Chocolate lovers, look no further! Pure, organic, and raw ingredients is all it takes to create these rich chocolate chips. If I knew it was this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.
I typically buy raw cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips, but this time I wanted something bigger for my Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream recipe. While I rummaged through my cabinets to see what ingredients I had, I realized I didn’t need any more then 4 things. Cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey is all it took to create these healthy vegan chocolate chips.
Raw Cacao Powder
Cacao powder is made of 100% pure cacao that is certified as organic, kosher, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, and raw. It is a good source of fiber and cold-pressed to protect existing nutrients. This can be used for a variety of foods including raw desserts, baking, sauces, spreads, smoothies, or juices.
1. Rich in antioxidants. Cacao naturally contains a rich supply of antioxidants protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is known as one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. In fact, it contains a higher level of antioxidants per 4 oz compared to acai berries, goji berries and blueberries.
2. Improves your mood. Cacao powders contain dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA), two types of neurotransmitters. They aid in mental alertness, improve mood to make you feel good and help with weight loss.
3. Increases weight loss. Flavonoids have also been shown to increase production of the hormone known as adiponectin. This hormone works to regulate metabolism of fatty acids, thus assisting in weight loss and reducing obesity.
The big question when it comes to raw cacao is:
“What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao?”
Cacao is not so different from cocoa because they are both made by grinding cocoa nibs to a paste or liquor and then removing the cocoa butter (the fat). The process to make cocoa powder it called hydraulically pressed. This is basically roasting at high temperatures changing the molecular structure, this ultimately reduces enzyme and antioxidant levels. The cocoa butter removal process to make cacao powder is cold-pressed, this preserves the vital nutrients.
The main benefit to using raw cacao versus cocoa powder is the antioxidant level. Raw cacao contains over 3x the antioxidant profile that cocoa powder due to the heating process. When using raw cacao, keep in mind the addition of any dairy products will decrease the absorption of antioxidants. Using vegan friendly products such as almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or water will help to avoid this.
The use of coconut oil is beneficial for the heart healthy diet. The existing saturated fat are not harmful to the body as you often see in other oils, such as vegetable. It contains roughly 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing a variety of heart problems. Among the numerous health benefits, here a list of a few ways coconut oil can benefits you.
1- Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips
Preparation time: 1-2 minutes, freeze 15 minutes
Serves: 16 oz
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp organic honey
1. Heat all ingredients, expect cacao powder, in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Once ingredients are blended add the cacao powder to the saucepan and continue to heat until sauce is smooth and all ingredients are well combined. Take roughly 1 minute.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour chocolate sauce over lined cookie sheet evenly. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 15-20 minutes or until completely hard. Gently break hardened chocolate sheet into pieces big or small. Use as topping for ice cream, smoothies, or cakes.
NutritionVision Tip: You do not have to freeze right away! Before freezing my chocolate mix, I used it as a dipping sauce for freshly cut fruit.
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN
Per serving: Calories: 55; Total Fat: 3.7 g (Saturated Fat: 3.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.7 mg; Potassium: 37.4 mg; Total Carbs: 2.8 g; Dietary Fiber: .5 g; Protein: 0.4 g; Calcium: 0.3%.