Many people consider eating chocolate a “guilty pleasure.” Unfortunately for chocolate, it’s gotten a pretty bad reputation due to its all-to-common over-processed and over-sugared form.
Chocolate, before it became a chocolate bar, was made from the cacao (cocoa) bean. Cacao beans in their natural, unprocessed, unaltered state are rich in nutrients and beneficial to health.
Raw chocolate or cacao powder contains many important vitamins and minerals including:
• Magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
• Polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties
• Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
• Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
Raw cacao has also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve circulation, promote cardiovascular function, neutralize free radicals, improve digestion, and enhance mental well-being. So skip the candy bars (or any milk chocolate for that matter) and mix up a batch of these delicious (and nutritious) raw brownies instead.
Recipe for Raw Mint Brownies
• 1 and 1/3 cups Dates, Pitted
• 1 tsp Vanilla
• 5 tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
• A few drops Pure Peppermint Extract
• 1 cup Walnuts
• Optional: For an extra energy kick, add 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
Combine all ingredients, except the walnuts, through a food processor. Once the dates are mixed well with everything else, add the walnuts. Form into balls or bars. Store leftovers (if you have any!) in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Amanda is a Boulder-based Health Coach, fitness enthusiast, avid trail-runner, and aspiring physician with a passion for integrative health. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring and healthy lives and create a revolution in how people think about their health. Her passion is encouraging others to take care of their bodies with exercise, healthy behaviors, and nutritious foods. Get inspired to live fit and connect with Amanda on her blog. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.