raw_chocolate_superfoodI have excluded a lot of foods out of my diet over the last couple of years but chocolate always finds its way back into my life in one way or another.

More recently I’ve been experimenting with Raw Cacao because unlike the standard cacao powder you get in supermarkets, which is fermented, dried and sometimes treated with chemicals, the raw cacao powder or nibs retain their true superfood status. Raw Cacao is loaded with antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, B vitamins and fibre and has been regarded as the food for lovers by South American civilisations who believed it was the food of the heart. Indeed this powerhouse combination of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins can support healthy heart function, as well as boosting memory and brain function, increase energy levels and reduce inflammation. Raw cacao raises serotonin levels in the brain which act as an anti-depressant and mood enhancer.

raw_chocolate_superfood-3In this recipe I have also added two more incredibly powerful superfoods; Maca and Lucuma. If you’re not yet familiar with these two amazing ingredients then I will tell you a bit more about them.

Maca is a root vegetable (we can only get it in the powder form in this country) originating from the Andes mountains in Peru where it has been used for hundreds of years as food and for its medicinal benefits. It’s main attributes are hormone balancing and stimulating vitality, endurance and strength. It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, and E and is a good source of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and 7 out of 9 essential amino acids. It is also high in antioxidants and an aphrodisiac!

Lucuma powder comes from a fruit extremely rich in nutrients such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus, as well as beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant. It also originates from South America where it is known as ‘Inca’s Gold’ and a recent study concluded that lucuma may have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin-regeneration effects on human skin.

So there you have it – a superfood extravaganza in a chocolate bar!raw_chocolate_superfood-2

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp raw cacao

1 tsp maca

1/2 tsp lucuma

1 tbsp ground almonds

2 tbsp coconut oil – melted

1 tbsp maple syrup or honey

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl making sure they are well combined into a ball. Place the mixture in between two sheets of grease proof paper and roll out with a rolling pin to desired thickness. Scrape the bowl with a spoon and enjoy! Place the chocolate in the fridge for 30 min until it becomes solid. Remove from the fridge and score with a knife, then break into squares and share with your nearest and dearest.

Kids and grownups alike love this chocolate in my house and it goes very quickly, but if you wanted to store it you can put it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. My kids are absolutely fine with these ingredients but they are very powerful so I would recommend only a small amount for little ones.

Further reading and resources:

http://www.thesuperfoods.net/cacao/cacao-nutritional-facts

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-555-maca.aspx?activeingredientid=555&activeingredientname=maca

http://macapowderbenefits.net/#rRgoHw3zmXhJ8a5X.99

http://www.livestrong.com/article/479259-benefits-of-lucuma-powder/

http://superfoodblog.co.uk/lucuma-2-beautiful-benefits-for-skin/

http://www.chocchick.com/raw-chocolate-benefits/super-food.html