Yes! It is possible to eat healthy and enjoy some chocolate! Make it yourself! Dark chocolate contains many health benefits, so there’s no need to deprive yourself of it (in moderation as always).
Most commercial chocolates available on the market are filled with ingredients we can’t pronounce, synthetic and toxic, fillers, emulsifiers and preservatives (which almost always contains soy lecithin, which is made out of GMO soy), and that’s not even including the bad fat, the massive amount of refined sugar (usually the first ingredient) and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), also made out of GMO corn, and the infamous “natural and/or artificial flavours”, which can be pretty much anything they want, but don’t have to write on the ingredient list! And all of this doesn’t include all the pesticides/herbicides/insecticides used in growing some of those ingredients. Yikes!
This is the first time I made my own chocolate at home, and I’m sure I’ll come up with more versions with time, but I gotta say, I am pleased with this batch, and although you have to keep it in the fridge or freezer because it melts easily at room temperature, the taste is really good!!! The good thing about it is that the chocolate taste is very strong and only a small square will satisfy you.
Because chocolate is one of those ‘commodities’ where third-world country farmers are grossly underpaid, I have talked about this in the past, it is important to buy organic AND fair-trade.
I didn’t really keep track of the quantities I used, but I have a rough idea, which I will give you below. Just keep in mind you can put whatever you want in it, as long as you keep a similar ratio.
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Homemade healthy chocolate bar (vegan, sugar-free) 15-18 servings 10-15mins + freezing
- 1 cup pure organic (fair-trade) cacao paste (this is basically 100% cacao, without the cacao butter) [I used Organic Traditions Cacao Paste]
- 1/2 cup pure organic cacao butter (optional — I didn’t have any so I didn’t use any in my recipe, but I think it’d be even better with this, and it wouldn’t melt as fast either)
- 2/3 cup vegan cream of your choice, I used coconut, but this would be delicious with cashew cream or rice cream (you can buy these in health food stores)
- 1/3 cup pure organic medium-grade (B) maple syrup
- filling: raw organic almonds, dried unsweetened organic cranberries, puffed organic quinoa, dried shredded organic coconut, whole organic chia seeds
Put the cacao paste in a pot and melt over low heat (no more than medium-low, otherwise it will burn at the bottom). When it’s totally melted, add the “cream” and maple syrup, mix and continue cooking at low temperature for a few more minutes, while stirring often. Remove from heat and cool down just a bit.
Prepare a small baking sheet or whatever container you want to use (no bigger than 9″ x 9″), line it with unbleached parchment paper. You can put whatever you’d like in the chocolate, I put some coarsely chopped raw almonds, some chopped unsweetened dried cranberries, some puffed quinoa, a sprinkle of chia seeds, and some dried shredded coconut. All organic, of course. Spread the fillings you want in your lined baking sheet, then gently and carefully pour the melted chocolate mixture in. You’ll need a small rubber spatula to spread everything and make sure the added ingredients are equally spread out on the baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour or two, then cut in small pieces and enjoy!