Chocolate is one of those foods that seem to always get a bad rap. Nutritionists think it's fattening and that it shouldn't make up a large part of your diet due to the calorie load. “Only in moderation” is their standard advice. Just a treat!
Just walk into any grocery aisle and see top chocolate manufacturers like Nestle, Hershey's, Mars, or Ghirardelli with their lengthy ingredient list. Some ingredients you heard of; others sound like a chemistry lab. They all have one thing in common: the use of cheap ingredients like CANE sugar, artificial flavors, nonfat milk products, artificial dyes, and hydrogenated oils.
If you're at all like me, you must be tired and shocked by what the food industry is doing to your food. Not only is it decreasing the health and vitality you desire. It is making you feel tired, depressed, and making you addicted to the vicious cycle of cravings. These food manufacturers have one ultimate goal, and that is to get you addicted to their cheap products.
I mean why do they need to, it's cheap and convenient. Their chocolate candy products can be found anywhere from vending machines, gas stations, work offices, it's all around you. The quick, fast snack that you hope keeps you on the go during that next tough day at work. But, deep down you know you won't go for that snickers bar ever again. Until the next day you forget all about it and grab one anyway.
Now, you are at work and have a full day ahead of you. Yet, it is only mid-afternoon and the side effects from that sweet “heaven-on-earth” chocolate bar is already kicking in. The anxious, jittery focus which is a love-hate relationship is spiraling out of control again. You can't concentrate and your mind is foggy. You push through trying to ignore this internal battle because your to-do list is through the roof. It's okay eventually you will feel back to normal. But…each second you are counting down the clock until it hits 5 o'clock.
This picture clearly shows how an average businessman may be feeling stressed and fog-headed. A diet high in processed junk foods and cheap, fast takeout is a factor here. Let's not forget about the sodas, coffee with added sugar, energy drinks, and many other things bombarding the system of many Americans daily.
So, how can we solve this issue? What steps can consumers take to demand this change for companies to create products without the irresponsible over usage of these cheap, unhealthy sweeteners being added to food products. If you think switching over to honey makes you healthier–THINK AGAIN. They are all the same biochemically, a glucose and fructose molecule bonded together.
In fact, Dr. Robert Lustig at the Institute for Responsible Nutrition responds to some frequently asked questions on a study conducted by ‘UCSF and Touro University researchers [that] prove conclusively that dietary fructose restriction improves metabolic syndrome'.
Sure, you could try to do without candy and deprive yourself. Or, seek out “healthier” alternatives from health food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Erewhon Market. Remember that honey, agave, or maple syrup are all the same? But, why spend more for something you can create from home, where you control the ingredients and make sure it doesn't contain those addictive dietary sugars. Plus, creating chocolate at home can be a lot of fun for the whole family and teach kids about emphasizing healthier choices. You see, depriving children of their sweet tooth is not the answer. It's educating them about ingredients that taste great but at the same time have awesome health benefits!
Our plan is to maximize our “fat-burning” potential and that means taking it a step further. By keeping the calories low, adding health promoting fats, and best of all natural sweeteners derived from fruit or vegetable sources.
Next time your child craves chocolate, cake, pies, or ice cream they can be all made using nourishing superfoods which we will cover right now. If this is not enough to revolutionize your family's eating habits, wait until you taste this fine, artisan-crafted chocolate. You won't ever reach for that crappy snickers bar at the office ever again. Instead with a little preparation, you can make sure to have these on you when the afternoon hunger strikes.
So, what ingredients are going into making these fat-burning chocolate. Well, every batch of chocolate starts out with a high quality raw cacao. You're probably thinking that is a misspelling but it is actually the origination of chocolate. Yes, in fact where that same snickers bar originated. Still goes from bean to bar, plus a hefty dose of processing. But, is enough to make you cringe with every bite. I bet you are wondering what is cacao? It is derived from the cocoa tree; hence, the species theobroma cacao. South American cacao beans are the most popular choices for artisanal chocolate makers. What has advanced the competition is selecting beans with the least amount of mold contamination and selected from a single, small region grown in high volcanic conditions.
The Bulletproof line of chocolate products is a real game changer when it comes to hand crafting your own high quality chocolate.
Unlike, other cacao processing that uses alkalization, spray/gas drying, or harsh solvents; Bulletproof uses artisanal methods to process the beans and preserve the “rawness” of the chocolate. This keeps the taste consistent and prevents unnecessary bad batches which are common with commercial chocolate manufacturers.
You probably have a good understanding of why quality is essential to what you put in your body. And chocolate is definitely no exception. So, let's move into the chocolaty goodness!
Here are the 10 simple ingredient hacks to “fat-burning” chocolate:
1. High quality raw cacao powder
It is important that you choose a chocolate powder that is high quality without any of the issues
mentioned above. Choosing Bulletproof chocolate powder is a great way to start making chocolate
from home without expensive grinding machines or commercial machinery.
2.High quality cacao butter
Cacao butter is the “fat” that is extracted from the cacao bean; it is cold-pressed oil and is solid at room temperature. So, for the process of making chocolate you are going to want to melt down the cacao butter and use a higher ratio of melted cacao butter to chocolate powder. This recipe uses 3/4 cup of cacao butter to every 2 tablespoon of cacao powder. You can always up the cacao powder ratio for a darker chocolate consistency. We're going to go Bulletproof as well with this ingredient.
3. MCT Oil
MCT oil is more or less an optional ingredient and can be replaced with coconut oil for simplicity or convenience. Although, the bonus of MCT oil is that they are medium-chain triglycerides. Why is this important? They are very easy for the body to break down and utilize as energy. It is remarkable for fat-burning, just check out what the folks at Paleo Leap have to say. A PubMed study done on medium-chain triglycerides had people separated into two groups, a medium-chain triacylglycerols and long-chain triacylglycerols group, for a double blind long term study which resulted in significant increase in loss of body fat for the MCT group versus the LCT. Since, the ketogenic movement of high-fat and low-carb is at all time increased popularity: this is the weapon of choice in your kitchen arsenal.
4. Bulletproof CollaGelatin
CollaGelatin is an upgraded version of plain old collagen or gelatin; it combines the two together for an increased amount of collagen protein. On the other hand, standard gelatin will make the chocolate firm up too much. This increases the protein for your chocolate and gives it the nice creamy texture when you bite into a milk chocolate bar. So, this neat hack allows you to consume the necessary amino acids for your skeletal system and build muscle. Which is why chocolate is now completely acceptable to consume for those hectic days at the office, to pack with your child's school lunches, or as dessert for the whole family. Our ancestors understood how vital it was to prepare bone broth which has nutrients often missing in Western diets; so, now this sweet hack is available in chocolate form.
Colostrum is nature's first superfood originating from the milk prior to giving birth of the mammary glands of mammals. Usually it is sourced from cows, but it can also be consumed from goat, sheep, and yes even humans. That is a controversial subject in itself, so you will want bovine colostrum widely available from a cow. The health benefits are potent for stimulating IGF-1 (insulin growth factors) which is excellent for someone looking to add muscle. In fact, athletes have been known to use colostrum to improve performance. Even if you are not an athlete you should consume colostrum for immune enhancing benefits: before antibiotics colostrum was used to fight infections.
6. Himalayan Salt
This is not like the typical iodized table salt that raises your blood pressure. This is not really a true rock salt anyway. It is processed much in the same sense like you would process white cane sugar or white flour. The extreme processing methods removes the health benefits and trace minerals that go along with the ingredient. Thus, Himalayan Salt comes from the rock beds tucked away in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan. Himalayan Salt has the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the body.
7. Vanilla Bean Powder
Vanilla Bean Powder is the finest, richest source of vanilla and superior to the vanilla extracts you find in typical grocery stores. Unfortunately, it is rather pricey with some popular brands setting you back a whopping $25.00 for only 2 oz. Just a small pinch, goes a long way in the taste of your chocolate bar. Can’t afford it? No problem. Choose an organic Fair-Trade Madagascar vanilla extract.
8. Low Glycemic Sweetener
There are many sweeteners out there on the market and it can be rather confusing to make a decision. Do you go with agave nectar, honey, maple syrup…..maybe coconut sugar? Well, for the purpose of our goal here this is to “burn-fat”, a sweetener that is low-glycemic and does not contribute to weight gain, meets our criteria. It has to taste good and be a superfood. The kabocha pumpkin is a marvelous superfood. The Japanese have consumed it as a staple in their diets for centuries. It is often overlooked in Western Diets in place of its close counterpart the jack-o-lantern, but it is much lower in carbohydrate and calories. Okinawa is one of the areas popularized by Dan Buettner's book, The Blue Zones Solution, where inhabitants live well into their 100's. Thus, a solution was found to turn this superfood into a sweetener. Kabocha extract is notably famous in Asia for its health benefits; this sweetener has yet to hit the mainstream American market. (Luckily, you can check out my bio to learn where to find this amazing ingredient).
9. Extra Goodies
These extra goodies are suited to your custom need and take your chocolate to the next level. You can experiment with adding almonds, coconut shreds, and cacao nibs. Or, different superfoods like maca, mesquite, Chinese medicinal mushrooms, spices, super berries, basically anything your imagination can put together is worth a try! For starters, cashew butter cups and almond-coconut bites will be a sure way to transform you into the coolest person around.
Quantity: Your Preference
10. Lots of Love
The last ingredient is not really a tangible item, but it is something that lots of artisan chocolatiers use for their trade. Much love is put into each and every single batch of bean to chocolate, from the sourcing to the ratio of ingredients and their own hand labor. The rigorous process includes tempering, dipping, decorating, and molding to create beautiful works of art. Some of the greatest chocolate makers in the world prefer to use marble slabs and hand tools instead of machinery to create fine pieces. The chocolatiers “old school” craft is a stark contrast from the mass produced chocolate companies.
Quantity: All Your Love!
Now, you have the ingredients that you will be working with to create some amazing creations. Melt down around 3/4 cup of cacao butter using a double boiler, add a couple tablespoons or more, depending on preference, of cacao powder into a sifter to remove the clumps and pour into a measuring cup. colostrum and CollaGelatin, vanilla bean powder, MCT oil, kabocha extract, Himalayan salt and stir with a whisk briskly for a few minutes (extra time evenly distributes the consistency and is where tempering has a role). Add almonds into the molds pour the chocolate over and sprinkle some coconut shreds to make the almond-coconut bites. For the cashew butter cups, add a pinch of cashew butter into the molds cover with chocolate. You can either store in the freezer for 1-2 hours for a quick chill or the refrigerator for a few hours. It's that simple. Go ahead and enjoy with your friends and family!
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