#8 – Uplifting, Healthful Cacao

Reading this title you may be saying to yourself, what the… healthful cacao!  The Mayans named it the food of the gods!  And I wholeheartedly agree.  Turns out cacao is good for your heart and mood. Cacao (Cocoa) should be the main ingredient in your chocolate bars. A lot of early research suggested that cacao is a phyto-cannabinoid (phyto-plant) similar to the endo-cannabinoid (endo-within) your body makes naturally called anandamide. But cacao is not a phyto-cannabnoid but a bond reinforcer of your own body’s bliss molecule (anandamide-body produced endocannabinoid), cacao helps your body to hang on longer to your own body’s produced anandamide (bliss molecule). So I know what you’re thinking…. how do I get more body bliss?

Image result for lily's extremely dark chocolate green
Image result for lily's intensely dark chocolate green transparent background

It’s true cacao is extremely healthful, sugar is absolutely not healthy, it’s kinda the anti-healthy reality in a lot of common foods. 

There are so many newish products to make consuming cacao pleasurable, these products are made with alternative sweeteners like stevia and monk-fruit.  My personal favorite is a brand called ‘Lily’s’.  They have chocolate bars sweetened with stevia that are amazing!  I  recommend the Extremely Dark (85%) or better yet, Intensely Dark (92%) cacao, make sure you get a bar that is at the very least 70% cacao like the Salted Almond.  I like to eat a serving size, a half of a bar, with sprouted walnuts and almonds.  It’s a great pick me up when I feel my energy flagging in the afternoon.  What’s even more amazing is that cacao is, when you combine it with caffeine, a powerhouse of positivity.  But please be warned that adding cow milk to your combo will negate the good results.  

Cacao works like magic to prevent your body from using up your body’s store of anandamide, which is called the ‘bliss molecule’ that your brain naturally creates.  Cacao deactivates the FAAH enzyme, which deteriorates anandamide.  So with a morning and afternoon dose, you should stay blissed out all day!  (This picture is a little misleading, straight cacao is what you want, not a sugary treat with cacao flavoring.)

I incorporate cacao into the start of my day by making a morning coffee/cacao beverage that also has other supporting herbs.  Recipe as follows-

Morning Uplifter

  • 6 oz brewed coffee- I make mine in a ceramic brewer and very strong
  • 1 scoop of Collagen Peptide powder (great source of amino acids)- good prices at Costco
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder (for joint health)
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  • 1 heaping tsp of medicinal mushrooms such as; Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shitake, Chaga, Maitake, and many more 
  • 1 tsp ea of Cardamon and Cinnamon
  • 1 heaping Tbs of 100% Cacao powder
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  •  1 Tbs or to taste, (I like things a little on the bitter side), of Monk-fruit (sugar replacement-very low Carb, so named for the Monks that discovered it).
  • TO SAVE TIME IN THE MORNING; MULTIPLY ALL DRY INGREDIENTS BY 7 AND MAKE A WEEK’S WORTH OF THE DRY INGREDIENTS, PLACE IN MASON JAR, THAT WAY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SCOOP IT ALL UP AT ONCE!!!!
  • 4 oz of Ripple Plant Based Milk or Almond Milk (remember cow milk negates the positive effects of cacao)
  • 1-2 Tbs of Coconut Cream from a can
  1. Whirl in a blender or bullet
  2. Heat on the stove in a small pan if you want it hot, but it’s awesome cold!
  3. I drink this brew every morning and it’s a great start to my day. It gives me enough energy to make it to late morning before I need to eat food, see post #9 for recipe for the morning porridge recipe or some greens and eggs.
  4. Below is a link that explains the benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

For my mid-afternoon uplifter I make cacao bars with Lily’s chocolate and chopped sprouted nuts.

Sprouted nuts and seeds are easier to digest than raw nuts and seeds because the soaking process releases their enzyme inhibitors.

The subject of sprouting nuts is it’s own later post, but you can read this article for enlightenment into this subject-

snackinfree.com/sprouted-nuts-and-seeds/

Cacao Nut/Seed Bars

  • Take 1/2 of an Intensely Dark Lily’s Chocolate bar and put it in a cast iron pan on the lowest setting on the stove
  • Add 1/4 of a Lily’s Brand Salted Almond bar
  • 1 tsp-1 Tbs of Monkfruit, depending on how sweet you like it
  • Add 1/2-1 c of sprouted nuts and seeds; I like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachio nutmeats
  • Cook at the absolute lowest temp you can to avoid burning chocolate, if it’s sticking to the pan, add a little coconut oil, about 1-2 tspish
  • Mix thoroughly in pan with wooden spoon, incorporating melted chocolate and nuts together
  • Scrape mixture out of pan onto some parchment paper with a metal spatula, flatten with back of spatula
  • Let cool, cut into squares, Enjoy! After an afternoon of gardening, I’m ready to come in the house and have a pick me up of tea and a cacao/nut bar.

We haven’t talked about cannabis in this blog yet.  One possible improvement to the bars is the addition of some CBD isolate, (to address inflammation) which you can emulsify with a little melted coconut oil and add to the chocolate/nut combo right after they come out of the pan, but before they harden.

As always, 

Enjoy the process and stay blissed out while you work hard with cacao!

Susan

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