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September 2011

Skinny Sexy Chocolate: "Spicy Maya" Cocoa and other things to do with raw Cocoa beans!


I love hot cocoa in the cold winter months but sadly, it does not love me. Too much milk, too much sugar, it's a recipe that can set my IBS ablazing and add more than a pound or two to my hips.  I've been without it for awhile which is pretty sad given the depths of my passionate relationship with chocolate. But, no longer...I've finally figured out a way to have my chocolate and my health too! Many years ago, my sister discovered Chuao Chocolatier in Encinitas , an exquisite little chocolate factory that makes the loveliest fresh candies. Perfect dark chocolate shells surrounding delectable fillings of banana and burnt caramel , goat cheese and lavender honey and a toffee that could break your heart. Chuao also makes wonderful hot chocolate mixes, but  they are filled with powdered milk and sugar. My favorite is their Spicy Maya, a nectar of dark chocolate, cayenne, cinnamon and loads of sugar. I really love it, for it IS the perfect winter sip. 

Last week, I went to my local Whole Foods in search of Goldenberries (yes I admit it..I love Dr. Oz and he'd recommended them!) and found that they were completely out of them! Instead I looked down one shelf and saw an intriguing bag labeled Navitas Natural Raw Cocoa Beans. They were touted as a superfood which I don't doubt for a second but I must admit that raw they tasted pretty awful. At 10.00 for the bag I was determined to not let them go to waste, so I began to play!

I discovered immediately that I could make a wonderful mole sauce that was delicious baked on chicken and pork by simply putting about a cup of them into my vitamix with cinnamon , cayenne ,1/4 cup of agave nectar, the same of tequila,onion, garlic, lime juice, salt and a can of tomato paste. Blend until smooth and use as you would any rub or marinade. Add a can of garbanzo beans and a cup of frozen diced butternut squash of you have a wonderful dip to serve with guacomole and chips!

1 cup of the raw beans blended with a couple of bananas , some solid coconut oil, about 1 cup of coconut milk , vanilla extract  and agave makes a raw chocolate pudding that is delicious and really good for you. 

But....Here's the grand prize! Take one cup of the beans and put them into your vitamix with a several cups of almond milk, cinnamon, cayenne and chipotle chili to taste, a bit of Penzeys vanilla extract , agave to taste, 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/4 cup of slivered almonds. Blend it all on the high setting until hot and smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy.This was true food alchemy and I was ecstatic with the own version of "Spicy Maya" made twice as healthy and so fresh! I now love cocoa beans and have discovered that aside from the obvious antioxidents they possess, that they also have a quality that simply makes you happy, not jittery! I hope that you'll try this recipe, for it's real hot chocolate made close to the way the ancients drank it and it has a strengthening and nourishing quality that I really enjoy. They're a wonderful Aphrodisiac as well...but that's a whole other story........

 Here's a little bit of Chocolat to warm up your day !