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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Raw Power Hot Chocolate

I know raw food is all about not heating your food up, so you may be wondering how I can have raw hot chocolate? Well, that is actually not true about raw food. Some food can still be heated, it is just that it can't go over a certain temperature. Being inMichigan, I still like to have some heated foods! I just don't microwave, cook, broil, etc. Whether raw food destroys enzymes or not, I'm not sure...but I mainly do it because of the maillard reaction. When food is heated too much, it causes a chemical reaction, and I think too much of that can change it's DNA structure..and well, that can't be good, right?!

I don't take any fancy thermometer or anything when I heat up soup or water-just as long as it's not boiling I think it's ok. I'm really not that picky, although I'm sure there are plenty of die-hard raw foodist who NEVER eat anything over a certain degree. If you have been following my blog, you know I'm not quite a raw foodist yet! lol I am just interested in it. Anyhows, now that I got that out of the is my raw hot chocolate recipe:

3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder (I like the kind from
because it's not as bitter tasting as other's I've tried)

1 Coffee mug of whatever kind of water you like

Add 4 drops of stevia or agave for sweetening (while maybe not raw by some definitions, I still consider it better than sugar and you only use a little bit!)

Pour the hot water in (hot, but not boiling!) and add in a spoonful of raw honey! (I like Manuka, especially this time of year because of it's antibacterial properties)

The honey should melt into the hot water instead of clumping to the spoon, but if it doesn't you can leave the spoon in your cup while you drink to keep the honey in your drink!

*I didn't have these ingredients, but if you did...I'm betting that a little bit of natural vanilla, peppermint and/or cinnamon would be a nice addition
You may want to play around with the amount of sweeteners you add, based on the kind of raw cacao you have. I have had some raw cacao that is just plain disgusting, and bitter and others that is almost tolerable with no sweetener. Plus, I have a real sweet tooth, which you may not!

Either way, it's a great mood booster and comfort drink this year-without the guilt of regular hot chocolate!

This drink is also my "secret" morning power drink instead of coffee! It has all of the feel good ingredients, plus nutrients and caffeine. I don't think coffee is bad for you, but I prefer this drink for so many reasons! Some of the benefits of raw cacao according to


Cacao contains massive quantities of magnesium which builds strong bones and balances brain chemistry important for a natural optimistic outlook.* Cacao contains more magnesium than any other food known! This is likely the reason that women crave chocolate more during their menstrual cycle. Of all mineral deficiencies that arise on Standard American Diet (SAD), magnesium is the the most common, with over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium!
MAO Inhibitors

Chocolate contains natural mild monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). These rare MAO inhibitors actually produce favorable results when consumed by allowing more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MAO inhibitors facilitate youthing and rejuvenation.
Phenylethylamine (PEA)

Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA can increases focus and alertness and helps us feel connected to others.* Our brains naturally produce a small amount of PEA al the time and much greater amounts when we are in love. This is no doubt why chocolate and love have such a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.
Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical)

Cacao also contains a wonderful natural phyto-chemical called anandamide. Ananda is the Sanskrit word for BLISS and its no coincidence that our brains naturally produce anandamide when we are feeling bliss! Cacao also contains enzyme inhibitors that increase the amount of time that anandamide anandamide can stay in circulation in your body. This allows the wonderful effects of chocolate to last a longer time.

The Cacao tree grows in tropical regions around the globe and has been cultivated in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Central America, West Indies, Africa and South East Asia. Cacao has always been highly valued, its seeds sometimes serving as currency as they did during the Aztec period in Mexico.

According to

Some of the benefits of manuka honey:

Manuka Honey Products by HoneymarkHoney has been used for medical purposes by the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years. However, with the advent of antibiotics, most people began to regard honey as merely a home remedy. Recent studies are now indicating that a special type of honey only found in the New Zealand region called, "Manuka Honey" actually has more healing properties than antibiotics and has been effective in treating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This is a major breakthrough in the medical industry as Manuka Honey is now being recognized by medical professionals as an viable alternative to conventional forms of medicine.

Based on recent studies, Manuka Honey has been known to effectively treat the following symptoms and health conditions:
Athlete's Foot Ring Worm Insect Bites Cold & Flu Symptoms
Arthritis Wrinkles Acid Reflux Eczema & Dermatitis
Sore Throat Rashes IBS Wounds & Abrasions
Acne Burns Nail Fungus Aches & Pains
Blisters Ulcers Gastritis Staph Infections
Cold Sores Infections MRSA Psoriasis

Manuka Honey Benefits

The Benefits of Manuka Honey

1. Manuka Honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties;

2. Manuka Honey creates a moist healing environment that allows new skin cells to grow across a healing wound flush with the surface of the wound, preventing deformity of the skin and scaring;

3. Manuka Honey rapidly clears infection by destroying bacteria;

4. Manuka Honey repairs damaged skin and regenerates new skin growth;

5. Manuka Honey hastens the healing process;

6. Manuka Honey eliminates malodor by destroying the bacteria that cause it;

7. Manuka Honey can heal Staph infections and destroy antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA and VRE;

8. The viscosity of Manuka Honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds from becoming infected;

9. Manuka Honey causes scabs and dead skin cells to lift off the surface of the wound, leaving a clean healthy wound bed in which the regeneration of skin tissue can occur;

10. Manuka Honey stimulates the growth of tissue involved in the healing process;

11. Manuka Honey stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries and the growth of fibroblasts that replace the connective tissue of the deeper layer of the skin and produce the collagen fibers that give strength to the repair;

12. Manuka Honey has an anti-inflammatory action that relieves pain;

13. Manuka Honey has antifungal properties that can cure ringworm and other fungal conditions such as athlete's foot, jock itch and nail fungus;

14. Manuka Honey is all-natural and organic;

15. Manuka Honey has no known side effects

And last, but not least...the benefits of Stevia according to
It is estimated that over 500 scientific studies have been performed on stevia. Many scientistshave reported numerous health benefits to adding stevia to the daily diet.

* Scientific research indicates that stevia effectively regulates blood sugar in people with diabetes and hypoglycemia, bringing it toward more normal levels.

* Studies have indicated that stevia tends to lower elevated blood pressure while not affecting people with normal blood pressure.

* Stevia inhibits the growth and reproduction of oral bacteria and other infectious organisms. Regular users of stevia as a mouthwash or for brushing teeth
(added to toothpaste) have reported an improvement to bleeding gum problems. This inhibition of oral bacteria may explain why users of stevia-enhanced products
report a lower incidence of colds and flu. Subsequently, an increasing number of toothpaste manufacturers are now using stevia in their products.

* When applied externally stevia poultices and extracts have been observed to have therapeutic effect on acne, seborrhea, dermatitis and eczema. Extracts placed
directly in cuts and wounds, have demonstrated rapidly healing without scarring.

* Other benefits of adding stevia to the daily diet include improved digestion and soothed upset stomachs.

* Stevia is also an exceptional aid in weight loss management because it contains no calories and reduces the craving for sweets and fatty foods. Steviosides,
the principle sugar molecule component of stevia, pass through the human alimentary canal without being altered by digestive processes, demonstrating remarkable stability. They simply cannot be broken down into their metabolites under normal gastric conditions. As a result, the sugar molecules pass unchanged through the human gastrointestinal tract and are not absorbed into the blood, producing no calories. Preliminary research indicates that stevia may actually reset the hunger mechanism in people where the pathway between the hypothalamus and the stomach has become obstructed. In other words, it clears the communication pathway between the stomach and the brain, reducing hunger sensations faster

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I grew up in the Chicago area so I definitely know where you're coming from! :-)