoothie-150x150

  • 1 cup DIVINE ORGANICS Hazelnuts, Almonds, Macadamia or other nut of your choice plus 3 cups water and prepare nut-milk (mix in a high-speed blender and strain through a nut-bag) or:
  •  substitute with 2-3 TBSP Nut-butter of your choice
  • 4 soft Dates, if you can get only dry dates, soak them.
  • 1/4 cup DIVINE ORGANICS raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon DIVINE ORGANICS ground Vanilla
  • pinch of Cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of Cardamom
  • 1-2 Bananas, frozen
  • 1 tablespoon raw Macadamia Nut-butter, (for decadence)

Mix all ingredients in a blender (add the ingredients one after the other, don’t use all the water or nut-milk at once, add it little by little for creaminess). Enjoy!

Cacao Maca Boost

web_2-cacao-maca-smoothie-150x150

So simple!
Put all ingredients in any blender and blend for 1 minute.

Cacao Maca Boost:
2 cups almond milk
3 tablespoon DIVINE ORGANICS Raw Cacao powder
1 tablespoon DIVINE ORGANICS Raw Maca powder
1 ½ tablespoon DIVINE ORGANICS Coconut crystals
1 tablespoon DIVINE ORGANICS Raw Chia seeds
1 pinch DIVINE ORGANICS Raw Ground Vanilla

 Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pudding

 chia_pudding-2

1 cup DIVINE ORGANICS Hawaiian Macadamia nuts
3 cups water
1/2 cup pitted dates, packed
1 Teaspoon DIVINE ORGANICS raw Ground Vanilla
3 Tablespoon DIVINE ORGANICS raw Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoon of DIVINE ORGANICS Creamy Coconut Sugar, add more if you like it sweeter.
Dash of ROYAL HIMALAYAN pink salt
(3 good servings)

In a Vitamix blend 1 cup of water with macadamia nuts, vanilla, salt and sweetener (except the dates) until creamy, add more 1 cup of water and add the cacao powder.

Add the dates and the remaining water. The result is a creamy rich liquid. Check if you are happy with the sweetness.

Add 6 TBSP of Chia Seeds. Stir a few times and come back in a few minutes to stir again. Let the pudding rest, all liquid should be absorbed in about 30 minutes. If you want to want a thicker consistence, add another spoon of Chia Seeds.

chia with mint

Upgrade to a Chocolate chip mint pudding 
add 1/4 Teaspoon of peppermint extract to the mix, crush a handful of raw cacao nibs and add them by hand during stirring the pudding. For decoration have mint leaves and a sweet berries ready.

Cacao Powder versus Cacao Paste

Hello friends,  we got recently repeat questions how to use cacao paste… and, why would I use paste when there is powder?

That’s a good question and I decided to add this post, hopefully to inspire some of you to try more paste… our company Transition Nutrition, as you might now, distributes both, but our paste is superdelicious.

Raw Cacao Paste (also called Cacao Liquor) is made by crushing raw cacao beans into a liquid. This liquid quickly solidifies at room temperature and the result is Cacao Paste. Because no heat is used in this process, Cacao Paste retains its natural properties. Cacao paste is naturally about 55% cacao butter and is an extremely smooth product great for use in any chocolate recipe. If you are looking for true dark chocolate, this is it. Not 80% or 90%, but 100% pure organic cacao. No additives, sweeteners or anything else. This product is essential for true cacao chefs who are looking for chocolate creations that are firm and silky at room temperature, or one-of-a-kind homemade healthy chocolate fudge.

CACAO Powder is made by applying  a cold-pressing process to the cacao bean, so that most of the fat (cacao butter) is removed. With the fat removed, cacao powder becomes hydroscopic (= it will dissolve  in liquids). Therefore, if you are looking for smoothies, hot or cold drinks, cacao powder is the most convenient solution. When it comes to prepare chocolate, cacao powder might not be the smartest solution. You will have to add cacao butter or any other oil (like coconut oil as a lot of raw food recipes ask for). However, if you use a household blender your chocolate result will be more of a fudge and will need refrigeration to stay firm. This is a huge difference to the Paste, — with the paste you can create room temperature chocolate.

More tips how to use Cacao Paste:

Very simple and healthy:

  1. Chip into small pieces and mix with nuts, dried fruits, dates to create your own healthy trail mix.
  2. Grind or shaving for ice cream, cakes, morning cereal, morning fruit salad.

Use in a Real Chocolate smoothie:

Melt (gently warm in a double boiler) then add water, coconut water/coconut milk or nut milk, keep on low temperature, add vanilla and your favorite sweetener and a pinch of salt.

Serve warm or: Mix in a Vitamix with ice cubes for a chilled chocolate smoothie. Add a handful of fresh strawberries, raspberries, ripe mango or zest of orange.

Chocolate Bark:

This is one of my favorite recipes, and i promise i put it also into our recipe page with a picture soon…. maybe somebody will remind me :). Please go ahead and modify it, but will give you a good idea about the superior use of paste instead of powder for any chocolate or truffle.

¼ cup of raw coconut oil, melted*
¼  cup cacao butter, shaved*
¼ cup cacao paste, melted*
¼ cup of maple syrup or agave* or coconut blossom sugar* (try our’s of course, it has the consistency of honey and tastes amazing, we got in a new batch)
pinch of ground Vanilla*
¼ cup of ground hazelnuts*
¼ cup of Himalayan raisins* or mulberries*
First melt the chocolate: place the cacao butter with the paste in a water bath, add coconut oil and stir as it melts.
Add the sweetener and extracts, take away from the heat and let cool down for about 10 minutes. Then place it back and heat again to melt it a second time (cacao butter crystals need 2 different temperatures to align).
Add the raisins, hazelnuts and stir until coated.
Pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet and spread about ¼ inch thick. Let it cool down. You may use the fridge if you like. Break down into chunks. Store cool.
If you like your chocolate darker or firm use more of the cacao paste and reduce the coconut oil. If you are living in a very hot climate, keep the bark in the freezer.
Another option is to add: shredded coconuts, more nuts, almonds*, gojiberries* or a tablespoon of Maca powder* to give the chocolate bark a toffee flavor.
All * ingredients can be purchased from our website: www.transitionnutrition.com

Why unprocessed RAW Chocolate is good for you

cacao-goji-brittle-web1We have one of the best raw chocolates on the market, our Sacred Cacao Brittle.

It has the most amazing combination of only a few but high quality ingredients, this is a summary of the healthy benefits:

Antioxidants: RAW Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:

* Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
* Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.

Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, RAW cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.

* Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS systems, and promotes a sense of well-being.
* Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
* Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
* Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.

Essential Minerals: RAW Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. Don’t let yourself fool: processed (=roasted cacao may come in all types of qualities on the market, yes, the price will mostly tell you, but the mineral content is very low compared with RAW Cacao)

* Magnesium – RAW Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
* Sulfur – RAW Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.

Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.

Important note- To fully benefit from chocolate’s wide array of nutrients, eat chocolate that is as close to its natural state as possible. Whole cacao beans and nibs are best. You lose many of the health benefits when you eat commercially produced chocolate.

What can i do with RAW Cacao Beans or Nibs?

We often get this questions, here are some suggestions:

If you are using whole beans, simply crunch them between your fingers to loosen and remove the peel. You can use the beans whole or grind them in a spice mill/coffee grinder or food processor. Then add them to smoothies, teas, desserts, raw food bars or any dish that calls for the delicious flavor of chocolate. They are especially good when used in recipes with our vanilla beans. Here are some more detailed suggestions for enjoying the exquisite flavor of cacao:

1. Try eating them straight, a tablespoon at a time. Chew thoroughly and experience the taste extravaganza of raw (or roasted) chocolate.
2. Sprinkle on yogurt, granola, desserts, etc.
3. Make a delicious chocolate shake with dairy or nut milk, coconut oil, a frozen banana, agave nectar, and cacao beans or nibs.
4. Add agave nectar, yacon sweetener, or honey to the raw cacao nibs and chew!
5. Freeze cacao nibs with sweeteners (agave nectar or honey is fantastic). Eat cold.
6. Blend powdered cacao into herbal teas with the Peruvian superfood maca.
7. Add cacao nibs to ice creams for the healthiest chocolate chip ice cream in the world.
8. Create a raw chocolate bar! Blend the following raw ingredients together: cacao, agave nectar, carob powder, maca, coconut oil, and cashews. Pour into a mold and freeze.
9. Grind whole beans or nibs into a powder and combine with coconut oil to make a chocolate sauce. Use in cookies, brownies or other raw or baked desserts. (Check out in our Recipe section)
10. If you have a Champion juicer, you can make unsweetened baker’s chocolate by running the nibs or unpeeled whole beans through it. To make a “liquor” run the powder through the Champion several more times until it separates into powder and liquid.
11. Make a scrumptious chocolate nut fudge. In a food processor or blender, start with your favorite nut (cashews or almonds are particularly good) and add coconut oil, agave nectar or honey, coconut flakes, cacao beans, vanilla, and a pinch of Royal Himalayan salt.

Chocolate and Health Benefits

All these statements are backed up by research and surveys, but please have in mind that the best source is raw unprocessed unheated cacao beans or chocolate made with raw unheated cacao beans and other healthy unprocessed ingredients. Do not believe that cheap chocolate from the supermarket with a high amount of sugar can do it for you.

1. PREVENTION OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Chocolate scores well in all researches done for protective effects against heart disease.

  • lowering blood pressure
  • anti-inflammation
  • anti-platelet function
  • higher HDL, decreased LDL oxidation
  • flavonoid content may reduce risk of cardiovascular mortality
  • flavonoid content may reduce risk of CHD mortality.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16390538

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/166/4/411

2. ARTERIOSCLEROSIS

Research has shown that the antioxidant effects of cacao are helpful in arteriosclerosis. They were supperior to vitamin C, vitamin E and probucol.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15777537?dopt=Abstract

3. OXIDATIVE STRESS

Lowering oxidative stress is an issue for anybody with a busy lifestyle, but specially for athletes and people in recovery. The high amount of Magnesium and antioxidants in raw cacao can help lowering the risk in sport injuries as well as shorten up the recovery time of illnesses any kind.

4. CHOCOLATE’S POLYPHENOLS ON BOWEL HEALTH

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15087264?dopt=Abstract

5. BLOOD SUGAR AND DIABETES

Studies have shown that the dietary intake of raw cacao products has a positive impact on a stable low blood sugar and can help diabetes.

http://www.naturalnews.com/021961.html

Please find a lot of great article about health and of course, chocolate in Mike Adam’s, the health ranger, site:

http://www.naturalnews.com

Also check out the website of the World Cocoa Foundation:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15087264?dopt=Abstract