For many people on restricted diets, chocolate is the hardest treat to give up. Life without chocolate is most definitely hard. It was difficult until I realized that cocoa powder was legal on GAPS when advanced enough and was fine on a Paleo diet.
That made all the difference. Suddenly, there was several companies selling pure, food grade cocoa butter and cocoa powder without any soy, dairy or sugar. Yippee! There are so many things to make with these pure cocoa ingredients!
This is another recipe I developed for Paleo Pals. I was given a packet of cacao nibs for my challenge this month, by my new Paleo Pal, Daniel, who blogs at Grizzlystrong.com. I will be posting the recipe that he developed with the item I sent him, so stay tuned for that.
Cocoa, or cacao has a long tradition of usage throughout the world. The purest chocolate comes from organic food grade cacao butter and cacao solids.
Where does cacao come from?
Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) grow in the hot climates of Africa and Central America within a 20-mile radius of the equator. Mature plants range from 20 to 25 feet in height and bear flowers that bloom directly on the wide-spreading branches. These flowers produce the fruit which may reach up to 12 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter. The fruit pods contain cocoa beans, which are cultivated, fermented, dried and roasted.
How is cacao processed?
Cacao beans are fermented to alleviate bitterness, and processed at low temperatures for maximum nutrient retention. Once extracted from the pods, the beans are rinsed with water. The whole beans are peeled and cold-pressed to form a paste. The fiber is then extracted, in order to separate the solids from the rich oil, or cacao butter.
High quality chocolate is made from both the cacao butter and the solids (powder). Cheaper brands will use other vegetable oils or shortening as the fat component of chocolate and then add artificial flavors to disguise this. Chocolate made from cacao butter will melt in your mouth because cacao butter has a melting point very close to body temperature.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 18 – 20
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