Thinking about giving the gift of chocolate for Valentines day?
Besides winning over your valentine's heart with these delicious, super easy, Toasted Coconut PB Cups, who knew certain compounds in chocolate, called cacao flavanols, could also boost their mood and memory! Dazzle your sweetheart with this 7 ingredient, delcious recipe and knowledge of its nutritional benefits!
reboot with Cacao
Flavanols are a type of plant nutrient found in many foods and drinks, such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples, pears, cherries, and peanuts. They are particularly abundant in the seeds of the cacao tree—cacao beans. Fermenting, drying, and roasting cacao beans yields cocoa powder, which is used to make chocolate. Flavanol containing foods, cocoa and cocoa-derived products being among the most valuable sources, have been studied for years. These powerful nutrients have been demonstrated to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, stroke and even induce positive effects on mood! Flavonoids have shown several beneficial actions to the brain by preserving cognitive abilities which may lower the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, a very recent study reported that frequent chocolate consumption might actually be associated with a lower body mass index.
Health Benefits of Cacao:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve blood flow to heart and brain
- Prevent blood clots and risk for stroke
- Mood boosting
- Improve cognitive ability and decrease risk for Alzheimers
- Fight cell damage
What is the most nutritious Chocolate to buy?
Today, comparatively, few people have ever tasted true, natural, cacao, the ancestor to the present day mainstream chocolate. Cacao is made from the seeds of the fruit from a delicate tropical evergreen tree. It's natural cocoa beans, powder, and butter has a somewhat bitter taste. However, it is that bitter taste that indicates if it is true cacao, thereby containing all of its powerful phytonutrients. This unpleasant bitter flavor is why sugar, oil, milk solids and other additives are too often mixed in to create todays sweetened chocolate. Most mainstream candy bars, for instance, have under 10 percent cacao, and the amount and integrity of the phytonutrients suffers from oxidation and alkalization during processing shown in this study.
Dark chocolate has more cacao and more flavanols than milk chocolate. Also, flavanols are often destroyed in the production of chocolate. The amount of cocoa and flavanols in chocolate varies by manufacturer, ranging from 100 mg to 2,000 mg in about 3 ounces of chocolate.
It’s possible to get a large dose of cocoa flavanols from supplements and fortified powders that promise high doses. However, consumer groups studying the amounts of cocoa flavanols in products have found that the actual amount in supplements and cocoa powders varies greatly in this Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study. The best way of getting cacao flavanols is through cacao powder that is as natural as possible, and has not been processed through the alkalized or Dutch method as indicated on the ingredients list. Dutch chocolate processing can reduce the content of flavanols by about 60-80%.
However, as modern research continues to confirm and validate the phytonutrient power of cacao, the consumer demand is growing. Most health food stores now offer a selection of cacao products, such as cacao nibs, raw cacao powder and chocolates with up to 70% cacao, making it much easier for consumers to get their fix of this delicious superfood!
RD TIP: Try mixing raw cacao powder into smoothies, almond milk, coffee, energy bars, baked goods or homemade peanut butter cups!
Toasted coconut PEANUT BUTTER cups
BY: DIETITIAN TAYLOR JOHNSON, RD, LDN
Recipe type: sweet treat
Servers: 30 cups
VEGETARIAN/DF/GF/VEGAN - Delicious, 7 ingredients, and refined sugar free
Mix chocolate sauce ingredients into a bowl until smooth and creamy. Put a small spoonful of sauce into the bottom of each mini cupcake liners, just enough to cover the base. Place mini cups into freezer for 10 min or until chocolate is hardened.
Meanwhile, Toast coconut flakes in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown. Add 1 cup toasted coconut to a food processor and pulse until coconut butter is formed. Add coconut butter and remaining 1/2 cup toasted coconut into a bowl and mix together with remaining coconut cream ingredients.
Once chocolate mini cups are hardened, take them out of the freezer and fill each cup with 1/2 tsp. of the coconut cream ingredients. Top each cup with a spoonful of chocolate sauce to cover top. Put in freezer to chill for 10 minutes or until hardened. Reboot and Enjoy!
*Optional - top Coconut PB cups with raw peanuts or coconut flakes before placing in freezer to chill.
Chocolate Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup organic coconut oil, melted (I use Kirkland Signature brand)
- 1 cup raw cacao powder (I use Navitas Naturals brand)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Dash of Himalayan or sea salt (optional)
Coconut Cream Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 toasted coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
If you make this recipe, we would love to see it! Tag us in your photo @rootsreboot with #RootsReboot or #RebootAndTurnip to our INSTAGRAM HERE!
XO - Roots Reboot
P.S. NEED TO RECHARGE, refocus OR RESET YOUR HEALTH?
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