I will be the first to admit that, although I’m not a chocoholic, I do have moments of just yearning for something chocolate-y. Don’t we all? Well, no worries. You can have your chocolate and eat it too. As it turns out, cacao is actually a superfood. What does this mean? Well, incorporating cacao into recipes is a good way to keep healthy. And Matt’s got some great cacao recipes in his new book, Superfoods for Life, Cacao. We’re sharing one of our favorites below.
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“The cacao bean, from which chocolate is made, is known as a superfood for its many nutritional benefits. It has an incredibly rich history of varied uses from drinks to coins to rituals, but today in the Western world it has, unfortunately, become mostly just a candy bar. Yet it has so much more to offer. From mousse to lasagna to huitlacoche-chocolate empanadas, the phenomenal cacao bean can make its way into your diet in so many ways. And not only will your taste buds thank you, but your brain and heart will, too.”
Raw Chocolate-Carrot Cake
Excerpted from Superfoods for Life, Cacao by Matt Ruscigno (with Joshua Ploeg)
This is a very creative raw dish that combines the healthy fats found in raw cacao and cashews with the fat-soluble beta-carotene found in carrots. Raisins supply much of the sweetness, and coconut and banana make this healthy delight more dessert-like.
For the cake:
½ cup (55 g) grated apple, with a little salt and lemon juice on it
1 cup (110 g) grated carrot
½ cup (42.5 g) dried coconut flakes
1 cup (145 g) chopped cashews
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup (75 g) golden raisins
2 to 3 tablespoons (42 to 63 g) agave nectar or other sweetener
½ cup (48 g) raw cacao powder
½ cup (112 g) mashed banana
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
For the frosting:
½ cup (112 g) mashed banana
2 to 3 tablespoons (22 to 33 g) coconut powder
1 tablespoon (6 g) cacao powder
1 tablespoon (21 g) agave nectar or other sweetener (optional)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon powdered mustard
To make the cake: Grind all the cake ingredients in a food processor and divide among 8 ramekins (the serving size is a little more than ½ cup). If you prefer bigger chunks of everything for a better personality, then leave the texture intact and mix by hand rather than grinding together in the food processor—your choice!
To make the frosting: Blend all the frosting ingredients and adjust the seasonings to taste. Frost the cakes
and chill before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Are you craving chocolate? Go ahead, give in! Cacao–raw chocolate–often referred to as “food of the gods” is high in antioxidants. It is also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper. A good source of omega-6 fatty acids and rich in heart-healthy oleic acids, it will boost your mood, improve cognition and help lessen stress! Sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t! As author Matt Ruscigno explains, this hot superfood has powerful benefits. Then Matt gives you what you really want–recipes for chocolate! Superfoods for Life, Cacao contains 75 recipes for sweet and savory cacao recipes–from main dishes to desserts–including Huitlacoche-Chocolate Empanadas, Cocoa Buffalo Tempura Vegetables, Dolmathes with Currant-Chocolate Rice and Cacao Tzatziki.