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Focus on Cacao: GrowingBones Chocolate Brownies

Raw, nutritious and easy.... And a recipe the kids can join in with!


The easiest way to make a positive change to our diet is to put good things in.  As our nutrition improves, our cravings for empty calories decrease.

A welcomed and easy addition to any diet is Cacao, or raw chocolate.

Why eat Cacao?.... Proposed Benefits:

  • Highest antioxidant concentration of any food in the world- contains approximately 44mg per 100gm of vitamin C.
  • Protects the skin- flavonoids promote smooth, moist skin and may protect from sun damage.
  • Supports emotional wellbeing- phenylethylamines, tryptophan, serotonin and anandamide increase the levels of endorphins, neurotransmitters and compounds associated with enhanced mood.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health- contains magnesium and other compounds that decrease inflammation, whilst theobromine dilates cardiovascular blood vessels.
  • Promotes muscle relaxation- high magnesium content resolves tension in the all muscles in the body- skeletal, heart, uterine, gastrointestinal.
  • Promotes strong teeth and bones- magnesium and other compounds assist bone formation and may prevent dental cavities.
  • Strengthens the immune system & supports bodily functions: very high zinc content, which is essential for healthy immune function, reproduction and thousands of enzymatic reactions through the body.
  • A source of iron and manganese- together assist oxygenation of the body- great for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Stabilises blood sugar levels- lowers blood glucose and thus may assist in prevention and managements of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
  • Lowers blood pressure- flavonols promote the formation of nitric oxide in the body responsible for blood vessel dilation and a lowering of blood pressure.


Organic Cacao Beans, Organic Cacao Nibs & Organic Cacao Powder are available at Growing Bones.

... And now for the Brownies:

5 tablespoons of ground cacao beans, or raw cacao powder
1 cup pecans
1 cup dates
4 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
a pinch of sea salt
cinnamon to dust

1. If you are using cacao beans, place these alone in your food processor and process until the beans small and crumbly . Set aside.

2. Repeat step one with pecans, processing until the pecans become small and crumbly, but keep the pecan mix in the processor.

2. Add dates to the pecan mix and process again until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed.

3. Add the processed cacao beans or cacao powder, shredded coconut and pinch of sea salt to pecan and date mix and process again until the mixture turns a lovely dark chocolatey brown. It's best to stop processing when the mix is thick, sticky and airy- before it gets too buttery.

4. Pop the mixture into a brownie dish or small cake pan and press down firmly using your clean hands.

5. Refrigerate your brownie slab for a couple of hours. This is optional, and simply makes it easier to slice.

6. Enjoy!... Store left-overs in the fridge.



CACAO References:
Wolfe D. (2009). Superfoods: Food and Medicine of the Future. Berkley, California: North Atlantic Books.

CACAO Research:
Bayard V, Chamorro F, Motta J, Hollenberg NK. (2007). Does Flavanol Intake Influence Mortality from Nitric Oxide-Dependent Processes? Ischemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes Mellitus, and Cancer in Panama. International Journal of Medical Science, 4(1), 53-58.

Ried K, Sullivan TR, Fakler P, Frank OR, Stocks NP. (2012). Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 8. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008893.pub2

About the Author

Melissa McDougall

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