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Does your Chocolate have any Chocolate in it?

People presume that when a label says Chocolate, that the contents contain the plant substance, Chocolate.  The only requirement as a labeled product is that it has a flavor reminiscent of chocolate.  Many cheaper varieties have a substance known as chocolate liquor as a flavoring agent.  Chocolate liquor is a food-like substance derived from repeated roasting, grinding, fermenting, and boiling cacao beans and adding other fats, oils, caustic alkali, and unsavory sweeteners.  Usually, this food-like substance is present in small quantities, sometimes with chocolate flavoring to enhance it.

Sometimes, the Chocolate we see has a percentage on the label. This accompanying percentage depicts a substance that begins as chocolate before it has been boiled several times and combined with caustic chemicals to make it come out of molds easily.  This is known as the “Dutch Process” or “Alkali Processing.”

The Phytochemicals (Plant Substances) that are valuable in Chocolate include Anandimides, Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, and Antioxidants.  Anandimides make you feel blissful.  Serotonin Uptake inhibitors make you feel happy.  Antioxidants prevent disease and autoimmune diseases.   All are present in Chocolate in great quantities before the repeated application of high heat and caustic alkaline substances (which are then removed).  The use of heat damages 90% of these valuable beneficial nutrients, by conservative estimate.

The solution to this dilemma leaves us with one of two choices.  The simplest solution is to purchase “Raw” Chocolate, which is made at temperatures nearing 108 degrees and no more.  If these varieties don’t suit your palate, you can make it yourself.

A popular local free class is given in Tempe monthly on this topic by your esteemed author.  The secret recipe consists of 3 cups of Raw Cacao butter, heated to 108 degrees in a double boiler, adding  1cup of sweetener (with no water), and 1 tablespoon of dry vanilla (no water)  ground by mortar and pestle.  2 cups of Raw Cacao powder is stirred in.  The Raw Chocolate is then allowed to cool until hardened.  It is then heated and cooled, r tempered several times.  It can then be poured into molds, cooled, extracted, and enjoyed.

Chocolate is a Superfood in its raw form, but is sadly a junk food in its common form, as it is full of bad fats and sugar and essentially devoid of nutrients.  In its Raw form, it is tastier, more nutritious, and produces many positive and splendid effects.  Raw Chocolate, when made at home, is not prohibitively expensive and titime-consumingo make and is quite fun.  After eating it, it is hard to go back to the commercial variety, though.