I don't know if I'd want to eat healthy if it meant I'd have to give up chocolate... thankfully, that's not necesssary! Chocolate can actually be good for you, with the right ingredients. The cacao bean itself is very healthful, what makes your typical chocolate bar so bad for you are the other ingredients, like white sugar, milk fat, emulsifiers like soy lecithin (probably GMO), artificial flavorings and others.
REAL chocolate, on the other hand, is much simpler, and very healthy, even better if you make it raw. I've made raw chocolate with cacao butter and cacao powder before. I can't find the original recipe anymore, but it goes as follows (I've memorized it):
100g raw Cacao butter
6 TBS of raw Cacao powder
3-4 TBS of raw honey
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
When I found raw Cacao liquor here, I decided it might be an even better way to make my own chocolate because liquor is actually even less processed than the cacao butter and cacao powder, because the two aren't separated. In cacao liquor, the cacao bean is liquefied. It's also sometimes called cacao paste.
I couldn't find any recipes for plain raw chocolate using cacao liquor, so I just "winged it" and my first attempts turned out a little thick and clumpy, I couldn't figure out why. I thought adding the honey might be causing it to seize, but honey in the other recipe didn't cause it to seize. Finally, I found a recipe for some kind of chocolate bark and even though I didn't want to try the exact recipe (it had nuts and seeds and other additional things that I didn't want) it gave me the idea to use cacao liquor AND cacao butter. I realized that the ratio of cacao butter to cacao powder in my original recipe was probably a lot higher than 1 to 1, and cacao liquor is supposed to be about 50%/50%, so I decided to add cacao butter to my cacao liquor.
It turned out so smooth and glorious, I thought I could hear angel choruses singing in delight. Unfortunately, I didn't measure (just kind of estimated...) the cacao liquor and cacao butter, so I didn't know exactly how to recreate it (I know, shame on me. My dad has given me that lecture enough times, I should know better.) and since I was afraid it might turn out thick again, I decided not to put the vanilla extract or salt, and just sweeten it with a little honey. It was very bittersweet, but still enjoyable. This chocolate stays solid even at room temperature (unlike chocolate made with coconut oil, which is still yummy and good for you... and also cheaper to make) and is great for chocolate chips.
I tried to recreate what I had done, but measuring it so I would have a recipe to follow... but I also decided to add the vanilla extract, and make it a little sweeter. It didn't turn out quite as smooth once it chilled, although it still looked as smooth when it was all melted and I was pouring it into the mold. I think the honey crystallized a little when it cooled. Anyway, here is the working recipe right now, if anyone wants to try it and share any tricks and tips they might discover, I'd love to hear!
~250g of raw cacao liquor
~50g of raw cacao butter
6 TBS of raw honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
generous pinch of sea salt
Combine coarsely chopped cacao liquor and cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat. Do not let the water in the double boiler actually reach a boil. Keep the heat low and slowly melt to preserve the raw benefits. Once melted, stir in the honey, vanilla and salt thoroughly. Remove from heat, and avoid getting any steam or water droplets mixed with the chocolate. Pour into candy molds, or just a parchment-lined baking pan. Allow to cool (I like to speed the process by refrigerating or freezing) and enjoy! It will stay solid at room temperature, but if you make chocolate chips for baking, I find that cold chips keep their shape better as they're mixed into cookie dough, so I keep the chocolate chips in the fridge.
-As you can see, I'm tripling the grams of total chocolate base from my original recipe, but not the amount of honey, as I don't want it quite as sweet, but you can definitely add more honey to taste... just be warned that it might alter the consistency. You could also try stevia... not a sweetener my family enjoys, but it has the benefit of not altering the consistency as much, particularly if you use liquid stevia.
-Next time, I plan to try 200g of cacao liquor, and 100g of cacao butter.
Here's the GAPS approved chocolate chip cookies I made with the yummy chocolate chips. Recipe was found at MommyPotamus as a guest post from Gutsy. I added an egg, and I'm glad I did because our almond flour (I grind it myself) has a much less fine ground, as you can see. The egg helped the cookies hold together, and I also added about 2 tablespoons of coconut flour to counter the extra wetness. My youngest brother said they were "very good!" and my family sat there and stared in shock for a few seconds at such high praise.
Cheers for yummy, HEALTHY treats!