You all have that friend, the chocolate snob. She's the one with the latest information on the chocolate industry, where the trends are headed. She can name the main producers in the world for organic chocolate in her sleep!
Well, today you'll be surprised to find out that the healthier and best chocolate (in moderation of course) is raw chocolate. It's not roasted like regular cacao, so the flavor all comes from the type of chocolate it is. Depending on its origin, raw cacao can have floral, citrus, caramel and coffee undertones, just to name a few.
To be considered raw, food must not be heated above a certain temperature. It's a tough number to pinpoint, since the raw food community's opinion varies on this number, from as low as 104 degrees F to as high as 118 degrees F, and that's where raw chocolate comes in. It's cacao that has not been heated over that temperature, ensuring that all the health benefits stay within the chocolate. It's un-roasted and then melted very carefully, so as not to get even close to those temperatures. It's also simply paired with other organic and healthy ingredients such as agave and sea salt. Nothing to alter the true, natural flavor of the cacao beans and never adding refined sugars to it.
It is said that chocolate in its raw form is the best way to get your sources of magnesium, chromium, and iron, all much needed minerals for our bodies. It's also very high in vitamin C, one of the main components that's lost when heated. Nothing refined is added, and it's typically free of dairy and gluten. A healthier chocolate than that 78 percent chocolate bar you're so proud of eating? You bet! Also, raw chocolate is considered a superfood, filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which fight diseases in your body so you have more time to eat chocolate!
You can find raw chocolate at health and organic stores, as well as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Online you can purchase raw chocolate from various sites: Fine and Raw, Not Your Sugar Mamas, and Righteously Raw, are just a few of the raw chocolate bars available.
When purchasing raw chocolate, make sure to read the label. You'll want a chocolate that's preferably organic and fair trade. Also, make sure that it's not using refined sugars to hide the true chocolate taste — you want that flavor explosion in your mouth! It'll be different and stronger than most chocolate you're used to, but your body will thank you!
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