What is healthy raw dark chocolate?
Raw cacao is a superfood loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have many health benefits. Raw dark chocolate, by definition, contains no milk product and is as rich as its cacao content. Indeed, all the healthful goodness in any dark chocolate product is concentrated in the cacao. 10% of its actual weight is composed of antioxidants. The closer you are to the beans the better it is for you.
Our organic fair trade raw cacao is single origin and raw and we are careful to use only small amounts of pure organic raw cacao butter (not any other type of vegetable oil) in order to maintain the solid cacao content. After the addition of our raw honey or pure maple syrup and the pure vanilla bean, our chocolate is a very high 88% dark.
Dark raw chocolate contains many beneficial compound and antioxidants such as, polyphenols, especially flavanols and flavonoids. Raw cacao is also a great source of vitamins A, C, D, E, B-complex vitamins B1, B2, B3, and pantothenic acid. Raw cacao beans are also loaded with many essential minerals the body needs. These include magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium and phosphorus.
Most cacaos are fermented at very high temperatures and then roasted. Both processes kill off the living enzymes in this superfood.
Our cacao remains raw by never reaching a fermentation temperature greater than 115 degrees Fahrenheit and by not being roasted. This ensures a far more nutrient rich cacao.
Sprouted nuts and seeds make us special
Sprouted nuts and seeds is part of our mission.
Why add the expense and two extra days to our production process? Because this transforms your nutrition from just okay to incredible.
My mother used to soak her almonds and any dry fruit we would eat at home.
She did not know why she was doing it.
I learned this trick from her, except that now we understand why our ancestors passed this tradition from mother to daughter.
As I’ve written before, it is very difficult to find farms that are certified organic and do not steam, irradiate or pasteurize their nuts and seeds, i.e. kill them. We need them captured alive - raw! Although live, they are still in a dormant state which means that they are not yet ready to eat. You heard it right! These beautiful raw nuts and seeds are not ready to eat.
Why?!? Seeds and nuts (nuts are in fact seeds) have a purpose in nature, to be carried off by wind or animal and grow into another plant. To protect itself, the seed contains phytic acid, a physiological protectant which is located in the outer layer, the bran.
In the intestinal tract however, this acid binds with the seed’s minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc, and inhibits their absorption into the body robbing us of these wonderful nutrients.
Digestive enzymes help break down food.
Enzyme inhibitors will block these essential activities. The nuts and seeds contain these aforementioned enzyme inhibitors in the form of phytic acid, which block or denature digestive enzymes. Two such enzymes are Pepsin, which breaks down protein in the stomach, and trypsin, which breaks down protein in the small intestine.
Both can be inhibited by the phytic acid present in raw nuts and seeds.
When sprouted, a nut or seed becomes a young plant.
The bio molecules built by this fantastic anabolic germination process are broken or torn down by the catabolic digestion process for our bodies’ nourishment when the nuts and seeds are sprouted.
Sprouted nuts and sprouted seeds are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins B and E, and the minerals magnesium, calcium, copper, selenium, zinc and iron.
Unless we can eliminate the phytic acid, it will bind with minerals, preventing their absorption.
Now the payoff you’ve been waiting for. Why do we sprout? Simple and perhaps obvious by now; sprouting removes phytic acid, activates helpful enzymes that increase nutrient absorption improving overall digestion and allowing the nutrients (minerals and vitamins) to reach your cells. Basically it is a must for your gut.
So yes, only when sprouted are these nuts and seeds ready to be eaten.
The enzyme inhibitors become deactivated and the nuts are now much easier to digest and the production of beneficial enzymes is in fact encouraged.
These enzymes increase production of many vitamins especially from the B family.
A bonus benefit of sprouting is that once alive from sprouting, the nuts and seeds water content increases and they become bigger, hydrated and their texture becomes completely different….crunchy!
May be counter intuitive, but true.
Interestingly, lightly roasting nuts and seeds is also helpful in reducing the presence of the phytic acid.
Ironically, raw unsprouted nuts and seeds are less nutritious than the roasted variety once they have been sprouted. But great care needs to be exercised in order to not over roast the nuts and seeds, losing their raw life force and turning them rancid and oxidized.