Yum! These sweet and incredible snacks are so easy to nibble down on and easy to eat a load of! There are so many kinds out there, it’s a little tricky to distinguish between the “good” and “bad” chocolates.
There are many varieties to enjoy, from powder form or cocoa nibs to truffles and drinks that you really are spoilt for choice.
The right kind of chocolate is good for you, packed full of vitamins and antioxidants and can really satisfy your sweet tooth.
I will explain the benefits and all sweet stories throughout the article. So grab yourself a sweet choccy bar and carry on reading now.
What is Chocolate made out from?
That really depends on the kind of chocolate that you are diving into. Generally speaking, all chocolates contain some sweeteners and cocoa beans. The way it’s made up though, is quite a complex process.
- It all starts at a cocoa tree that grows huge cocoa pods that have inside them – cocoa beans. These beans are extracted and harvested straight away and so the production for chocolate begins.
- Fermenting the beans takes place which can take several days. The beans coat is going through fermentation which are bacteria, enzymes and yeast fermenting the outer shell, while it’s all covered up with banana leaves.
- Drying takes place right away to ensure the humidity levels are reduced.
- Roasting takes place next which is all about cooking the little beans. They are placed in roasters or in grills at hot temperatures to develop aroma and color.
- Cracking and winnowing takes place that separates the outer shell from the cocoa nibs so that the nibs are finally out and collected.
- Grinding takes place which lets you convert the nibs into edible chocolate. Cocoa nibs are grounded into cocoa mass.
- Tempering is where the cocoa mass, in the previous step, now changes to look good by heating it so it’s reaches a stable form.
These steps are a basic overview to the creation of chocolate in general and a brief, simple explanation about the process.
Differences between Raw Chocolate and Commercial Chocolate
You can read from above that heating the beans always takes place but the temperature at which you heat them up with makes a huge difference.
Heating up the cocoa beans at temperatures exceeding 130 degrees allows for important enzymes to be diminished and therefore important nutrients lost making for quite an “unhealthy chocolate bar”. If temperatures are low and the ingredients are healthy then that is a chocolate bar worth delving into.
Organic chocolates are preferable for the way they are produced and the can contain coconut palm sugar rather than refined white sugar which is good news for you health consumers. Although quite expensive, it’s also a good choice in that many of these organic chocolates are gluten free and vegan which a great ethical choice. They contain only a few, natural ingredients and very little or no chemicals and additives.
Commercial or processed chocolates are heated to very high temperatures, making it quite unhealthy to eat and the added refined sugars and flavourings really should make it easy to steer clear from. They can contain gluten and dairy and eating a load of these spikes up blood sugar levels and not great for your teeth! I know which chocolate bar then I will be choosing!
It is obvious that commercial chocolates are everywhere and easy to get access to. Wonder why? Just ensure that you stock up on healthy chocolates and alternatives. It can be found in local health stores or a nice little selection in supermarkets near you.
“You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider”
“If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider”
“If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention”
How to use Chocolate
Onto my favorite part of the article – the many uses and ways to include chocolate into the diet. Raw chocolate is full of magnesium that plays a role in regulating sugar levels and blood pressure. It contains zinc that helps the immune system and a source of B vitamins for energy.
- You can add raw cocoa powder into your smoothie or into boiled water, along with some coconut milk and maple syrup. You can add a dash of cinnamon, maca or ginger powder for a spicy festive hot drink!
- Adding raw cocoa nibs into your porridge or pancakes can not only make it look appealing to the eye but delicious too.
- Eating a piece of pure dark chocolate with some tea can de-stress you significantly and relax your mood.
- Try adding to baking and cooking whenever necessary to replace those commercial ones for healthier results.
The bottom line is this that eating chocolate is healthy and satisfying but do not over indulge – too much of anything is never a good thing. Choose raw cocoa and check the ingredients always to avoid any unnecessary ingredients.
If you have any questions or comments, then please leave below and I’ll be sure to help you out, thank you.