Tag Archives: cacao

Afternoon Delight Herbal Tonic

Afternoon Delight Herbal Tonic

Energy Enhancing Immune Boosting Herbal Tonic

The weather outside this week has been cold, dreary and snowy.   I whipped this tonic up on Wednesday afternoon to warm me up, boost my energy (cabin fever going on here!) and enhance my immune system.  Our immune systems are so delicate and easily influenced by many external AND internal factors.  Daily strengthening of this system is key to radiant health.  This tonic lends not just to “physical” health but to “mental” health.  I have been doing a lot of work on the computer lately and needed some L-dopamine boosting.  What is she talking about, you ask?  L-dopamine has to do with mental focus and can also help with depression, SADS (seasonal affective disorder) – AKA winter depression, winter blues or “I can’t get outside and GROUND, soak up the sun and be with nature.” 

L-Dopa is an amino acid which is a precursor to dopamine.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter manufactured by certain neurons in the brain. Dopamine neurons are triggered by good feelings.  In short, dopamine makes you feel good. Since dopamine itself can not cross the blood-brain barrier, it is delivered in a precursor state – a form which causes the brain to produce dopamine. L-Dopa is just such a precursor. L-Dopa has been found to be effective in alleviating depression, increasing focus and in treating Parkinson’s Disease. One of the best natural sources of L-dopa is Mucuna Pruriens.

Mucuna is an herb (a bean actually) that grows wild in many parts of the world and is reputed in Indian medicine for its therapeutic properties. It is more of a traditional medicine that has still to find its place among modern medicines however it has proven itself valuable and effective in many parts of the world. It has a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic, African and Caribbean medicine. (source)  It is recommended to take it as needed.  A few days on, a few days off.  One week on, one week off.  See how it works for your body and adjust.  I add it to my tonics when I am focusing on a project (writing), doing a smoothie class or socially interacting – as needed.

Other Mucuna Pruriens Benefits:

  • Improved mood and feeling of well-being
  • Mental clarity
  • Better sleep
  • Anabolic: increased lean muscle mass, decreased fat
  • Increases bone density, helps reverse osteoporosis
  • Smoother skin
  • Stronger immune system
  • Helps regenerate organs
  • Healthier cholesterol profile
  • (source)

The best quality Macuna I have found and use myself is from Hyperion Herbs.  You can get it here.  Great results!

There are other superstar herbs in this tonic blend – but overall they synergize to balance and enhance one another to warrant you one HEALTHY, powerful, grounding drink. 

Maca is a wonderful hormone balancer.  It is important to remember that MACA does not itself contain any hormones, but its action on the body jolts the pituitary gland into producing the precursor hormones which ultimately end up raising estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, as well as helping to balance the adrenal glands, the thyroid and the pancreas. This occurs naturally while increasing energy. (sourceI take Maca daily to keep those hormones in check.  I usually increase the dosage a bit during “that time of the month” and it makes life (and Scott’s life) more enjoyable. 

Reishi Mushroom   This prized fungus may be able to boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.   According to Eastern thought, the body needs to defend itself against threats to its “equilibrium.” These threats can be physical, such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection; emotional, such as stressors that cause anxiety; or energetic, in that they reduce alertness. Whatever the threat, reishi helps the body maintain its defense against these threats to its equilibrium, helping the body to maintain balance. In this sense, diseases like heart disease and cancer mean that the body is out of balance, which is why an equilibrium-enhancing remedy such as reishi can help so many diverse ailments.  Read more here for some astounding proof of this mushroom. (sourceI take Reishi daily.

King of cacao – Raw chocolateCacao is increasingly being consumed for its nutritive and health enhancing properties as it has been in many cultures for thousands of years.  If you feel exceptionally good when eating it, you can thank the “bliss” chemical anandamine along with theobromine and phenylethylamine for boosting your mood. Pure cacao powder also contains a good dose of magnesium, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart.

Dandy Blend is so versatile that, depending on how much powder you use, it can be everything from a pleasant, nutty roasted tea to a rich, strong espresso. It also is the easiest way to get the benefits of dandelion root into your diet.   Dandelion root aids the liver.  Add one spoonful in a cup of hot or cold liquid, stir, and it is ready to drink. It makes a particularly good iced coffee for use in warm water.  Rich, smooth full-bodied coffee flavor, but no caffeine, acidity or bitterness.  I LOVE this stuff!  It’s also great to add to raw ice creams, puddings, pies, hot chocolate drinks,etc. for a coffee-like taste with NONE of the coffee side-effects.

Cordyceps is one of the oldest Chinese remedies to boost the immune system, fight disease and fatigue, promote more energy, and induce vitality!  This herb increases the natural killer cells in your body that help to treat, protect, and prevent harmful activity in the body- whether it be from sickness, disease, stress, free radicals, or other environmental pollutants.  The polysaccharide content is also a key factor in not only the strengthening of the immune system, but also the powerful anti-oxidant properties, which in turn, help to slow oxidation and aging of the body. Cordyceps is highly effective in attacking the pathogens that take harmful action on your immune system.  It is a leading herb for its energy supplementation, with no contradictions like those you would get with herbs like ginseng.  Cordyceps is used as an energy tonic, for sustainable and lasting natural energy, without affecting the heart, as it is used in some cases to nurture and treat the heart.  This is truly indicative of cordyceps amazing adaptogenic qualities, making it one of the safest and most effective herbs on the planet, providing absolutely no side effects, as it is naturally non-toxic. (source)  Cordyceps is part of my daily tonic intake also. 

Hemp seeds make a tonic super creamy and pack it full of nutrition.  One of the most nutritious and easily digested foods on the earth is the hemp seed. Hemp seeds contain all of the following: protein, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Hemp is truly a food that can sustain all of man’s dietary needs. 

  • Hemp contains more of the beneficial amino acids than proteins such as milk, eggs or meat.   Hemp is a complete source of protein and is easily digestible.    Hemp seed contains almost seven times more omega-3 fatty acids than fish. It also provides an option for those unable to eat gluten, meat, sugar and milk. It is a good addition to a diet for those concerned about avoiding carbohydrates. (source)   Try my Vanilla Cacao Hemp Seed Milk.

This herbal tonic tastes and looks like a mocha cappuccino.  This is just a sneak peak of the tonic recipes that I am creating for you for the Tonic eBook.  You will have such amazing recipes to fuel your body, mind and spirit to a whole new level. I am so excited to be able to share it with you. 

Tonic recipe:

(serves 1)

Double the recipe for two people – which is what I did (Scott loves these tonics also).   Or make a double batch – one serving in a.m. and one later mid-afternoon, if need be. (I just keep the extra in a small thermos to keep warm for hours when I am ready for it).

Directions:

Heat your liquid in a small saucepan on the stove (NOT THE MICROWAVE please).  While liquid base is heating (warm/hot, never boil – so keep an eye on it),  add all the other ingredients into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix).  Once your liquid base is warm/hot, add it to your blender, fit lid on tightly and blend for about 20 – 30 seconds till smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust flavors.

( * Tip: The reason the liquid is best warm/hot for this tonic drink is that it synergizes all the herbs to work more efficiently.  Best taken on an empty stomach.)

Want to learn more about tonic herbs, access amazing tonic blend recipes, learn the basics to make your own blends and so much more?  My Tonic Alchemy eBook will be available soon!

If you are interested in being FIRST to know about the Tonic ebook, tonic recipes, new posts,giveaways and more – Please sign up for my FREE Newsletter by entering your name and email address  BELOW! Or Click HERE.

Available to subscribers only!!

 

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday

Be aware from your heart.

♥ HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MOODS – Great article!  Can you relate to any of these?

♥ Plasticity and the Power of Affirmations – Interesting perspective.

♥ How to Respond to Negative People Without Being Negative – I know we’ve all been there (and some still are).  I used to let other people and their negativity “wire me up”.  Then I learned to turn within and work on myself.  To come from a place of compassion.  To protect myself from their energies and let it go.  It makes experiencing anyone in life much more pleasurable and peaceful.   And, as always, you can say “Excuse me.”  and walk away from it. 

♥ How to Gently Cleanse Your Pet’s Body of Toxins – I love this article from Dr. Karen Becker, holistic vet.  I have been reading and watching her videos for years.  I have learned so much how to take care of my furry loved ones safely.  I think you will find some real nuggets of wisdom and good advice here.   By using herbs, homeopathy and natural approaches, I have been able to turn around the blood work of my dogs (that had some high levels), forgo pain meds (homeopathy works wonders with no side effects), detox safely, avoid using toxic flea meds., improve their quality of health and more.  Just as we integrate these practices with ourselves, it can be applied to our pets. 

♥ Yoga for Busy People: 5 Poses to Help You Work - Love this article!  Applies to anyone – anytime!  A good reminder for self-care: body, mind and spirit.

♥ Cabin Fever – Spunky MonicaB does it again!  Dishing out some great Ayurdvedic advice for the winter months. Cabin fever, anyone!?  I know I’ve got it.  I’ve been doing some of these tips from Monica, but just found a few more to throw in.  Thanks, Gorgeous!

♥ JUXTAPOSED BELIEFS – WHEN SOMEONE SEES THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY TO YOU - Yep! We all experience this on some level.  Great insight from Claire Obeid.

♥ Create More Joy in Your Life by Prioritizing Things You Enjoy Doing –  This is great advice!  I have found that by putting what is most important to me and DOING them daily or weekly has brought much joy.  Take care of yourself first.

♥ Zucchini and Watercress Soup from Dr Hyman’s 10-Day Detox DietTess Masters posted this recipe last week on her website Healthy Blender Recipes (one of my FAVS!).  It is FANTASTIC!  The soup and her website.   I couldn’t find any watercress at my store, so I used organic spinach.  So simple to make and blend.  A real winner that will now become a staple in my soup rotation list.   Check it out and make.  I had plenty of leftovers for a few days.

♥ Hormonal Imbalance 101: How to Heal Yourself Naturally – Great article!  Learn more.  Also, check out my article How I Have Been Balancing My Hormones – NATURALLY and my Happy Hormone Tonic recipe.

♥ Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life – This post by Jackie at The Paleo Mama is just INSPIRING!  For several years I have been simplifying things in my life and these tips/links help even more.  I got some great tips and will be putting several into practice and doing some more research for my area.  Thank you Jackie for putting this all together.

 

♥ 102 Soup Recipes – Here is a great link to some wonderful healthy soups catering to all dietary lifestyles.  You are sure to find something that will light your fire.  Yours truly has a soup highlighted Healthy Raw Tortilla Soup.  I made it just the other day.  So satisfying, easy to make and full of nutrition = my kind of recipe.  I found some new recipes in this link to try and looking forward to it.  Hope you do too.

Smoothie Class with Kibby – If you live nearby, I will be doing a superfood smoothie class on February 22nd at Blue Moon Elise in Murphy, NC.  Check out the details!  Last Saturday, I had the honor of making raw chocolate superfood smoothies at Rachel’s shop after her yoga class (which is AMAZING!!) for most of the day.   Rocking the Vitamix with raw Cacao powder, Maca powder, other superfoods and sharing it with other people = my kind of Saturday afternoon FUN!  Met some wonderful new people in the community.  

♥ Full Moon Update 2-14-14 – Inspiring astrological forecast for the full moon on St. Valentines Day. 

Powerful information.

 

** Special Tonic recipe coming tomorrow! ** 

You don’t want to miss it. 

If you are interested in being FIRST to know about the Tonic ebook, tonic recipes, giveaways and more – Please sign up for my FREE Newsletter by entering your name and email address  BELOW!

Available to subscribers only!!

   If you’re looking for more inspirational reading you can flip through all my Thoughtful Thursday articles here! Be Inspired!

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

 

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

Raw Cacao Hemp seed Nutella

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I know the original Nutella recipe is made with hazelnuts, but I wanted to make a nut-free and sugar-free version.  Don’t hate me, but I created this hemp seed Nutella variation several months ago.  Slow on getting it to you. Sorry!  Better late than never, right!

This chocolate hemp seed butter is MAGICAL!  You’re thinking – Really!?  Yes, REALLY!!  Eat it straight out of the jar or spread it on ANYTHING and melt (you and the food in your mouth).    I’ve used it on Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones (don’t worry – recipe coming tomorrow!), gluten-free pancakes, muffins, stirred into a.m. oatmeal, and it makes a quick chocolate hemp seed milk (1 heaping TB. of hemp seed butter to 1 cup of water – BLEND!  Enjoy!) just to name a few.  Have fun using it on whatever you can find.  It’s also nice spread on your SWEETIES face, arm, neck, etc.   ;)  Like I said, magical!

Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse!  I use them daily in my diet and I purchase in bulk – 5 pounds at a time.  I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts/Seed (great quality and reasonable price).

Hemp seeds are a gift of nature. They are the most nutritious seed in the world. Hemp Seeds are a complete protein. They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes combined with a relative absence of sugar, starches and saturated fats. 

  • Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance.
  • More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cows milk or any other high protein food
  • Rich in Vitamin E
  • Increases energy levels & metabolic rate
  • Lowers blood LDL cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves cardiovascular circulation & function
  • Improves organ function
  • Improves immunity levels
  • Reduces symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
  • Reduces inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
  • Improves recovery of muscles after exercise
  • Reduces & treats dry skin and hair conditions
  • Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
  • Can be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose or sugar; there are no known allergies to hemp foods.

Combined with raw cacao powder, quick & easy almond milk, NuNaturals stevia (sugar-free) and a few other ingredients – you’ve got an amazing healthy treat at your disposal.

Let’s get started!! 

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Raw Cacao Hemp Seed Nutella
Yields 1
A delicious and healthy nut-free, sugar-free variation of the famous Nutella spread. Tastes BETTER than the original and not loaded with sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups Hemp Seeds (Manitoba Harvest)
  2. 3 TB. raw Cacao Powder (Navitas Naturals)
  3. 1 TB. melted coconut oil (Nutiva)
  4. 1/2 cup homemade almond milk - more if needed for a thinner consistency - your call.
  5. 15 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia (sugar-free) or 1 to 2 TB. maple syrup/raw honey/coconut sugar - to your personal sweetness level
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. pinch of pink himalayan salt (my bottle has some pepper flakes mixed in) - nice touch!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used my mini processor) or high speed blender. Blend till smooth and creamy. You may have to stop a few times and scrape down sides.
  2. Adjust sweetness.
  3. Will keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks - believe me, it won't last that long! :)
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

 

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Tomorrow, the vegan, gluten-free Pumpkin Gingerbread Scones are coming your way!  OOOOH – these are such an exciting and glorious creation. 

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies – Weekend Treats!

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies – Weekend Treats!

RAW Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies

 
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I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but I made these raw chocolate fudge cookies last night and knew I had to share with you TODAY.   They took just minutes to make and a few more to form (and pop a few into my mouth).  They taste amazing AND are healthy to boot = my kind of treat!

Several of the main ingredients have a grand nutritional profile and of course, I have to share that information with you – it’s what I like to do.  So, if you want to skip this part, go make the cookies and then come back and read this portion so that you know how healthy these little cookies are – go for it.  That’s probably what I would do.  :)

Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in protein, zinc, essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and fiber. To boot they contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K! Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acids alanin, glycine and glutamic acid. The way to get the most out of pumpkin seeds is to eat them raw and organic.

  • Native American were among the first to notice the health benefits of pumpkin seeds. They referred to them as cucurbita and used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.
  • The high zinc level in pumpkin seeds is good for the prostate. The high zinc level is also good for the bones and protecting against osteoporosis.
  • The essential fatty acids in pumpkin seeds can kill parasites and provide many other benefits. Parasites and worms are paralyzed with pumpkin seeds.
  • The high protein load can provide an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
  • The fiber content helps the digestive system
  • Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which helps keep depression at bay.
  • Pumpkin seeds can help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. The seeds have phytosterols, a compound that not only helps lower cholesterol but helps protect against certain cancers.
  • Pumpkin seeds help with urinary health.

Source:  Healthy Oil Planet.com

Prunes

Prunes — or dried plums — are considered one of the healthiest foods.  Why? 

  • Antioxidant superfood naturally rich in hydroxycinnamic acids and anthocyanins, both of which appear to be highly effective at scavenging free radicals with strong antioxidant properties.
  • Time-honored constipation remedy packed with fiber and the natural laxative sorbitol. Sorbitol is a mild colonic stimulant that helps reduce the transit time of stool and consequently the risk of constipation, colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids.
  • Protection against osteoporosis and osteopenia.  The high concentration of the trace element boron is postulated to play a role in prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia – A single serving of prunes (100 grams) fulfills the daily requirement for boron. Also the potassium found in prunes may help support bone health.
  • Glycemic Index (GI) Rating: Although rich in simple sugars, prunes do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, possibly because of their high fiber, fructose, and sorbitol content.  Therefore, prunes have a low GI rating of 29.

Source: Heal With Food.org

I reduced the sugar content in original recipe by replacing with NuNaturals Liquid Stevia.  Recipe inspired HERE.  See PRODUCTS page for ingredient resources.

Raw Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Yields 15
A deliciously dense, moist and chewy raw chocolate cookie full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of Organic Prunes (moist)
  2. 1/2 cup Navitas Naturals raw Cacao powder
  3. 2 TB. Extra virgin Coconut oil
  4. 1 cup Raw Pumpkin seeds (grind in a Food processor into a flour)
  5. 10 - 12 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. Large pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Grind the Raw Pumpkin seeds into a fine flour in a food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the FP- with dry ingredients FIRST and then layer the moist prunes on top - and process until you have a sticky dough consistency.
  3. Roll small balls of the dough between your hands, flatten them into patties.
  4. Eat them as they are at room temperature or place cookies in the fridge to eat them cold.
Adapted from The Raw Guru
Adapted from The Raw Guru
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

 

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Enjoy these little raw chocolate cookies in moderation – remember those prunes!  :)

Have a lovely weekend!  I will be spending mine in Asheville, NC with some friends (Rachel and Shira).

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Raw Dark Forest Cake

Raw Dark Forest Cake

Raw Dark Forest Cake

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This lovely dessert was inspired by having some organic cherries left-over from my Superfood Smoothie class last Saturday (which was WONDERFUL!) and having two dear friends (Shira and Rachel) over for dinner on Sunday.  Shira’s birthday was last Friday, so I wanted to make her a special birthday cake. So, here I was with organic cherries, a special birthday cake to make and the desire to make something new that I haven’t tried before.   I love being Inspired!!

I was drawn to a book that I have had for years in my culinary book collection – Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen.  A GREAT book!!!  I purchased mine USED (I like doing that – reuse/ recycle) for only $12.  It’s a 600 page book.   I like that she uses the protocol – K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie!) The “sweetie” part is my input.  Keeping it simple with ingredients and directions.  Very easy to follow with great results.  Nothing fancy but it sure does taste it!

I was pleasantly surprised with the results of this cake, as was everyone else while eating it (with sighs and moans of delight and pleasure!)  It was a lovely dinner with wonderful company.   So, I wanted to share this decadent, raw dessert with you all!  Enjoy!

 

Raw Dark Forest Cake
A decadent, raw layered dessert with seasonal organic cherries. This is one healthy dessert that I don't mind eating an extra slice of.
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FIRST LAYER
  1. 2 cups raw walnuts
  2. 2 cups organic raisins
  3. 1/2 cup carob powder OR raw cacao powder
  4. 1 cup pitted organic cherries
SECOND LAYER
  1. 1/2 Avocado
  2. 2/3 cup dates, pitted and soaked (if using a high speed blender - don't have to soak)
  3. 1/2 cup carob powder OR raw cacao powder
  4. 1/2 cup almond milk (preferably homemade)
  5. 1/4 cup almond butter (raw)
  6. 1 cup pitted organic cherries
THIRD LAYER
  1. 2 cups pitted organic cherries
FOURTH LAYER
  1. 2 cups raw cashews - soaked (if using a high speed blender - don't have to soak)
  2. 4 dates - pitted and soaked OR 15 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia
  3. 1 cup water (a touch more if needed)
FIRST LAYER
  1. 1. Combine the raisins and walnuts in a food processor until smooth.
  2. 2. Add in carob or cacao powder and cherries and blend until smooth. Remove from the processor and mold into a 9" pie plate. Hint: don't wash food processor - just keep using it for remaining steps.
SECOND LAYER
  1. 1. Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT cherries, in a food processor until smooth.
  2. 2. Add in cherrries and pulse chop until chunky but not smooth.
  3. 3. Spread this mixture on top of the first layer.
THIRD LAYER
  1. 1. Pulse chop the cherries in a food processor until chunky.
  2. 2. Spread cherries on top of the second layer.
FOURTH LAYER
  1. 1. Place half of the water into a blender ( I used a Vitamix) and slowly add the cashews. Add water as needed, until all of the cashews are gone. keep this thick by adding a few cashews at a time and only enough water so cashews will blend.
  2. 2. Add dates or liquid stevia and blend until smooth.
  3. 3. Spread this mixture on top of the third layer.
  4. CHILL AND SERVE.
Adapted from Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen
Adapted from Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/
For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Longevity Energy Tonic + Video

Longevity Energy Tonic + Video

Longevity Energy Tonic

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It’s TONIC time!  I have been creating a lot of new tonic recipes and wanted to share this one with you.  The other recipes I am saving for my TONIC ebook that I am working on.  It will be full of indepth information about tonic and longevity herbs, where to purchase them (top quality for BEST price), recipes and much more.  I am passionate about tonics and their benefits and it is due time to share all this acquired knowledge and share with you how to make your own.

What do think!?  Would you be interested in this book?   I would love your input, feedback and comments. 

Herbal tonics are used to promote over-all well being, to enhance the body’s energy, and to regulate the bodily and psychic functioning, to protect the body and mind so as to create what the Chinese call “radiant health”.

In the meantime, let’s take a brief look at the ingredient list for this tonic and its benefits for you.  (*Click on the name and see where I purchase mine).

Hemp seeds - Hemp seeds offer raw nutrition, rich nutty flavor and a tender crunch.  Hemp seeds contain more protein and omegas than a similar serving of Chia or Flax.  These seeds make a great alternative to milk – hemp milk.  They lend a creamy texture when blended with water.

Dandy BlendThe Easiest Way to Get Dandelion (Good for your liver) in Your DietRich, smooth full-bodied coffee flavor, but no caffeine, acidity or bitterness. May provide increased energy – use with discretion before bedtime.

Raw Cacao PowderKing of cacao – Raw chocolate.  Cacao is increasingly being consumed for its nutritive and health enhancing properties as it has been in many cultures for thousands of years.  If you feel exceptionally good when eating it, you can thank the “bliss” chemical anandamine along with theobromine and phenylethylamine for boosting your mood. Pure cacao powder also contains a good dose of magnesium, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart.

Gynostemma Extract powderGynostemma is a sweet and slightly bitter herb. The list of benefits of this “magic grass” as it’s called are amazing. It has a strong anti-fatigue affect, strengthens the mind, increases vigor, improves digestion, eases pain, strengthens the immune system, fights off pathogens and helps reduce inflammation.  An adaptogenic herb, this means It helps to calm the system when overactive and stimulate when under active or depressed.

Maca (Gelatinized) - The maca root has potent adaptogenic properties helping each body differently based on individual needs. Maca is most often regarded as a powerful stamina booster, libido enhancer, hormone regulator and exhaustion buster. Unique alkaloids found in maca, called Macainas, have been shown to nourish and support the endocrine system, which regulates many of the body’s important functions. Maca also provides an abundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sterols that can support general health and immune function.

Astragalus Root powder –  Astragalus herb is thought to boost overall vitality. In Chinese medicine it has been historically used to promote healing and reduce fatigue.

TriphalaTriphala is recommended and used more than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation. Popular for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the system while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it, this traditional formula supports the proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory and genitourinary systems. Translated as “three fruits”, it is composed of the dried fruits of amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. Containing five of the six tastes (all but salty), Triphala readily removes excess vata, pitta and kapha from the body, bringing balance and proper functioning to the system. It is commonly taken as a daily supplement to help maintain balance of the doshas.

Organic Ghee Ghee is essentially clarified butter, which means it has had the milk solids and water removed.  Ghee helps with digestion, prevents inflammation, promotes intelligence and memory and lubricates the body’s connective tissues, promoting flexibility. Modern Western medicine has found that ghee resists free radical damage, and that it contains phenolic antioxidants that are known help strengthen the immune system. Ghee is also lactose-free and contains no salt.

Chaga mushroom ( I used as a tea base for this recipe) –  Chaga mushroom can be used as a remedy for chronic inflammation, diabetes, hypertension, cancers, stomach illnesses and improving the immune system.

Longevity Energy Tonic
This creamy tonic is loaded with energy enhancing and longevity herbs. You will feel ready to take on the day in a balanced and energetic way. If you need a "pick-up" drink in the mid-afternoon, this is THE ONE!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups liquid of choice (water, herbal tea, nut or seed milk of choice)
  2. 1/4 cup hemp seeds (Manitoba Harvest)
  3. 1 tsp. Gynostemma extract powder (Vimergy)
  4. 1 tsp. Maca - gelatinized (Navitas Naturals)
  5. 1 TB. Dandy Blend
  6. 1 tsp. Astragalus Root powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. Triphala (Banyan Botanicals)
  8. 1 tsp. or more Raw Cacao powder (Navitas Naturals)
  9. pinch of cayenne
  10. 1 tsp. coconut oil (Nutiva) or ghee (Ancient Organics)
  11. NuNaturals liquid stevia - 8 drops or to taste
  12. pinch of pink himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and BLEND till smooth and creamy - about 30 seconds. Pour into a saucepan and heat on LOW for a few minutes to desired temperature. Enjoy!
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

 

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Kibby

Decadent Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

Decadent Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

Rich HEALTHY Chocolate Brownies

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I was going to wait and share this recipe with you on Friday, but then I thought “Hell,no!  I am doing it TODAY!”  You lovely souls NEED this decadent, gluten-free, healthy, AMAZING chocolate brownie recipe NOW.  Recipe adapted here from the Detoxinista

I am offering a healthy cooking class this coming Saturday, May 18th and it is focusing on ALMONDS and the many ways to use them in a plant-based diet.  From making your own almond milk, raw almond butter, Chocolate Basil Smoothie, Butternut Squash bisque, Thai Almond Dipping Sauce, coconut macaroons and a special add-on recipe for all attendees of class.  This class focuses on using every aspect of the almond – the nut and the left-over almond pulp – in the recipes.  It’s going to be great!  The class is already almost full.  :)

This fantastic brownie recipe caters to the very aspect of using “left-over” almond pulp.  The brownie came out light, moist and fluffy in texture but deep and intense with the chocolate flavor.  As you know, I love adapting recipes to make them BETTER and HEALTHIER (which the original is), but also to throw in some easy tricks and tips. Oh, are you excited or what right now?! 

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Tip #1 – When a recipe calls for applesauce – which contributes to a more moist final product and lends a natural sweetness factor – use an organic apple (skin is full of fiber and pectin),  cut into slices (don’t use core), put into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and puree for a few seconds – Voila – homemade applesauce that is raw, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and MORE that a store-bought, processed, “hidden ingredients” apple sauce will NOT have.  If you don’t have an organic apple, peel the skin off and you are still doing WAY BETTER than store-bought jars. 

Tip #2 – Coconut sugar is a much healthier alternative to Sucanat sugar, but I still like to use LESS in my recipes.  So, I like to do half sugar and half stevia if a recipe does require some sort of granular sugar for the recipe to come out right, but I still want the sweetness without all the SUGAR.  I highly recommend using NuNaturals stevia – it does not have the bitter after-taste that most processed stevia products have.   I use that Shit in everything! – From sweet to savory recipes.    Stevia is great for people trying to lose weight, have blood sugar issues or candida. I LOVE IT! 

Tip #3 – After making your almond nut milk, simply use the remaining pulp to create a healthy treat.  Please don’t throw it in the trash!   Left over almond pulp is a great substitute for flour in many recipes.  Two versions for drying:

  1.  Dehydrator –  spread your almond pulp out on a tray lined with a Teflex sheet (if not, the pulp will fall through the cracks) and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4 to 8 hours (longer depending on type of dehydrator used and moisture in environment).  I use an Excalibur 9 tray with timer and LOVE it!  Once the almond pulp is completely dry, Transfer dry pulp to a high-speed blender or food processor and buzz till a flour like consistency is achieved.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!  That’s it!  I store the almond flour in a glass mason jar in my fridge, and use it as I bake. One cup of almonds used in almond milk will yield about 1/2 cup of almond flour.
  2. Oven – spread your almond pulp out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in oven set at lowest temperature setting – 200 degrees and “dry out” for 2 – 3 hours.  Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t toast too much.  Transfer dry pulp to a blender or food processor and buzz till a flour like consistency is achieved.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!  

 

Decadent Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies
This fantastic brownie recipe caters to the very aspect of using "left-over" almond pulp. The brownie came out light, moist and fluffy in texture but deep and intense with the chocolate flavor. Serves an 8″x8″ pan.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  2. 1 small organic apple* (see tips below) or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  4. 7 drops of NuNaturals Liquid Stevia
  5. 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 large organic free-range eggs
  7. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1/2 cup ground almond pulp*
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F, and line an 8″x8″ glass dish with parchment paper.
  2. Make your applesauce.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well to combine into a thick batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined dish, and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan and the center is firm.
  5. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
  6. The brownies are so rich and fudgy, you may find that they are difficult to slice without some of the fudgy middles sticking to the knife - I did.
  7. I recommend chilling the brownies in the fridge or freezer to make the cutting process go more smoothly, then allow to thaw to room temperature, if you like.
Notes
  1. Tip #1 - When a recipe calls for applesauce - which helps out with a more moist final product and lends a natural sweetness factor - use an organic apple (skin is full of fiber and pectin), cut into slices (don't use core), put into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and puree for a few seconds - Voila - homemade applesauce that is raw, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and MORE that a store-bought, processed, "hidden ingredients" apple sauce will NOT have. If you don't have an organic apple, peel the skin off and you are still doing WAY BETTER than store-bought jars.
  2. Tip #2 - After making your almond nut milk, simply use the remaining pulp to create a healthy treat. Please don’t throw it in the trash! Left over almond pulp is a great substitute for flour in many recipes. To prepare the almond pulp, you must dry it completely after making your almond milk. You can do this in an low-temperature oven, or dehydrator, then transfer the dried almond pulp to a blender or food processor, and process it into a light and fluffy “flour” texture.
Adapted from Detoxinista
Adapted from Detoxinista
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/

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I hope you enjoy these little chocolate beauties and let me know what you think.

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Vegan GF Chocolate Red Velvet Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

Vegan GF Chocolate Red Velvet Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

Chocolate Red Velvet Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

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Thank you so much for all the lovely birthday and anniversary wishes from last week.  It meant so much to me to hear from you and feel your love.  Y’all are the coolest!!  So, as promised, I am sharing the cake recipe that I made for my birthday/anniversary occasion.   I adapted the recipe from here to make into a cake.  It is absolutely stunning with hidden superfoods (my kind of treats!) of beets and kale.  Yippee!!  Combined with raw cacao and other ingredients, this is a decadent and delicious tasting treat that is healthy, gluten-free and dairy-free.   It isn’t a RED color like most red velvet cakes, but it tastes rich like one, but in my opinion, a heck of a lot better!

Important tips from the original recipe It’s very important to keep the wet and dry ingredients separate until you are ready to bake. Once mixed, a chemical reaction begins between leavening ingredients and acids to “fluff” the batter. Which, if you are familiar with gluten-free and dairy-free baking recipes, you know is paramount in importance. No gluten, no eggs, no yeast to fluff, so, keep the dry stuff and the liquid stuff separate. When your muffin tins are lined, the oven is preheated, you have a spoon ready and a silicone spatula on-hand for folding, then you are ready to mix up wet and dry. “Fold” the batter—don’t beat it up—until mixed. Then carefully, and swiftly, spoon batter into liners and get the tin(s) into the oven (at the same time if you are using two tins). No peeking until the timer goes off. Again, this kind of baking is sensitive so it’s important to keep the temp consistent. It’s worth it!

This cake recipe is a definite KEEPER and won’t last long once made (at least not in my kitchen).   Want to know how to make it?  Come along my dears and I will show you the way.  :)

Chocolate Red Velvet Cake with Coconut Cream Icing
This cake is absolutely stunning with hidden superfoods (my kind of treats!) of beets and kale. Yippee!! Combined with raw cacao and other ingredients, this is a decadent and delicious tasting treat that is healthy, gluten-free and dairy-free. This cake recipe is a definite KEEPER and won't last long once made (at least not in my kitchen).
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Frosting
  1. 1 cup coconut fat from 2 cans of coconut milk (not reduced fat and place can in the fridge overnight first) - this is the top layer you want, so DON'T SHAKE THE CAN!
  2. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  3. 1 tsp. maple syrup - I used a few drops of NuNaturals liquid stevia
Cake
  1. 2-3 leaves purple kale, ribs removed and chopped into tiny, tiny pieces
Dry Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  2. 1 cup sweet sorghum flour - I used Bob's Red Mill brand
  3. 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp fine ground sea salt
  7. 3/4 cup coconut sugar + several drops of NuNaturals liquid stevia (if you don't have stevia, use 1 cup coconut sugar)
Blend/Wet Ingredients
  1. 1 TB. chia seeds
  2. 1/2 cup warm water
  3. 2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  4. 2 TB. coconut oil
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract (be sure to use gluten- or alcohol-free if you have a sensitivity)
  6. 2 TB. chocolate extract (be sure to use gluten- or alcohol-free if you have a sensitivity)
  7. 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  8. 1 cup diced beet - the smaller the pieces, the quicker it cooks - (I left skin on but scrubbed real well and cut off any weird looking spots) - steamed to soften (see directions below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8" inch cake pan with unbleached parchment paper and oil the sides with coconut oil.
  3. Wash and dice your beet. You can keep skin on or peel it, your call. Steam it over a pot of boiling water with the lid covering for 15 - 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife.
  4. Wash kale and remove ribs. Chop into teeny tiny pieces and set aside.
  5. While the beets steam, place chia seeds, water, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, extracts and lemon juice in a high powered blender and set aside. You want the chia to sit in the liquid to “plump” and you might as well toss all the other goodies in there. Once beets are ready, add them to the blender and mix on low until well blended and turns into a beautifully beet red/hot pink color.
  6. Next, in a large bowl, sift together almond flour, sorghum flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cacoa powder and sea salt. Work your fingers in a circular motion to press/grind dry ingredients through strainer/sifter. Anything too big to make it through? Just dump it in the mix.
  7. Now, fold together the wet ingredients, kale and dry ingredients.
  8. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. While the cake bakes, open up your cans of coconut milk (carefully!). Scrape out the fat on the top of the can and place in the medium glass bowl.
  10. Add vanilla extract and sweetener of choice and whip with a hand blender on high speed till it forms a semi-firm icing with peaks. You can also whisk vigorously by hand for a good arm workout if you choose. Place in the fridge.
  11. Remove cake pan from oven and allow to cool completely. Carefully flip the cake onto a platter (place a flat surface on top of pan and quickly flip upside down - place platter on top of "bottom side" of cake and flip again). I hope that makes sense!
  12. Now, it's time to frost the cake. Spoon icing on top of cake and spread evenly to distribute all over. Sprinkle with cacao powder, cacao nibs, cinnamon or coconut flakes - whatever you want (or leave it plain with icing). Chill in fridge till ready to eat. Store in fridge and cover with wrap so that it doesn't dry out before eating. Believe me, it won't last long. :)
Notes
  1. Important tips from the original recipe: It’s very important to keep the wet and dry ingredients separate until you are ready to bake. Once mixed, a chemical reaction begins between leavening ingredients and acids to “fluff” the batter. Which, if you are familiar with gluten-free and dairy-free baking recipes, you know is paramount in importance. No gluten, no eggs, no yeast to fluff, so, keep the dry stuff and the liquid stuff separate. When your muffin tins are lined, the oven is preheated, you have a spoon ready and a silicone spatula on-hand for folding, then you are ready to mix up wet and dry. “Fold” the batter—don’t beat it up—until mixed. Then carefully, and swiftly, spoon batter into liners and get the tin(s) into the oven (at the same time if you are using two tins). No peeking until the timer goes off. Again, this kind of baking is sensitive so it’s important to keep the temp consistent. It’s worth it!
Adapted from Yum Universe
Adapted from Yum Universe
Kibby's Blended Life http://kibbysblendedlife.com/
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Steamed beets mixed with the other wet ingredients to form a lovely color of red/hot pink. Stunning!

 

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Dry ingredients topped with finely chopped purple kale. I love sneaking kale into tasty recipes.

 

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Dry ingredients and wet ingredients about to become ONE!

 

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Cake fresh out of the oven and cooling on rack. I will invert it onto a platter and spread the creamy, tasty coconut icing on top. Drool!!

 

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Cake now iced with coconut cream icing and topped with raw cacao nibs and dusting of raw cacao powder. OOHH LaLa!

 

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Cake tastes FANTASTIC! It digests easily without any guilty ingredients. SO that means I can have a bigger piece than normal. ;) Moderation, my dear!

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You can see the small flakes of kale here! I love it!

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Give it a try and let me know how you like it. 

Thanks again for all the LOVE wishes!  XOXO

Have a great weekend!

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday

♥  Chocolate Can Be Good For You At the Right Dose –  This is a great article!  It is similar to the Cacao vs. Cocoa article I posted last week.  More information to back up QUALITY and IN MODERATION.

 ♥ The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread – I made this loaf of bread as soon as I saw the recipe.  Let me tell you – it is FANTASTIC!  It was super easy to make and tastes out of this world.  Spread some ghee, coconut oil, hummus, guacamole or a sweet date spread, berry jam, etc. I highly recommend that you make it.  If you don’t have a silicone loaf pan (I DON’T), don’t worry.  Just coat your glass/metal loaf pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.  Pour mixture in and bake according to rest of directions. PERFECT!

♥ Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Meal Plan -  This is a great article along with a printable version of a meal planning guide for your own meals for the week.  Every little bit to make life easier and eating healthier a no-brainer.

♥ Learning Through Teaching: Lessons from the Yoga Room -  My friend, Raechel at Rebel Grrrl Kitchen wrote this amazing article that I think everyone can learn from.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, please go by and send her some love – great articles, recipes and a great woman to boot.

via Healthy Body Now on Facebook

♥ Mercury Retrograde February 24th to March 17th 2013~  “Simply being and basking in silence and stillness.  Whatever comes up in the space of quiet reflection one is able to pay attention to.”  I have been doing this a bit lately – going somewhere and being in total silence and stillness and amazing things come up for me to be aware of and work on or be inspired about.  Being open and receptive to awareness, intuition and guidance is PROFOUND.

♥ Saturn Retrograde TODAY February 18th to July 8th 2013~ Oh, my!  There is a lot going on, but to me it feels wonderful, cathartic, opening and healing.  Look forward to what comes about for us all.

♥ Learn the 5 Secrets to an Abundant Organic Veggie Patch! – This is a fantastic link to check out if you are interested in learning more about growing your own organic garden.  Check it out.  It really does make a difference what we put into our bodies.  It’s even MORE wonderful when it is grown and harvested ourselves.

♥ Kale Kleanse Juice Recipe – I ADORE Kale!!  Here’s a fantastic way to get this beautiful GREEN into your diet and into your body so that it can deliver kick-ass nutrients throughout your system.

♥ 12 Keys to Homegrown Natural Health with Nicola Chatham – More great tips and techniques to learn from this beautiful Aussie woman.

YOU are this woman!

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

The Difference Between CACAO and COCOA Powder

The Difference Between CACAO and COCOA Powder

It’s TRUE!  There REALLY IS a difference between raw cacao powder and cocoa powder.  With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, be informed and educated what type of chocolate treat you want to purchase for your spouse, lover, friend, family or HECK, mostly yourself.  :)  Years ago, before I took any care with my health, I used cocoa powder in all my baking recipes.  I didn’t know any better.  When my health took a nose dive (over three years ago) and I decided to do something about it, that’s when I changed my diet over to an all RAW, plant-based diet/lifestyle and learned about this mysterious, dark, seductive ingredient called raw cacao powder.  Were have you been all my life, gorgeous one! 

Most chocolate that is consumed is milk chocolate, high in sugar and low in cacao content. It is also made with dairy products, fillers and in some cases high fructose corn syrup. So it is fair to say that not all chocolate is created equally from a health benefit standpoint.

All chocolate is made from the cacao (cocoa) bean, and cacao beans in their natural, unprocessed, unadulterated state are rich in nutrients and beneficial to health.  Cacao powder is simply the cacao bean, that through a cold-pressing process, has had the fat (cacao butter) removed. With the fat removed, cacao powder becomes hydroscopic, so it dissolves easily in liquids. Cacao powder can be used to make chocolate by mixing it with cacao butter and sweetener.  (source)

What are the Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder?

Thanks to its high amounts of magnesium, antioxidants, and flavonols, raw cacao powder is considered to have many health benefits.  The powder is dark in color and rich in nutrients. The bitter taste of raw cacao powder is often mixed with carob or stevia, a natural sweetener, to make it more palatable.  I LOVE its rich, deep, bitter, earthy taste alone!

Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea.

The higher the percentage of cacao in the chocolate (in my opinion 70% and higher) is where you will see the most impact from the nutrients and anti-oxidants.    Often you will see packages labeled now with “% cacao.” What that refers to is the percentage of cacao bean solids present in the bar. There is an inverse relationship between the percentage of cacao in a bar and the amount of sugar.  So:

      • A 75% cacao bar has 25% sugar.
      • A 65% cacao bar has 35% sugar.
      • The higher the % cacao, the less sweet
         the bar and the stronger the
         chocolate taste. (source)

Cacao powder is the most versatile of the raw cacao products, because it is finely ground and ready to be added to smoothies, homemade energy bars, raw and baked bars, cookies, and other desserts. It blends well with water, nut and dairy milks.

These antioxidants and other properties may help to:

 
  • Support cardiovascular health and help to prevent atherosclerosis
  • Protect from free radicals and environmental toxins
  • Flavonols boost blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce anti-inflammatory responses
  • It elevates the mood by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain
  • Improve overall well being and energy levels
  • Acts as a catalyst (drives into tissues) ingredient to enhance medicinal properties and assimilation of herbs, super foods, etc. in tonics, teas and food.  OH YEAH!

For storage:  Keep in cool, dry conditions. 

Adverse reactions:  Raw cacao powder contains a small amount of caffeine and is considered a slight stimulant.  I can have raw cacao in small quantities and in moderation.  It does stimulate me ever so slightly, so I don’t drink hot tonics or eat treats made with it in the evening.  I’ll go weeks without having any and then use it a few days out of a week – whatever my body wants.  

Check out these recipes I have used it in:

SO MANY OPTIONS for it!  Be sure to purchase a quality, organic raw cacao powder.   Navitas Naturals is my favorite!

NOW, let’s look at regular cocoa powder. 

Some people don’t think there is a difference between the terms but I beg to differ.  The terms “processed” and “unprocessed” have two separate meanings.  Therefore, in my personal opinion, they are two separate entities when coming from a nutritional view point.

Broken down, cacao refers to either the tree, beans or pods of the cacao tree that are raw and unprocessed, while cocoa powder is the processed and refined version of the exact same plant. Though they are not the same, they are also not mutually exclusive, as cocoa powder cannot be made without cacao.

Cocoa powder is the de-fatted chocolate solids left after the cocoa butter is removed from the chocolate, creating a low-fat powdered product. There are two main types of cocoa powder: natural and Dutch process. Natural cocoa powder has a slightly reddish tint and is highly acidic. Dutch process cocoa powder has been treated with alkaline and has a darker brown color.

The main difference between the cacao and cocoa, once again, lies in their states. Cacao is unprocessed while cocoa is processed.  Cacao also has a better nutritional content compared to cocoa, but that’s only because most of the nutritional content disappears once cacao has undergone processing. 

You want to know how I am STILL using my old cocoa powder container?  As a DIY Dry Shampoo for Brunettes!   This recipe will sop up any excess scalp oil, and help keep you lookin’ fab and fresh on those days you need a quick hair pick-me-up and don’t have the time (or energy) for a full-on wash (which was for me on Saturday!) :)

 

Here are a few things to consider when you desire your next chocolate fix or you are buying your sweetheart (or yourself – I consider myself “my sweetheart”) chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

• The sweeter the chocolate, the less healthy it is. :(

• Darker and the less sweet the chocolate, the healthier it is. :)

For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby