Thursday, September 23, 2010

Healthy Raw Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon Morning Latte for the MassAppeal Show!

What could be more fun or more healthy that starting your day with chocolate?  Practically nothing!.. which is why I'm sharing this recipe with your for a Healthy Raw Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon Morning Latte.

This beautiful concoction does four main things for you:

1- Gives your both instant and long-lasting energy.
2- Fuels your body with an abundance of nutrition to start your day.
3- Boosts your immune system.
4- Helps you start your day off on the right food by boosting the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which gently and naturally nudges your mood in a positive direction!

Another bonus of this breakfast is that it tastes amazing and can be a savored addition to your morning ritual.  There is no sacrifice in healthy eating if you know what you're doing!

All of the ingredients for this morning latte can be ordered from:

The Ingredients (for 2 servings):

2 c. warm/hot water- soothingly warm, but not so hot that it burns your finger
4 T. raw chocolate powder
1 T. extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 c. truly raw cashews
3 T. unheated, unprocessed honey (preferably wildflower and from your local area)
1/2 tsp. raw vanilla bean powder
1 tsp. organic cinnamon powder
a pinch Sea Salt

Blend well and savor.  Share it with a friend! 

Each and every ingredient in this healthy raw chocolate , vanilla, and cinnamon morning latte has a long list of health benefits.  Here is a brief summary of why I chose each of these specific ingredients when formulating this recipe:

Soothingly warm/hot water:  Drinking a warm beverage is an excellent way to help your body wake up in the morning, especially when it's turning chillier outside.  The temperature I'm recommend here is just a bit less than boiling hot because adding boiling water to the other ingredients in this drink would actually destroy some of their nutrients. 

Pure Raw Chocolate Powder:  Raw chocolate is unprocessed and additive-free.  And, perhaps more importantly, it has not been heated or roasted.  Chocolate is an amazing superfood, but it takes on some undesirable qualities when it is roasted and mixed with dairy, sugar, and other ingredients.  By using raw chocolate, you gain the benefit of 700% more antioxidants than even the best organic non-raw chocolate.  You also gain additional brain and mood-boosting chemicals that are present in raw chocolate but not in any other types of chocolate since they are destroyed by heat.  Chocolate is the number one source of magnesium in nature.  We know that 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in magnesium and this mineral is crucial for brain health, bone health, heart health, and the ability to cope and perform well in stressful situations.  Eating raw chocolate is a healthful and delicious way to begin to add more magnesium to your diet and start reaping these benefits!  If you want to learn more about raw chocolate, I suggest reading Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie.  There is some interesting biochemical information in the book as well as historical information.  (Did you know chocolate was considered so valuable in some cultures that it was used as currency?!)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil got a 'bad rap' several years ago as some studies came out regarding the negative effects of hydrogenated coconut oil.  Coconut oil in its natural, unprocessed state, is probably the healthiest oil on the planet, assisting with health problems ranging form skin disorders to diabetes.  Several books have been written about extra virgin coconut oil because it truly is a panacea.  It nourishes the thyroid gland, assisting with under or overactive thyroid.  It boosts metabolism, assisting with weight loss.  And, it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, helping to prevent common ailments like the cold and flu.

Truly Raw Cashews:  Cashews labeled raw that you find at the health food store or supermarket are by and large heat extracted and not really raw.  Cashews are rich in zinc, which helps your body to digest damaged collagen and rebuild new collagen in your skin.  Raw cashews are also rich in oleic fatty acids that are highly beneficial for your skin when eaten in their unheated state.  Truly raw cashews can be purchased on-line at specialty stores.

Raw Honey:  Honey is made from the nectar that bees sip from flower blossoms.  It is a universal medicine, sweetener, and nutrient resource.  There is a tremendous amount of research on raw honey from Russia, where it was noted that the most people living past one hundred were in fact beekeepers.  Raw, unprocessed honey is the richest food source of live, rejuvenating enzymes.  Research has indicated that it increases mental alertness, reflexes, and even IQ.

Raw Vanilla Bean:  Unmistakably, vanilla in its purest state is the most delicious type of vanilla.  Its flavor beautifully enhances the flavor of chocolate, which is why we use it here.   As a side note, vanilla, like chocolate, has aphrodisiac properties.  So, keep it in mind for Valentine's day recipes (wink, wink).

Cinnamon:  Cinnamon balances blood sugar, improves digestion, and improves circulation- warming you up on those brisk fall mornings!

Sea Salt:  Adding sea salt to a sweet recipe is a culinary secret.  The salty flavor helps to bring out the sweetness of the drink.  For health purposes, it also adds valuable trace minerals necessary for human health yet only found in the ocean, and it adds some electrolytes to our drink.

Want to learn more?  Buy these books for your home library.  If you buy just one, buy the Superfoods book on the left.  It contains information about all of the superfoods mentioned in this post:


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