Raw Chocolate Goji & Raspberry Bark
It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, which means all thinks pink & red, hearts, love, and chocolate are in full force. Who cares if it’s Hallmark generated? Valentine’s Day is a sweet little reminder to show someone, anyone, that you care about them. So go out and be a walking, talking love fest – hug your neighbor, make cards for your co-workers, call your mom, take your special someone for a night on a town, or even better – take yourself to a yoga class or a relaxing massage – you deserve self love too!
If you reallllyyy want to show someone that you love them, make them raw chocolate. Not only is it incredibly simple and quick to make, but it beats all that generic boxed chocolate stuff out of the water. That boxed chocolate, by the way, is filled with lots and lots of refined sugar, dairy products, artificial flavorings, and other not so loving things. Raw chocolate is filled with pure love and goodness like cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, and cacao butter that will actually nourish your loved one. Boxed chocolate is made in a food factory that pumps out thousands of identical sugary little boxes to sell at stores. Raw chocolate is made by hand (yours) and is uniquely labored over (all of 10 minutes), so that no two raw chocolates are alike. Raw chocolate is also deeply dark, flavorful, and intense – so you’ll only need a small piece and you’ll feel absolutely sinful and satisfied.
So why go Raw? You may have heard that chocolate is good for you. It is – but only when you consume the least processed forms of chocolate. Milk chocolate and its candy bars have been overly heated and refined, so absolutely no nutritional value remains. Dark chocolate is a better option, as it hasn’t been processed up the wazoo to remove nutritional benefits. The absolute best way to enjoy chocolate, and to reap its nutritional goodness, is to consume it pure and raw. Unprocessed raw cacao has around 300 nutritional compounds and numerous antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage. It even includes the amino acid, tryptophan, essential for producing serotonin and making you positively happy and lovely.
This Raw Chocolate Bark studded with antioxidant rich goji berries and freeze dried raspberries is just one of the most delicious (and beautiful/healthy/nourishing) ways to enjoy chocolate. Make little pieces for your beaux, your mom, or maybe just for you to savor while you watch The Notebook – whoever eats them will be absolutely in love.
Raw Chocolate Goji & Raspberry Bark
175 grams solid cacao butter (a little over ¾ cup melted)
¼ cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup freeze dried raspberries, slightly crushed
¼ cup goji berries
Using a double broiler, or simply a glass bowl or small pot overtop of a pot of boiling water on the stove, add solid cacao butter pieces to bowl and reduce heat to medium-low. Watch and stir cacao butter every now and then, until it completely melts – which should take about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl add melted cacao butter, cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, and sea salt. Stir using a rubber spatula until mixture begins to slightly thicken up (but still quite liquidly), which should take around 5 minutes.
Line a small baking tray with parchment paper. Pour chocolate mixture into lined tray and let set in the refrigerator to thicken slightly for 2-3 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle chocolate with crushed freeze-dried raspberries and goji berries. Place baking tray in the freezer and let set for 1-2 hours.
Remove from freezer and break up chocolate into pieces with your hands. Store chocolate in an airtight container in the freezer (where it will keep for around 2 weeks). Devour, spread love, and enjoy!