Cacao beans are the raw ingredient all chocolate is made from. Containing over 300 identifiable chemical compounds, Cacao is the most complex food substance on earth. Cacaos’ abundance of natural anti-stress, anti-depressant and bliss inducing compounds, Serotonin, Tryptophan, Anandamide, Dopamine and PEA make Cacao natures answer to Prozac. These well studied neurotransmitters alleviate depression and create feelings of wellbeing. Cacao also contains MAO inhibitors which allow more of these feel good neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain for longer. Cacao beans are 500 times richer in anti-oxidants than blueberries; however it has been shown that the addition of diary produce actually blocks the body’s ability to absorb them, so ground Cacao is best mixed with non-dairy liquids for hot chocolate, smoothies or shakes. Cacao is not only great for your mood; it is good for the heart too. Cacao is rich in magnesium, the primary mineral missing when heart problems occur. Magnesium increases overall vigour of the heart muscle and decreases blood coagulation which lowers blood pressure and helps the heart pump more effectively. Hot Chocolate that really is good for you !!
- Grind Cacao beans, sugar and flavourings in a blender till they are as fine as you can get them.
- Heat milk until just about to boil and then add to blender.
- Blitz all the ingredients in the blender until it has a nice foamy head.
- Pour into large mug, add flavourings to taste and serve.
- Note: Make larger batches of the cacao and sugar and use as you need it makes the grinding easier, as does picking the blender up and giving it a shake.
This was quite different from usual hot chocolate, but very good. I ground the beans in my spice grinder and then added the powder, a piece of a vanilla bean and 1 cup rice milk to my Thermomix, blended on highest for some seconds and then heated on medium speed for 3 minutes. Afterwards I strained the liquid through a sieve. Thanks for posting and the information, this was a great experience which I will surely repeat! Made for Comfort Cafe January 2010.
Note- Cacao does offer up a stronger flavor. I used almond milk and heated it to a medium warm. I used stevia in place of the sugar and left out the nutmeg. Thank you for all the info on the cacao and thank you for a healthy hot chocolate recipe!