CHOCOLATE: The Good, the Bad & the Delicious

Until a few weeks ago, chocolate was high on my list of foods that I categorized as taboo or, at the very least, a treat to indulge in….with guilt. No more, thanks to Laurie Handlers, Tantric Yoga workshop leader, whose Profile appears in this posting. (Also, check Book, Film & Website Reviews for a mini-review of her forthcoming book, Sex and Happiness: The Ten Tantric Laws of Intimacy.)

When I interviewed Laurie and asked which food was compatible with Tantra, her immediate answer was: CHOCOLATE, Food of the Gods. According to Laurie, chocolate is fully compatible with Tantra, making this treat in its natural form a possible boost not just for your health, but maybe even for your sex life. (In Laurie’s Butterfly Workshop, we learned that sex covers the full range of emotions relating to intimacy, not only the act of intercourse. Just as the book entitled Naked Chocolate means pure chocolate, I now define Tantra as a form of nakedness, that is, one in which we bare our souls to our partner. A stretch, maybe, but I like making connections.)

As a result of reading this incredibly interesting book (with great color plates) by David Wolfe and Shazzie, chocolate has moved from my taboo list to my possible healthful food list on a trial basis. I have decided to experiment more with chocolate to decide if I want to keep it on my list of healthful foods permanently. In the meantime, here are some chocolate aphrodisiacs I uncovered through my Internet research and from reading Naked Chocolate, with “Good,” “Bad” and “Dubious” demarcations, where appropriate.

1. GOOD: Cacao, the name for the raw form of chocolate, was a staple in the ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures, was labeled The Food of the Gods. It was also used as a form of currency.
2. GOOD: Raw chocolate (cacao) is rich in the antioxidants also found in Green Tea.
3. BAD: Commercial chocolate has been doctored with refined sugar, hydrogenated oil, and other ingredients that dilute cacao’s healthful properties.
4. DUBIOUS: Dutch chocolate refers to a commercial cocoa powder in which the raw chocolate is made into a powder that is darker in color and milder in flavor by treating it with alkaline salts. (This has a dubious profile, since natural chocolate powder in the health food store proudly advertises that their cocoa powder has not been alkalized.)
5. GOOD: The key to chocolate’s super qualities seems to be eating it in its raw, natural state as a cacao bean! (p. 5 of Naked Chocolate.)
6. BAD: As a corollary, the cooking and processing of chocolate may trigger an allergic reaction or people can become addicted to it, which turns chocolate into an unfavorable food.
7. BAD: Also, according to Naked Chocolate, the Europeans combined the raw cacao bean with refined sugar, which draws minerals from the body. This can trigger blood sugar problems and makes chocolate highly addictive.
8. GOOD: Chocolate in its natural form is high in magnesium, which has some important benefits, especially for women. (See Health Flashes).

In its raw state, before chocolate has been processed with refined sugar and other negative ingredients, it is actually a food that has many positive qualities. Because it has become a modern food with all the unnecessary and unhealthful ingredients found in many commercial foods, I believe (raw) chocolate has been misunderstood.

Therefore, chocolate can be labeled good or bad, depending on its quality (natural or artificial ingredients) and the amount of raw cacao bean in the item (the higher the % the better). Unfortunately, whether or not it is healthfully prepared, many people love it and ignore the negative qualities. But if you are health conscious, I urge you to go to your local health food store and purchase raw cacao beans or non-alkalized cocoa powder or bars that are 85% or more raw chocolate, with little or no sugar. You can always use your own natural sweeteners to suit your taste. (See recipes below for more information.)

If you prepare either of the recipes below made with raw or non-alkali cocao powder, and you find that you can enjoy a slightly bittersweet taste, then you might be pleasantly surprised, as I was, that these forms of naked chocolate are actually quite delicious!

IMG_0010-chocplate.jpg This photo displays both Bananas-on-a-Stick and Cocoa Kisses.

Bananas-on-a-Stick (VEGAN )

Ingredients

2 ounces solid chocolate+
3 just ripe bananas
unsweetened coconut, toasted or untoasted

Directions
1. Place solid chocolate in a double boiler (I just put one smaller pot over a larger pot with water in the bottom and brought it to almost a boil.) The chocolate should melt quickly.
2. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Cut bananas into halves, crosswise. With a fork or tongs, gently roll the banana halves in the melted chocolate (I did it right in the top pot.). Then remove and roll in coconut.
4. Place skewers or popsicle sticks into the flat end of the bananas and place on wax paper to cool. Then transfer to a dish into the freezer. Thaw slightly before enjoying.

+I was able to purchase unsweetened chocolate in Whole Foods. The name on the label is Callebaut, which my daughter Basha was familiar with. (She has training as a pastry chef.) The label says 97.5% unsweetened (a very high %, which is good) and only 1.2% sugar, plus vanilla bean. My husband tasted the melted chocolate and said it tasted very good; surprisingly sweet despite the very small amount of sugar.

Cocoa Kisses (VEGAN if honey not the sweetener)
Ingredients (approximate, depending on your selections of nut butters & sweeteners)
1/4 cup nut butter (almond, cashew, pistachio, peanut, etc.)
1/8 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate powder (non-alkali)
Sesame seeds, coconut or ground nuts for rolling
Oil for hands

Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine nut butter and sweetener until blended. (I use the back of a wooden spoon)
2. Add cocoa powder, a little at a time, until a stiff dough forms.
3. Place a small amount of oil in the palms of your hands. Pick up a small amount of the mixture and form it into a ball.
4. Roll the ball into sesame seeds, coconut. Or ground nuts and place in the freezer. Thaw slightly before serving. Makes about 6 kisses.
Variation: Replace 1/2 the cocoa powder with coffee substitute such as Pero or Cafix for Mock Mocha Kisses.
Note: I purposely made only 6 kisses for you to try. You are free to double or triple the recipe, once you see if you like them. You may also have to make small adjustments with the amounts, based on the nut butter and/or sweetener you choose.

7 Responses to “CHOCOLATE: The Good, the Bad & the Delicious”

  1. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Many thanx. I hope to check out your site soon, ellensue

  2. ellen sue spicer Says:

    I love that you love it! ellensue

  3. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Sounds interesting!

  4. click here Says:

    click here…

    Menupause » Blog Archive » CHOCOLATE: The Good, the Bad & the Delicious…

  5. Krystyna Says:

    At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming over again to read further news.

  6. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Thanx. Es

  7. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Thanx for reading me, ellensue

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