Spiced Pots de Chocolate
Updated: Feb 11
Who feels long overdue for a treat? I've been craving chocolate this week and this gorgeous little "pot" is just the answer. Typical pots de creme recipes call for dairy, sugar and eggs but this one has none of that and tastes Oh So Delicious without giving you feel that post-sugar yuck.
Cacao (cacao Theobroma) is native to South America but grown in equatorial regions around the world (including Hawaii). Cacao has been appreciated for centuries and was even traded as currency among the Aztecs. The Mayans would use cacao for ceremonies and celebrations.
Raw cacao powder is not to be confused with cocoa powder, which is processed with alkalai (sometimes called "dutch processed") and considered nutritionally inferior to cacao powder.
Cacao beans come from the pulp of the fruit and are one of nature’s most potent antioxidant foods. Once harvested, the beans are fermented for about a week and then the thin shells of the bean are removed, leaving just the cacao "nibs." These nibs are then ground into a fine powder to make cacao powder which contains literally hundreds of chemicals, including:
Phenylethylamine (PEA), the “love” chemical,
Ananamide, the “bliss” chemical,
Tryptophan, an essential amino acid,
Seratonin, a natural anti-depressant,
Endorphins, a natural pain reliever that can also be produced with exercise,
Theobromine, a relative of caffeine,
Omega-6 essential fatty acids,
as well as other compounds including:
Magnesium, Copper, Sulfur, Iron, Chromium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium, and Vitamin C,
...just to name a few.
Research has shown that cacao helps neutralize free radicals, can reduce effects of aging, improve cardiovascular health and circulation, lower blood pressure, balance brain chemistry, relieve symptoms of PMS, and promotes a sense of happiness and well-being. Oh yeah, and it's delicious!
Note: Because of it’s theobromine content, it’s generally recommended to keep consumption of this magical ingredient to 1 TB per day.
With just over a handful of ingredients, this recipe comes together quickly, under 30 minutes (including refrigeration time!).
All that and it's dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, vegan.
So go ahead...treat yourself!!!
Spiced Pots de Chocolate
Prep time: 30 minutes (including "chill" time)
½ cup raw cashews
¼ cup almond milk
¼ cup coconut oil (preferably refined), melted
4 TB cacao powder
4 TB maple syrup (can also use 2 TB maple syrup + 2 Medjool or Honey Dates, soaked)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon (I prefer Ceylon)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp star anise, optional
1) Soak cashews in hot (not boiling) water for 15-30 minutes (longer will yield a creamier consistency). You can also soak them in filtered water in the fridge overnight.
2) While the cashews are soaking, gather the rest of your ingredients and put them in a food processor (I used a smaller one for this). Add almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, star anise and nutmeg.
Pro tip: for optimum flavor, grind a while cinnamon stick and star anise (separately) in a spice grinder (I use an old coffee grinder that is strictly used for spices). If you don ‘t have them, spices are optional. This also tastes great without them!
3) Rinse the cashews and add to the food processor. Cover and process until well blended. You will likely need to scrape down the sides once or twice and taste to adjust flavorings if needed.
4) Transfer to glass serving containers (you’ll need something pretty small like a recycled glass yogurt container) Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.*
5) When ready to enjoy, add optional topping of choice…I used coconut cream here (simply whipped coconut cream from a can) with walnut “dust,” grated chocolate and a single star anise.
*they will firm up more the longer they spend in the fridge...so I recommend this amount of time for a creamy but firm consistency
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