Chocolatiers and chocolate connoisseurs worship the natural, earthy flavors of processed chocolate that’s lacking from raw chocolate. The bean-to-bar concept of chocolate production sparked the demand for raw chocolate as consumers want a healthier version. Gourmet shops, celebrities, and influencers joined the bandwagon flaunting raw chocolate recipes for cakes, ice cream, hot chocolate, syrups, and sauces.
Raw Chocolate Trivia
- Raw Chocolate is considered to be the King Antioxidant of the Amazon. Also called Raw cacao, this chocolate comes from the Theobroma Cacao variety and is the commonly referred term to as unprocessed cacao beans.
- Raw organic chocolates have 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries and are the highest plant-based source of iron and magnesium. It is concentrated with calcium and is considered a natural anti-depressant and effective mood elevator.
Raw Chocolate Buying Guide
While people have been consuming commercially produced chocolates for a long time, it’s time you get to know how to buy raw chocolate.
Watch out for artificial ingredients. Raw chocolates should be free from vegetable fat or palm oils, preservatives, colorings, and artificial sugars.
Read the packaging and get to know more about the cacao origins. Country origin is important in determining the different cacao varieties used in the confectionary process. Countries such as Madagascar, Tanzania, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines are some of the world’s best chocolate producers.
Raw Chocolate Production & Farming in Texas
Cacao trees grow best under specific climates and environmental conditions. Fair temperatures, a good amount of rain, and high humidity. It needs nitrogen-rich soil and protection from strong winds and cold conditions to thrive and produce good cacao beans for chocolate making.
Texas is not an ideal place to grow cacao trees because of its freezing winters and arid climates. However, growing can still be done by planting the tree in a pot and sheltering it during the colder seasons.
Preservatives and Chemicals
People must be able to distinguish real raw chocolate from fake cocoa powder. Real chocolate does not need preservatives. However, fake chocolates contain a high amount of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Artificial sweeteners are marketed as a healthy ingredient for sugar-free products. However, this sugar substitute results in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, memory problems, hyperactivity, and even stroke. People with weight problems are not advised to consume sugars as it leads to irregular weight loss and weight gain.
The so-called raw chocolate spreads are also fake a bitter taste. Thus, commercially produced raw chocolates contain stabilizers and soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is a fat extracted from soybeans and is technically considered a waste product. This cheap ingredient is a thick, fatty, yellow-brownish substance, and is a byproduct of soybean oil manufacturing.
Soy lecithin is both an emulsifier and a surfactant. However, soy lecithin has several negative effects on chocolate production. Adding too many damages the texture of chocolate, giving it a candle-like, waxy consistency that can be likened to eating sweet, melted plastic. Annihilating the flavors of chocolate does nothing good to the product.
Raw chocolate should be served in its natural state, free from chemical preservatives, additives, artificial food coloring, and harmful oils that not only minimizes flavor but also damages the human body.
When packaging raw chocolates, maintain the natural state of the product by recycled paper. Some packaging are even made from recycled cocoa shells. If you have a license, the Fairtrade mark and logo can be included in your packaging.
Avoid using toxic foils and papers that may contaminate the bars.
Enjoying Raw Chocolates
Everyone knows eating raw chocolate is a healthier choice than consuming white or milk chocolates. Eating raw chocolates with powerful antioxidants neutralizes the body’s free radicals and repairs tissue damage from stress environmental pollution, and unhealthy habits. Raw Cacao also stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes. Over-all, raw chocolate enhances physical and mental well-being.
Incorporating raw chocolates for daily consumption is an easy process. You can take it as a snack, drink, or even add it to your milk substitute.
Raw chocolate must be stored in its original container and kept in a cool, dry place that’s free from sun exposure. It’s not advisable to store it in the refrigerator as the humidity causes spoilage.
You can whip up a whole lot of recipes using raw chocolate. Mix raw organic chocolates to your warm glass of milk or add it into oatmeal and cereal bowls. It’s also a great way to add into banana or any fruit smoothies. Most of all, there are endless dessert options for raw chocolates including pies, cakes, tarts, cookies, bars, and cheesecakes.
LOW-CARB RAW CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
- 1 cup walnuts (112 g/ 4 oz)
- 1 1/3 cups almond flour (134 g/ 4.7 oz)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (57 g/ 2 oz)
- Optional: 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 cups raw cashews (390 g/ 13.8 oz), soaked 12 hours or boiled for 1 hour
- 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (180 ml/ 6 fl oz)
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla extract (15 ml)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (35 g/ 1.2 oz)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice (45 ml)
- 1/2 cup confectioners Swerve or powdered Erythritol (80 g/ 2.8 oz)
- 85 g dark chocolate bar (100% chocolate), divided (3 oz)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (80 ml/ 2.7 fl oz)
- few drops of stevia or Swerve to taste
- Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a crushed graham cracker like mixture forms. Press into a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan.
- In the same food processor (no need to clean), combine all of the filling ingredients and blend until super smooth, about 2-5 minutes stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
- Pour on top of the crust. Refrigerate or freeze for 2 hours. (Freezing will transform this into a frozen dessert while chilling will produce a regular cheesecake.)
- For the ganache bring the coconut milk to a boil and pour over 57 g/ 2 oz of the chopped chocolate. Add stevia or Swerve, to taste.
- After 2 hours of chilling (or freezing), the cheesecake pour the ganache topping over and top with remaining chocolate.
- Chill or freeze another hour before serving.