Love chocolate but can't eat sugar or trying not to? What a dilemma! Fret no more! Make your own chocolate easily with lankanto sweetener which tastes like sugar (more than stevia)! Just melt 2 cups of cacao butter in double boiler (you don't want to heat the cacao butter at too high a heat to keep more of the benefits in). When it is all melted, place in refrigerator for a few minutes (not too long-you don't want it to harden or you will need to re-melt it) because you don't want to cook the following ingredients. Then add 2-6 T of cacao powder depending how dark you want your chocolate to be. I would add about 1/4 cup of Lakanto sweetener to the mixture (but taste for yourself to make sure it's not too sweet or you need more). I like to add a T of gelatinized Maca (gelatinized is better for women) for rich deep flavor and more protein as well as a 1/4-1/2t of an organic mushroom blend called Mushroom Magic with reishi, lions mane, cordyceps and chaga. I like to add a few drops of vanilla essential oil but you could use 1/2-1t vanilla powder or extract. I've also added cinnamon, cayenne, orange or peppermint essential oil which you might want to try. I liked orange the most of those but you can experiment for yourself. Place the mixture in a couple of small pyrex or stainless steel pans or a large one. I've used cupcake pans with the liners. Should be about 1/4-1/2 thick. Then place back in refrigerator. Allow it to solidify. If you want it in 30 minutes, place in the freezer. Store in refrigerator. It will last a long time but it won't last more than a few days! When ready to eat, let it sit out for a few minutes to soften. Cut in bite size pieces or just break off a piece. Raw chocolate is a superfood and can be eaten daily so you don't have to regard it as cheating from your diet because there is nothing bad in it! It should be part of your diet as it is so rich in nutrients. With the addition of the maca, mushroom blend and essential oils is it a super healthy food (not treat). Let me know how it turns out or ask me a question in the comment section. This is my best batch so far! Mmmmm.
Read about the health benefits of raw chocolate (cacao) here from http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html
Did you know that raw cacao benefits human longevity and health without negative side effects?Unlike processed dark chocolate, antioxidants are preserved in raw cacao. Benefits from keeping organic chocolate unheated include; much higher levels of the famous chocolate antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!), Omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin. The cool facts about chocolate in this article reveal how this fun and amazing superfood is actually healthy for you!It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and others fillersadded to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole.Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system. You can find organic cacao butter, cacao powder, cacao nibs, cacao beans and cacao paste at a great price, by clicking this link.Traditional and scientific properties:~Yang Jing, Qi, Shen, Blood
~Cooling, in excess heating
~Sweet, Astringent, Bitter
~Heart, Kidneys, SpleenThe antioxidant content of raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular and general whole body health. In processed dark chocolate, antioxidants such as epichatehins, chatechins, resveratrol and procyanidins can be present, but are in much lower levels than in unheated raw chocolate nibs as an example. Out of all the whole foods that contain antioxidants, raw chocolate is the highest in the world. It dwarfs the popular foods and beverages commonly touted as being antioxidant rich foods such as red wine, green tea and blueberries by a factor of 10x or more! There are certain herbs and spices, such as the chaga mushroom and cinnamon, which have higher levels of antioxidants in them but generally you won't be consuming enough volume of them to get as much antioxidant value from them as you would from a normal dose of raw cacao. Benefits from consuming antioxidants come when a range of different types of foods high in them are in your diet, since different coloured foods have different antioxidant compounds which target different parts of the body. The phytochemical analysis of cacao beans reveal that raw chocolate is perhaps the most chemically complex food on Earth. There are compounds yet to be discovered in this most amazing of live superfoods. Phytochemicals usually degrade in the cooking process, so the raw forms of them should be abundant in every diet for longevity.~Anandamide (the only food that contains this neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of "bliss")
~ N-linoleoylethanolamine (prevents the re-uptake of anandamide)
~Phenethylamine (PEA, a neurotransmitter known as the "love molecule")
~Seratonin (a neurotransmitter that acts as a "stress defense shield" by making you feel good)
~Dopamine (a neurotransmitter that boosts motivation and pleasure)
~MAO Inhibitors (prevents the re-uptake of serotonin and dopamine)
~Coumarin (has appetite suppressant, blood thinner and anti-tumor properties)
~Theobromine (controversial but actually quite beneficial for humans, see last section)
~Asparaginase (an enzyme that has anti-leukemia properties)
~Ergosterol (a precursor to vitamin D)
~Sitosterol (decreases LDL cholesterol)The nutrient density of raw cacao benefits every function of the body. One of the many cool facts about chocolate is that it is the highest source of magnesium and chromium of any food! Magnesium is the most deficient mineral in the average human. All of the compounds found in raw cacao benefits longevity in humans.~Vitamin A
~Vitamin B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
~Omega 6 Fatty Acids
~Soluble Fiber (which is the type people need more of)
~Enzymes (including catalase, lipase and amylase)
~Other Beneficial Phytonutrients (such as the antioxidants already mentioned in this article)There are a plethora of scientific studies on the health benefits of chocolate and none that have been able to prove any negative health effects associated with it (unless the chocolate has additives like dairy or sugar).Dr. Gabriel Cousens conducted a study on the health benefits of chocolate in February of 2008. What he discovered was that raw cacao benefits diabetics as a safe food since it raises blood sugar less than almost any other food, despite it's theobromine content! It even raises insulin sensitivity! One of the other cool facts about chocolate that he discovered was that it's not toxic to the liver (many people are falsely claiming the contrary), except when combined in large amounts with sweeteners high in fructose such as agave. This is basically the only well known clinical study done specifically on how raw cacao benefits human health.
It has been shown that raw cacao benefits a wide range of cardiovascular issues. The dark chocolate antioxidants and abundant amounts of magnesium and other phytochemicals can balance blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, scrub away arterial plaque and promote general health by reversing heart disease. (Raw) chocolate bars are known as a great remedy for many menstruation issues women can get. It is also confirmed as an aphrodisiac for both genders. What more do you want from one of the worlds top live superfoods? For more information about this amazing superfood, check out the book "Naked Chocolate" by David Wolfe and Shazzie which is packed full of information and amazing recipes!The famous "Dutch study", which was done on regular processed chocolate, followed over 200 Dutch men over the course of twenty years and found that those who ate the most milk and dark chocolate had lower rates of all major diseases compared to those who ate little to no chocolate. The health benefits of chocolate were really emphasized in this study by the fact that there was no upper limit to how much chocolate could be consumed by these men. What they literally discovered was that the more chocolate you eat, the more your potential for human longevity increases! The chocolate being eaten in this study was processed milk chocolate mostly, so just imagine the difference that would come from eating raw cacao beans, nibs or other raw cacao products instead!In a Harvard study on the Kuna indian tribe off the coast of Panama, there was a unique chance to examine the health benefits of dark chocolate in a controlled way. Close to the region where the Kuna tribe lived there were other tribes of identical genetic heritage, very similar diet and identical lifestyle habits. The only difference was that the Kuna tribe lived in an area where cacao trees grew abundantly. They would consume up to 5 cups of a bitter dark chocolate drink on a daily basis (although they weren't aware of how raw cacao benefits your health even more than the cooked version). This resulted in them having lower rates of all major diseases as well as a longer average life expectancy. This study lead by Dr. Hollenberg spurred more research on the health benefits of chocolate, as well as the unique dark chocolate antioxidants that were abundant in these cacao drinks the Kuna tribe enjoyed so much.The world's oldest human being to have ever lived (that was officially documented) was Jeanne Louise Calment of France. She lived to be 122 and many say that one of her secrets to longevity was her consumption of 2.5 pounds of bitter dark chocolate a week. The third "official" oldest person ever to have lived was Sarah Knauss, who also regularly enjoyed the health benefits of chocolate, although not in as large quantities as Jeanne! On top of that, Chanel, perhaps the world's oldest dog to have ever lived (she lived to be 21, 147 in dog years), ate chocolate on a regular basis. She even once devoured an entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! This is very odd since chocolate is commonly touted as being toxic to dogs, even in small quantities... Imagine how long these people and animals could have lived if they had been aware of how raw cacao benefits your health more than the processed version.Despite the overwhelming evidence for the health benefits of chocolate, their are still many grumpy and prudish people out there "cocoa-bashing".These people never have any evidence to support their opinions. This is simply because there are no scientific studies that show any detriments to consuming chocolate! Raw cacao benefits all people who consume it unless their constitution is imbalanced. There is anecdotal cases of people having bad reactions to it. This is what these anti-chocolate campaigners go on and on about, yet little do they know that people can have bad reactions to any food depending on their own unique constitution. The amount that they take and/or whether the raw chocolate (or cooked chocolate) product is contaminated in some way will affect different people in different ways. Much in the same way people can have negative reactions to the Chinese herbs ginseng or astragalus if they are imbalanced, a strong Jing foundation must be developed first to support the very Shen building qualities of raw cacao beans and other raw chocolate products. The theobromine content of raw chocolate nibs and all other chocolate products is the chemical commonly vilified as being toxic. However no death or liver injury from theobromine poisoning in healthy humans has ever occurred! Over 20 pounds of pure raw chocolate would need to be consumed all at once to reach toxic levels of this phytochemical. The alkaloid theobromine is a cardiovascular stimulant that has little to no affect on the nervous system. It dilates blood vessels which naturally lowers blood pressure (taking strain off the heart) and increases nutrient uptake during digestion (when combined with adaptogenic herbs and otherlive superfoods, raw cacao benefits and potentiates these other phytochemicals).Theobromine also kills streptococci mutans, one of the main types of bacteria responsible for tooth decay and improves asthmatic type conditions by opening up the lungs. Of course anyone with liver damage should avoid chocolate products because of their high copper content and not so much because of their theobromine content. Stimulants in an of themselves are not a problem, as all foods contain various depressing or stimulating factors within them. Caffeine which is actually more harmful than theobromine is either very low or absent in chocolate (depending on the variety of cacao beans used to make the product). Virtually all plant foods contain different alkaloids which are toxic when isolated from the plant and taken in large doses. This does not mean that the plants that contain them need to be blamed in any way. When a persons body begins accumulating too much of a certain alkaloid, a natural aversion to that food begins to develop until the metabolism of the body has removed that compound.The many raw cacao benefits are also called into question when people learn about its oxalic acid content. Oxalic acids can accumulate in the body blocking calcium absorption, causing kidney stones and other forms of calcification. It should be noted that many other common foods can contain up to 10x the amount of oxalic acid as chocolate. When you compare how much chocolate people eat at once (a few grams at most) to the amount of spinach (which is high in oxalates) that can be eaten, it becomes absurd to be afraid of this factor that's present in cacao beans. One of the cool facts about chocolate in it's unheated state is that the oxalic acid is harmless since only cooked oxalic acid combines with calcium to form oxalates that can accumulate in the body! You can find organic cacao butter, cacao powder, cacao nibs, cacao beans and cacao paste at a great price, by clicking this link.Finally, many people are afraid of becoming addicted to this superfood. Despite all the raw cacao benefits in this article showing that this is perhaps the best thing to be "addicted" too, people still attack the health benefits of chocolate. You can become addicted to any type of food especially if it tastes good and makes you feel good! With the exception of physically addictive substances (like heroine or cigarettes), addiction is an entirely mental condition and needs to be addressed by temporarily abstaining from the food or thing that you're addicted too and then addressing the underlying emotional issues causing the attachment to that food or activity. Vilifying and claiming the activity is toxic is not addressing the issue and will lead a person with an addictive personality to some other food or activity to take its place. The health benefits of chocolate are outstanding and any addiction to it is the fault of the individual and not the chemicals within the cacao beans themselves.Sources:~"Superfoods" by David Wolfe (North Atlantic Books, 2009)
Benefits of Maca Root https://draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/
Maca root (lepidium meyenii) is an adaptogen and a member of the cruciferous family, like broccoli and cabbage, but due to it’s unique properties it considered one of the world’s natural “super foods.” Maca is grown high in the mountains of South America, mainly in high altitude regions of Peru.
FREE Guide: The Top 5 Maca Root Benefits
The pleasant tasting root is usually available in powder form after being harvested and grounded down. The maca root benefits include a positive effect on hormone balance, energy levels, and a health booster.And not only is it a natural source of healing nutrition, but it also has a long history of being a safe superfood that has been consumed for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years in regions of the Andes Mountains.Maca is a pleasant tasting root usually available in powder form. It is very rich in nutrients (has a higher calcium level than milk) and is very nutrient dense.Maca Root benefits include increased fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, booster for the immune system, and increased energy, stamina, improved sexual function, memory, and focus. (1, 2)Maca is considered an “adaptogen”, a name given to certain herbs, plants, and natural substances that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, demanding job, or illness, for example. (3)Another unique fact about maca root is that historically it has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac and a traditional fertility secret of populations living in the Andes.Consuming maca often makes people feel more “alive”, energetic, and leaves them with a sense of well-being, all of which are thought to be due to its ability to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins. Another benefit of maca is its relatively high amount of absorbable plant-based nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium, among others.Maca Nutrition FactsMaca root powder is comprised of approximately 18% protein, 76.5% carbohydrates, 5% fat, and 8.5% fiber (indigestible carbohydrates). Maca provides a powerful source of nutrition, including:
2. Women’s Hormones, Fertility, and Sexual HealthA 2008 study from the journal Menopause showed thatmaca benefits had positive results on boosting menopausal women’s moods and decreasing levels of anxiety and depression.The same study also showed that the improvement in mood led to increased sexual libido. (5) A separate study done in 2008 by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics showed that maca had the ability to increase sexual libido in women, likely due to its positive effects on serotonin levels, the “feel good” hormone. (2)In one study done using animals and maca, it was found that in female animals taking maca, multiple egg follicles were able to successfully mature, which is important for ovulation and reproductive health. (4)Maca is believed to restore women’s hormonal balance by supporting the endocrine system and aiding in the regulation of healthy adrenal and thyroid hormone production. (3)The adrenal gland and thyroid gland play a major part in regulating many feelings – everything from stress levels to appetite. Restoring the health of these glands is paramount for someone wanting to feel their best.3. Male’s Testosterone Levels and FertilityIn clinical studies, serum levels of testosterone were not shown to be affected by maca. Black maca however, has been shown to have positive effects on sperm production, more than yellow maca and red maca.Red maca has its own benefits for male hormonal health. It has been shown to reduce prostate size in studies done on male rats. This points to the conclusion that maca may possibly help improve human prostate health as well.In other studies, maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, mobility, and volume, all important factors of increasing fertility. (1)In another 2010 report summarizing the results of 4 clinical trials carried out by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, maca was able to show benefits related to improving sexual dysfunction and sexual libido in adult men and women. However the other two trials did not show the same positive results, so more formal research is still needed to determine the exact power of maca on fertility. (2)Even though the studies haven’t yet show maca to naturally boost testosterone, there are other great natural alternatives that may help that you can find in this article on how to naturally increase testosterone.4. Energy, Memory and MoodThose who regularly use maca powder report that it makes them feel more awake, energized, and driven, often relatively quickly after beginning to use it. A positive attribute of using maca for increased energy compared to using caffeine is that maca does not give most people “jitters” or a sense of shakiness like high levels of caffeine can.Clinical trials have shown that maca has positive effects on energy, stamina, and mood. Maintaining positive energy levels is related to having lower levels of anxiety and depression, both of which maca has been shown to positively help achieve.Exactly how maca increases energy is still unknown, however it’s believed that it may be able to do so by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels (which decrease energy spikes and dips), and to maintain adrenal health, which regulates mood and energy throughout the day. (3)Maca benefits also include regulating the hypothamlus, helping the pituitary gland to properly function, which is another key element in balancing focus and energy. (4) An increase in focus, energy and mood enables people to concentrate better and therefore to improve memory and ability to complete tasks.5. Antioxidant BoosterMaca root acts as a natural antioxidant, and boosts levels of glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase). These are two major disease fighters in the body. Results from recent studies demonstrate that maca root has the ability to help prevent the development of chronic human diseases that are characterized by high levels of “bad” cholesterol, high antioxidative states, and impaired glucose tolerance. (6)And because maca root increases the glutathione levels in the body, it not only improves your immune system and disease resistance, but also it is helps balance proper levels of cholesterol in the body. Plus, it significantly improves glucose tolerance, by lowering levels of glucose in blood. (6) This is especially important for those who need to worry about heart health and conditions like diabetes or metabolic syndrome.While more research is still needed to reveal how exactly maca benefits the body’s hormonal and nervous systems, initial studies that have been completed have shown promising results for use of maca.Maca Side EffectsAlthough maca does not generally produce harmful side effects in those that use it, and it has been safely consumed for thousands of years, there is still more to learn about the exact safety and side effects of using maca for medicinal benefits. (2)Because of maca’s effects on hormone levels, physicians believe that maca should not be consumed by people who rely on hormone-altering medications for treatment of illnesses like breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example, or for other serious conditions. People who have high blood pressure are also advised to not consume maca.More research is still needed on whether or not maca is safe for use in pregnant or nursing women. So, until it is confirmed to be safe, it is best for these women to avoid maca. (2)Where to Buy MacaMaca can be found in most health food stores in powder form. You may also find it available in capsule, liquid, or extract form. All forms are thought to be equally beneficial, however its best to buy maca from a quality harvester that ensures its 100% pure maca root powder and ideally look for a variety that is raw and organic.Maca comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions. If you are not able to find maca in a store, it is widely available online, often at lower prices.How to Use MacaThere are many great ways to incorporate maca root benefits into your diet!If you are new to using maca powder and want to experience its benefits yourself, look for maca in its most readily available powder form. Then begin conveniently adding it to meals that you would otherwise be making anyway; like breakfast, for example.Most people prefer to not microwave or heat their maca powder at high temperatures, for example when baking, because it’s possible that some of the nutrients are diminished through the heating process.Many people also use maca by adding it in powdered form to different recipes that adjust well to the slight sweetness of maca. While not overly sweet tasting, maca has a natural nutty, slightly sweet quality to it, similar to cinnamon or nutmeg. The taste of maca root blends well when added to a fruit smoothie, oatmeal, or cereal.My favorite way is in a smoothie, like my Chocolate Banana Nut Smoothie Recipe. Try it out and see if you soon experience the same positive results that thousands of other maca users already have!
Here's a chart of Medicinal Mushrooms: