My brilliant friend, Charmayne, an avid lover of all things chocolate, inspired me to make homemade raw chocolate. She made it sound so simple, so I had to give it a try. Lua is also an avid lover of all things chocolate, it is a very special bond that Lua and Charmayne share, so making it helped to feel connected to our beloved Charmayne back home – through chocolate!

Chocolate is also a superfood, and we love superfood – especially when it is as tasty as chocolate! What does it mean when we talk about organic raw chocolate? The organic element means that no chemicals, fillers, or preservatives were used in making the chocolate and the raw element means that the cacao was not heated or processed to preserve all of its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Organic raw chocolate has more than 300 minerals including copper, manganese, zinc, sulphur, and B-vitamins. It has been said that raw chocolate contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world.

Researchers discovered that the Olmecs, a civilization who lived in Mexico in 1650 BC, consumed theobromine found in cacao. Then in 300 AD, the Mayans started using chocolate for its restorative properties and incorporated it fully into their culture and ceremonies. And the love of chocolate continues in our society today. For more information on the history of chocolate check out this cool interactive graph from Chocolution.

The benefit of making raw chocolate at home is that you have total control of flavoring and which and how much sweetener to add. The store bought chocolate is highly processed and filled with sugar, degrading the quality and health properties of the chocolate. In this recipe, I used raw honey, but you could use stevia or raw agave. I like raw honey, it is another ancient health food with healing properties. It is filled with B-vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, copper, and chromium.

When we cook with these ancient and powerfully healing and healthful foods we connect to the wisdom of our ancestors. The process of slowly heating the cacao butter, then adding the cacao powder is really an aromatic sensation. And who doesn’t love stirring a large bowl of melted, silky chocolate? This is a therapeutic process. You will never buy another bar of chocolate after you experience the easy and thrill of making it at home.

It really is a very simple process, although you do need to be prepared. I purchased all of the ingredients and molds online at Amazon, including the organic raw cacao butter and organic raw cacao powder.

1 cup of organic raw cacao butter
1 cup of organic raw cacao powder
1/2 cup of raw honey
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of large, coarse sea salt
Add nuts, dried fruits or any other flavorings of your choice

If using chocolate molds, lightly oil with coconut or light olive oil. If using a baking sheet or cake pan, line with parchment paper and lightly oil surface. If using nuts, dried fruits or any other additions add them now to the bottom of the pan.  In a bain marie (a heat-proof bowl set inside a pan with 2 inches of simmering water not touching the heat-proof bowl) or double boiler gently heat and melt the cacao butter. This process took about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Once all of the cacao butter is melted carefully remove bowl from pan onto a heat-proof surface. Add vanilla, cacao powder and honey and gently stir until silky and smooth.  Then pour into molds or pan, sprinkle with a bit of the course sea salt, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. It look about 2 hours for the chocolates to set. Enjoy your wonderful creation!