20 Sec Fudgey Sauce

It’s thick, delicious and rich. The perrrfffeccct sauce for pancakes.

 

2 ingredients

Smooth peanut butter

Date syrup

 

One serving:

  1. Once you’ve made your pancake stack, heat a pan on low temperature
  2. Add 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter and 1 of date syrup.
  3. Mix until blended
  4. Pour hot over pancakes

For an extra YAY add cacao nibs and some almond and peanut butter Propercorn.

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Make chocolate in your kitchen!

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last month living on a cacao plantation in Colombia. I’ve been experimenting with chocolate making (and eating). It is so rewarding to make your own chocolate with the very cacao pod you picked! You can do it too! Chocolate is often industrially manufactured and huge quantities of sugars and scary ingredients are added. So here’s how to DIY and enjoy the benefits of cacao.

Continue reading “Make chocolate in your kitchen!”

Cacao and chocolate in 2 minutes

Where does chocolate come from?Β 

Chocolate originates in Mesoamerica (South America area) where it was consumed as a drink among the Aztecs. In the absence of sugar, corn and spices were added to flavour the “xocoatl” drink. Chocolate was not developed into a bar in England until the 1800s. Since then we have been adding sugar, cacao butter and all sorts of flavours to our chocolate. What was “xocoatl” and what we know as chocolate, are two very different foods.

 

What on earth is the difference between cacao, cocoa and chocolate?

Cacao pods grow on Theobroma Cacao trees and produce cacao beans. These raw beans can be fermented, dried and shelled to produce cacao nibs and pressed to make cacao butter.

Cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and cocoa powder are produced from ROASTED cacao beans. After the cacao beans are fermented and dried they are roasted at 130 degrees Celsius. Some of the antioxidants and nutrients are lost in exposing the beans to heat.

Cacao nibs or cocoa nibs are conched (grounded and stirred), until they produce a liquid. Chocolate makers add sugars, milk powder, cacao butter and other flavours to this liquid. The mixture is solidified to make chocolate.
So what’s raw chocolate?

Raw chocolate is made from raw, unroasted, cacao beans. There is no legal definition for “raw”. Hence “raw chocolate” makers use raw cacao beans and then temper their chocolate. Tempering involves heating the chocolate to 34 degrees Celsius in order to improve texture. So if the chocolate is tempered, it’s not actually raw. Nutrients from the raw cacao can be lost at the tempering stage so double check with the supplier that there has been no heat exposure.

 

Is chocolate good for you?

It is is one of the highest whole food sources of magnesium which happens to be one of the most deficient minerals in the modern diet. Moreover, it is also a great resource of iron for all my fellow anaemics out there (more than spinach!).

Even better, antioxidants actually make up 10% of the weight of raw cacao! Antioxidants repair damage caused by free radicals and supposedly reduce the risk of some cancers. Raw chocolate has even more antioxidants than acai, goji and blueberries!

Sounds great right? Pass me the family size Galaxy!

Unfortunately processed chocolate exposed to high temperatures and chocolate with added sugar, milk powders, stabilisers do not contain the same amount of nutrients. So if you’re looking for healthy chocolate, look out for:

– raw chocolate (check that it is not exposed to heat even at tempering stages)

– no added refined sugar

– a small percentage of milk powder i.e 70% cacao

– no added scary ingredients like E470b !!! Like what even is that..

Or grab yourselves some cacao nibs (not cocoa nibs)


How can I make my own healthy chocolate?

Check out my next blog post! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Super Lucie blog or follow me on Instagram @iamsuperlucie (link below on the right).

Do you know where quinoa comes from?

Did you know it is used to produce beer? Comes in five different colours? Grows in inhospitable conditions?
Until today, I knew quinoa as a black and white gluten free carbohydrate digested as a protein and available in most supermarkets. A recent trip to Bolivia taught me a little more about the food I love and consume so much in the U.K!
Where does it come from?

Does it grow on a tree? Under the ground? Nope. It actually grows much like wheat. The quinoa plant is a small green shrub which can reach a metre or so. The “flower”, quinoa granules, are collected and then sent for purification.

Where does it grow?

The quinoa plant is a tough one. It only requires water when quinoa seeds are sowed and it grows in the desert. I’ve just passed through the Bolivian desert in between San Atacama in Chile and Uyuni in Bolivia. Quinoa production is popular here. Since this area falls on a tectonic plate border, the land is fertile from the volcanic minerals which the quinoa crop benefits from. On my journey through the desert, I saw quinoa plants growing in lines and surrounded in make shift fences marked with plastic bags to deter hungry llamas (see above). Looking further afield, you can see the mountains seem to be divided in colour. This is simply due to quinoa farming and separation of crop on the mountain side.

Types and uses

Bolivia produces five different coloured quinoas and each has a different use locally.

1. Quinoa amarilla (yellow): the most common type which is used much like rice in Bolivia.

2. Quinoa blanca (white): mostly eaten like cereal with rice unlike our western savoury uses

3. Quinoa rosada (pink/red): grinded up to produce a flour

4. Quinoa negra: sometimes eaten but mainly used to produce a gluten free beer

5. Quinoa verde: a bitter quinoa only used to make beer for example the brand Lipena (actually quite tasty).

Popped quinoa is another use. It’s popular and cheap in Bolivia. You will find it in cereal bars, upmarket chocolate and packeted on its own.

It’s a pretty impressive plant. However Bolivians aren’t too keen on it! They would prefer to exchange it for pasta or noodles. Each to their own.