Ask anyone on any specialty diet what they daydream about and they’ll say: “To eat normally again.” Multiply that by five for special occasions.
Dairy is common in most chocolate, we’re all aware. But until you’re forced to go gluten-free, you don’t realize how common gluten is in chocolate. Wheat, malt, barley… they’re not just fillers, but used for texture and to hold color. Then we have a third item that 100% of the population is reacting to: sugar (in its 99 variations). I’ll skip the rest of the unpronounceables.
It’s unfortunate, because real, raw cacao is such a super food loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, and minerals. Iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, protein, and even some selenium and Vitamin K (something 25% of those with Celiac Disease are always low in). Cacao is one of the most complex foods in the world. I eat a small piece of organic 100% raw dark cacao every day*.
*Celiac Disease Note: chocolate can be a cross-reactor. If you find yourself reacting, refrain for 6-12 months and try again. Isolate it to see if your body has re-balanced and can now eat chocolate or if it has become a permanent cross-reactor for you (as coffee has become for me).
SOLUTION TO THE VALENTINE DILEMMA: PLAN AHEAD
Don’t run into a shop at the last minute, they might not carry a healthy, allergen-free version of Cupid’s signature food, particularly if you’re wanting special packaging fit to be a gift. Buy ahead so you can repackage nicely, or make it yourself…
Making chocolate is ridiculously easy. 3 steps, 10 minutes:
1) Get 100% raw organic cacao butter and melt it in a double boiler (put the cacao in a small pot and put that into a bigger pot of warm water to melt; avoid direct heat because it burns the chocolate). Raw cacao is cream colored, add a spoonful of raw cacao powder if you want the more traditional chocolaty taste/look versus white chocolate.
2) Once melted, add anything you wish to create more flavor and texture. Raw nuts are excellent, some seeds go well, bee pollen adds yet more power and crunch, honey or maple syrup if you’d like to sweeten. I love cashew, hazelnut, or macadamia, plus dried edible flowers. Gorgeous.
3) Pour into small molds or cupcake paper and put in the fridge to harden. You can also pour straight into a flat pan lined with parchment paper and then break into big chunks once it’s hardened, it looks more natural and rustic that way.
By the way, this is an awesome way of getting kids off toxic candy bars year-round. They’ll love that they made it themselves and chose their own flavors.
SUPPLEMENT LIKE CHOCOLATE
If you’re not eating raw cacao regularly, you might want to supplement with some of its most powerful components: magnesium, copper, zinc.
p.s. Eating so-called normal is over-rated, it’s how we got into a health crisis. Appreciate your purer diet and focus on what really matters, which is who you want to kiss this February 14 😉
Jaqui Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD, is a best-selling author, speaker, and corporate consultant who specializes in educating about gluten, celiac disease, specialty diets, and health through nutrition. Her popular “NakedFood” brand has helped thousands include more power raw and healing greens in their diet. Ms. Karr is a certified gluten practitioner, certified sports nutritionist, and certified vegan/vegetarian educator to dietitians. http://jaquikarr.com
Note: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer, not necessarily those of the publisher.