THE DARKEST TEMPTATION
can you resist the chocolate goodness
Have you been told to avoid chocolate? We already know that this darkest temptation is beneficial in modest quantity as it helps release endorphins like oxytocin and dopamine. In addition, the dark chocolate type is full of antioxidants that lower our stress incidence and help boost our mood. When you crave, it means you need it. So have just a cube of high-quality choco, and see if that is enough, especially during the cycle.
Raw cacao is a source of magnesium and also the highest plant-based source of iron. It also contains “the love molecule,” which raises the level of endorphins in our brain, so we feel like falling in love.
Raw cacao has a very bitter taste (rasa), is light and dry, and has heating energy (virya). Chocolate is rajasic (stimulating), which would increase Vata and pitta and decrease Kapha. If you are balanced and happily healthy, think of chocolate as a spice. A little goes a long way. If you are out of balance, it is advisable not to consume chocolate or even raw cacao powder very often.
Cacao bitterness increases Vata but would decrease Kapha. However, as chocolate is usually combined with sugar, it increases Kapha and decreases Vata and pitta. Anyhow, chocolate has magical powers when consumed as a ritual. Consume, if affordable, only high-quality fair trade labels, which is slightly more expensive, but it pays off.
Warm choco for a cold evening
As day shortened and cold sneaked in, I felt my body asking me for chocolate, and I followed it. Of course, I prefer chocolate in colder months, but I made my first hot chocolate this year, already in October. I had a cocoa ritual after the yoga session, and it was so healing and calming. Chocolate has considerable powers, and you can sense it immediately. I have spent almost a month with choco treats and, now, I can say that I do not crave it anymore.
Here I go with my top two ideas for this season.
VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE
I have this simple and healthy recipe that I repeat as often as is justified. Warm the coconut cream or fatty milk and cocoa powder, add a bit of vanilla extract or cardamom spice or cinnamon as a classic choice; when warm, add the coconut sugar or agave syrup. Melt chopped good quality dark choco to get a swoopy velvety liquid and enjoy it warm. I usually don’t weigh here, but this could be quantities. You can adjust your version as less or more choco or creaminess. I add just (approx. 1 tsp) a bit of cocoa butter to milk to add precious oil. It should not taste coconut flavoury; at least I don’t taste it. You can use plant milk instead of coconut creme, but this way it gets extra creaminess.
200 dl coconut creme
1 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs agave syrup
pinch of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt
50 g dark quality
choco orange vegan cake
There are incredibly many choco cake recipes. Imagine all possible ingredients and then all the combinations; you can have a million versions. These days I’ve been playing with simple healthy cake, as I used to say ‘with nothing’: no butter, no fat, no eggs, and no sugar.
It has lots of choco flavour but not heaviness or fatness. Moreover, it is orange flavoured with fruit pure what gives it lightness and freshness. Lovers of decadent cakes and sweet addicts will also enjoy its lightness and fragrance.
HOW TO DO IT
This light orange choco cake is made with almonds, cocoa powder, and orange puree. Instead of eggs, I have beaten acquafaba. It is a healthy replacement when you need to skip the eggs in your cakes. In addition, it is rich in protein, so when whipped is getting transformed into the thick white foam-like meringue.
Take two organic oranges and boil them for 20 min or until soft; let them cold and blend them into pure. Keep aside.
Firstly, weigh all the dry ingredients and put them together. Sift the flour and cacao.
Open the can and drain your acquafaba in a mixer and whisk it into soft peaks first. Once the peaks start forming, add a teaspoon of apple cider or a tsp of creme of tartar, and slowly still whisking spoon by spoon sugar. This will help firm up the peaks. It may take ‘ages’ if you need to do it with a hand mixer, but be patient.
When it is nice and stiff, add dry ingredients gently not to ruin your bubbles, and at the end, incorporate orange puree. Do not overmix and put in the oven at 180C for 30 min or so. Let it have a nice crust. Leave it to cool down in a mould, and then take it out to cool completely on a rack. Warm coconut creme and add chocolate bits to melt. You can add a bit of cacao butter in creme to melt also.
180 g cooked orange puree
1 can of chickpea
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
50 g rice flour
25 g cacao powder
100 g almonds ground
25 g chopped almonds (or walnuts, or pecan)
100g coconut cream and 100g darkest chocolate
Warm coconut cream and add chopped chocolate and mix until smooth.
AQUAFABA or Water from garbanzo
ACQUAFABA is patented in 2014. by a savvy software engineer in central Indiana, Goose Wohlt, who had recently become a vegan. Aquafaba is the thick translucent viscous goop you probably rinse down the drain when you open a can of chickpeas. And, in vegan cooking circles, it’s become the silver bullet to making airy meringues and expert whiskey sours without any eggs.
The starchy liquid is a great binder directly from the can, but what makes it magical is that it whips and creates foam. Aquafaba is, therefore, able to trap air, giving items structure at the same time it delivers a fluffy crumb and lifts.
I’m still trying to make a successful meringue; it looks great until the baking. Then gets flattened and liquid. Still trying to make my favourite ‘brutti ma buoni’ cookies for holidays.
CONNECT TO YOUR HIGHER SELF
The practices of yoga and meditation can help us know our higher self a bit better. Taking time to retreat helps us profoundly understand ourselves so we can have the life we dream of. Our dreams can manifest from imagination into reality.
I invite you to bravely stand up to the parts of you that hold you back and go to that Retreat.
Your soul will thank you.