If eating chocolate and having a glowing skin sounds too good to be true, you are really not dreaming. You CAN have a cake & eat it too! Chocolate made from raw cacao is a true superfood & the best natural source of antioxidants (for youthful skin), magnesium (for stress relief) and serotonin (for happy mood) as well as numerous trace minerals vital for that glowing look.
Opposite to highly processed conventional chocolate that provides you with nothing more than excess sugar and fat, raw chocolate is a true powerhouse of health. It is packed with nutrients, vitamins, microelements and is a great energy and mood booster.
I love eating raw chocolate any time of the day, including breakfast. The added bonus? You can enjoy it totally guilt-free knowing that you are nourishing your body with nature’s goodness.
I am sharing my three favourite raw chocolate recipes that are fast to make and require just a blender & a few ingredients you probably have in your cupboard:
It tastes so rich, silky smooth and intense, I often serve it dinner parties as a dessert & it is always a total hit. Just a couple of spoons will satisfy your sweet cravings.
Yields 2 servings
1 large ripe avocado
¼ cup honey/maple syrup/agave or stevia to taste (couple of drops)
¼ cup raw cacao powder (or equal parts of cacao & carob powders)
1 tablespoon raw cacao butter, melted (optional)
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar Pinch sea salt
Blend everything till super smooth. Taste, add more sweetener and /or cacao powder. Divide between the serving glasses & let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Top with raw cacao nibs for extra crunch, fresh raspberries and/or coconut whipped cream.
This decadent and nourishing breakfast bowl is a true feast for your senses. It contains maca, an amazing adaptogenic superfood that balances hormones, boosts energy levels and acts as a natural libido enhancer.
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup hazelnut or almond milk
1 teaspoon raw maca powder (optional)
3 or 4 pitted Medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes if firm)
1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries (defrosted if frozen)
1 banana or ½ avocado
½ tablespoon raw carob powder
½ tablespoon raw cacao powder, plus additional for garnish
½ teaspoon vanilla essence or vanilla powder
Pinch sea salt
Raw cacao nibs Dried mulberries Chopped fresh or frozen cherries
Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the smoothie between two bowls. Sprinkle with raw cacao powder, and top with the cacao nibs, mulberries and cherries. (For an extra kick, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper when blending the mixture).
Nothing tastes more like summer than decadent chocolate covered strawberries. There is something magic in this combination of ripe, succulent fruit and crunchy bitter-sweet chocolate melting in your mouth.
Fresh strawberries with stem (washed & pat dried with a paper towel)
½ cup raw cacao
½ cup raw agave nectar or raw coconut syrup
¼ cup raw cacao butter, melted in a glass bowl over a pan with boiling water
pinch sea salt
Blend all the ingredients (except for strawberries) in a blender till shiny & smooth. Pour in a glass or metal bowl and while the chocolate is still warm dip each strawberry into the chocolate, covering 2/3 of it. Place on parchment paper covered plate & transfer to the fridge for 15 minutes to set. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Zhanna Dijkstra is an online holistic health coach & a trained raw food chef on a mission to help busy professionals and entrepreneurs find balance & thrive among the madness of targets and deadlines. She guides women & men from around the world to become the healthiest, happiest version of themselves through a combination of nutrition, movement and mindset work. You can learn more about Zhanna at www.zhannadijkstra.com or download her FREE supercharged breakfast ebook at http://bit.ly/superchargedbreakfasts
"A ritual is like a routine and while a routine can feel a little inflexible and even a bit stressful, a ritual is a nurturing and peaceful space for you to take care of yourself. A sleep ritual becomes a signal to your body and mind that it is time to rest and drift off to sleep."
Special guest, Alissa Geddes of ECO. Modern Essentials, takes us through using essential oils to create effective and all-natural sleep rituals.