When it comes to healthy snacks, you can’t go wrong with dark chocolate. Aside from the great taste, past research has shown all the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents it contains could help boost your mood, reduce stress, decrease inflammation, and improve your memory. And if you want to make a healthy version at home instead of buying a bar at the grocery store, this is the only dark chocolate recipe you’ll ever need.
Jaclyn Cave, a holistic naturopath in Sydney who specializes in digestion and hormones, shared her recipe for the wholesome snack. Unlike a lot of what you’ll find on store shelves, the one only contains four prime ingredients: cacao butter, cacao powder, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. She also includes nuts to add even more nutrients—not to mention some crunch and flavor.
“I used roasted almonds in this recipe, but feel free to use whatever your favorite nut is,” she says. “Macadamias make a delicious buttery option, hemp seeds make a beautiful decorative chocolate, or use roasted peanuts for a classic combo.”
If you’re not a fan of super-rich dark chocolate, she says you can add a few tablespoons of coconut cream to taste, making it a little more like melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate. But however you decide to go about making your chocolate, the process is easy.
After melting the cacao butter over low heat then adding in your cacao powder, sweetener, and salt, you simply pour the smooth mixture into a container lined with parchment paper. Then sprinkle some nuts on top, if you so choose to, before putting in the fridge to harden.
Four hours later, your freshly-made dark chocolate will be ready to enjoy—just in time for movie night.
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Dark chocolate recipe
3/4 cup cacao butter
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or 8 to 10 drops liquid stevia)
1/2 cup roasted almonds (optional)
a pinch of fine salt
1. Melt the cacao butter in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring continuously. Make sure it doesn’t bubble or boil.
2. Once melted, take off the heat and stir in the cacao powder, your sweetener of choice, and salt. Use a fork to make sure the mixture is smooth.
3. Pour into a container lined with parchment paper. If you’re adding almonds (or whichever nut you have on hand), sprinkle them on top.
4. Place in the fridge to harden. Your chocolate will be ready to cut after four hours. Store in the fridge or freezer.
The benefits of cacao:
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