With all my talk of kale you may imagine I never eat treats, you would be wrong. Although I am drenched in vehement support of leafy greens, as far as I'm concerned, there is only one true perfect food on the planet.
My friends, I am talking about chocolate.
How do you like me now?
All chocolate from milk to dark begins as a cacao bean, the journey from the cacao bean to the chocolate bar will ultimately determine it's level of “Abra approval.”
Cacao (the purest form of chocolate) has been so revered throughout history that the Aztecs used it as currency.
I can tell you that raw cacao, raw chocolate is more valuable than money in my house.
So why oh why should you eat it? Well the list is long, but in light of Valentine's day let's just look at why it's so dang good for your heart and soul.
Chocolate is LOVE
Cacao contains Phenylethylamine or PEA's. PEA's are a major class of chemicals that we produce in our bodies when we fall in love.
Butterflies in your stomach, flushed face, giggles, and joy sound good to you? Well you will get a little bit of that lovin' feeling when you eat chocolate.
Chocolate is your one true companion.
Chocolate is BLISS
Cacao also contains a molecule called anandamide, which is know as the bliss molecule. Anandamide is released when we are feeling fantastic! Anandamide also acts as a chemical messenger between the embryo and uterus. As such, it is one of the first communications that occur between mother and child. Pure bliss!
To obtain maximum love and bliss consume raw chocolate, or cacao. You can find raw chocolate in “nib” or powder form at most health food stores. It is bitter, I cannot tell a lie. Over time, as you reduce your dependency on sweet, you will fall madly in love with raw chocolate, just as I have.
So toss that heart shaped box of toxic yuck and go buy your love, or yourself, a bag of cacao. If raw cacao nibs are too far off spectrum for you begin with dark chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the closer to it's natural cacao state, the more benefit you will get (begin with at least 70% cacao content).
Ideally look for organic, fair trade dark chocolate (to avoid pesticides, mold overgrowth, and potentially toxic ingredients).
So there my loves, as your Valentine's gift I am telling you to go out and eat some chocolate.
Looking to bake a chocolate-y treat? Try some of my favorite healthy chocolate recipes below. (just click the titles for full recipes)
Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten Free)
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free)
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