So, as I mentioned in this post here, there is Green Food. And there is Beige Food.
Green Food is full of life-force. Beige is dead and is going to sap your energy and eventually, your health.
I keep the beige and green definitions broad because I don’t like nutritional dogma.
For example- to my mind, Green Food is plant food, with an abundance of raw. I personally advocate a diet based on mainly whole plant foods, and animal proteins if eaten, more as a condiment to the diet than a mainstay.
However, it is worth pointing out that there are animal proteins which are far more green than beige. A fast food burger laden with strange ingredients is definitely beige. A cut of organic meat may definitely be considered greener especially when the animal is raised out of doors, (I mean really out of doors) eating Green Food, such as grass. So think More Green and No/Less Beige within your own way of eating. You all know what to do…
Which brings me to, Brown Food.
A category in it’s own right, because of the status it holds in many people’s lives.
Yep- I’m talking about chocolate. I don’t know many people that don’t love that stuff. I know I do.
I am here to tell you, for those that are interested that you can make Brown Food that is Green!! Or definitely …Greener. And no Beige ingredients like sugar, cream, and so on. (By the way, while studies have shown that cacao does have habit forming chemicals, I think the amount to be found in an average bar is so small, that it’s probably the sugar and creamy mouth-feel that is so habit forming. Mmmm!)
The simplest ever home-made chocolate requires:
Okay, so it’s no salad. If we wanted a salad, we would eat salad. But, it can still be healthy! Let’s look at these one by one.
FAT can be either extra Virgin cold-pressed coconut oil (which, though not a wholefood, is very green in my opinion, and a very nurturing fat) or organic cacao butter (purchase online) . These must be gently melted and will produce solid chocolates (though the coconut oil will only stay solid while refridgerated) If you are after a kind of frosting consistency, your fat can be avocado (yes, really) or for a stiffer mixture, you could use cashew butter or raw almond butter.
SWEETNESS I Guess if you wanted to be hyper green, you could sweeten only with dates. I made some chocolate sweetened only with dates over Lent and it was nice, a bit more intense…but I probably wouldn’t do it again 🙂 Otherwise you choose a sweetener which is “more green” than table sugar (beige) or syrups like high fructose corn syrup (also beige). Your options might be: Unpasteurised honey (also known as raw honey), maple syrup, agave nectar, Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice, found in most health food stores) or whichever you prefer. It will depend on your palate or dietary preferences.
CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR Unsweetened cocoa powder (if you can afford organic, fairtrade- all the greener!) or raw (unroasted) cacao powder. This is quite a polarising product in the world of nutrition. Some believe it is a superfood- a food from the Gods as it was originally named. Others swear they almost trip on it if they are not careful with quantities, along with various unpleasant side effects. Again- I think it is about moderation and tuning in to how your body reacts to a food. It’s expensive; I have never even tried it. (It’s very rich in magnesium, but so are pumpkin seeds)
ADDITIONS like orange or almond extract, nuts, seeds, freeze dried berries, dessicated coconut, even wholegrain puffed rice or oats for alternative “cluster-cakes”.
Here are some I made using cacao butter, cocoa and honey, almond extract, and a whole almond in the centre. I think every kitchen deserves some beautiful chocolate moulds, don’t you?
Tonight I am making alternative peanut butter cups with the kids. (actually Ellie hates them, she is not a dark chocolate lover…but she loves to help make them, and doesn’t seem to care that she is not eating them??!!)
As a very general (flexible) guideline, for cacao butter chocolates I use a 30:40:50 ratio (30grams cocoa, 40grams cacao butter, 50grams honey) When I use c0 coconut oil, I do 20:30:50 (20grams cocoa, 30 grams coconut oil, 50grams honey) For more details see my “raw treats” section under desserts or Google “Raw chocolate”, and for some specific tips on cacao butter, see this post
And now- lunch! With chocolate for dessert.
Because Brown Food can be Green too.
Or is it…Because Brown Food need not be Beige ?
Suggestions on a postcard, or in the comments below.