I’m in the middle of a chocolate-free month right now.
If you’re anything like me, you can’t even conceive of a month without chocolate. Or maybe even a day. In recent months I’ve realized that chocolate has wriggled its way into the far corners of my brain and is directing my daily life, ruling my world – and well, that’s just not cool with me anymore. Have you ever felt powerless in the presence of certain foods?
Yes, it’s true what they say – raw chocolate, in its purest form, is good for you. Theobromine, the active component in the cacao plant, is a potent vasodilator and diuretic, and has been used accordingly for high blood pressure and other circulatory problems. It’s also been used to treat asthma and persistent cough, among other things. You don’t need to search too far to find someone to tell you you should be eating chocolate.
It’s when we start overconsuming processed forms of cacao, that problems develop. I love my organic, fair-trade, 85% dark chocolate – and I’m not about to give that up – but once in a while, it’s good to take a break. I’ve kicked chocolate to the curb this month, in the interests of eliminating sugar intake, resetting my metabolism, and examining my relationship with sweet foods in general.
So when I had a strong craving last week, what was I to do? My options were: a) bang my head against the wall/desk, b) eat some chocolate, or c) make a delicious and healthy alternative.
You know what I chose. Here’s my chocolate milkshake recipe – make it, it’ll take the edge off.
(It’s important to note this chocolatey substitute has not been a daily indulgence this month. If I were to have this every day, I’d be doing nothing to kick the chocolate monster out of my brain!)
Here’s What You Need:
1 ripe pear, cut up roughly
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 TBSP raw cacao powder*
2 TBSP almond butter
Here’s What You Do:
Place all ingredients into a food processor/blender, or use an immersion blender like I did. Blend it up!
Add berries, nuts, or other toppings if desired. Enjoy the decadence you deserve.
If you want it to be really cold like a typical milkshake, you could chill it before drinking, or maybe blend some ice into it. If it’s too thick for you, you could thin it out with some homemade coconut milk or almond milk.
Serves two – okay, maybe one – it’s really rich, due to the healthy fat content from the coconut milk and almond butter.
*Note: You must use cacao powder in order for this to be truly sugar-free. Even the best organic, fair-trade cocoa powders contain sugar. Good brands of cacao powder include Organic Traditions, Giddy Yoyo, Navitas Naturals, and Mums Original – lots of options. I highly recommend getting some of this for your pantry as it’s a staple for so many healthy dessert recipes. If you’re new to raw cacao or if you’ve been eating dairy and sugar laden desserts for many years, it may take some time for your palate to adjust. Learning to love food in its natural, unprocessed form can take time – but trust me, it’s so worth it.
Here’s to real food…and to not letting chocolate call all the shots anymore. Cheers!
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