I was snooping around the other day for homemade chocolate recipes. In Google, I always start every food-related search with the word "easy." I love to cook, I sort of like baking (don't love it), but haven't really tried my hand at making candy. And let's face it, chocolate is candy. My searches for "easy homemade chocolate" always came back to some recipe that involved melting a plain chocolate candy bar, pouring it into a mould, adding another ingredient, like almonds - and letting it harden. So basically you end up wit a reconsititued re-shaped candy bar with all the same crappy ingredients. That just wasn't good enough. At last, I found a recipe I wanted to work from.
Finally I went into my kitchen and started looking through the cabinets. Cocoa powder, check. Coconut oil, check. Honey, check. Hmmmmmm...I had all the ingredients I really needed to start making chocolate - at least I hoped! With Valentine's Day around the corner, I happened to come across heart-shaped ice cube trays at Target for $3! I planned on using them to make cute ice cubes for my kids, an idea I got from a girlfriend who hosted a recent wedding shower. The trays made the perfect mould for chocolate.
When it comes to cooking, my default oil is always coconut oil. It's extremely stable and doesn't oxidize (or break down and release free radicals) the way a corn, soybean or canola oil could if heated. I've made cupcake frosting in the past using coconut oil, and it worked out really well because the oil hardens as it cools. I was happy to use cocoa powder instead of a prepared chocolate because, in my world, the fewer the ingredients, the better. Lastly, I opted to use honey. I'll take honey over cane sugar any day of the week.
Before I get to the recipe, here are a few reasons you can feel good about having a piece or two of chocolate every day:
- Studies show the chocolate eaters stress less
- Chcolate is loaded with body-loving antioxidants
- A little bit of chocolate can reduce blood pressue
- Dark chocolate releases mood-boosting endorphins that leave you feeling happy
Healthy Homemade Chocolate
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil (melted, by double boiling)
- 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1 tsp Stevia (or 1 packet)
- 1 tsp Vanilla or Peppermint Extract (to make a mint chocolate flavor)
- Optional add-ins: shredded coconut, chopped almonds, choppped raisins (2 tbsp of one of these ingredients should suffice)
Melt coconut oil, then combine with honey. Mix thoroughly. Add in cocoa powder, stevia and extract. Lastly, combine any add-ins you desire. Pour into moulds and allow to cool at room temperature (usually takes several hours). Looking for chocolate mould ideas?
Yields 20 - 24 pieces of chocolate.
**UPDATE (2/12/13): I threw away the chocolates from the heart-shaped trays. The chocolate tasted a little bit like rubber, which is a bad sign. Not sure that the trays were not BPA-free, which is a big deal to me, so they were tossed. The good news is the rest of the chocolates that I made in the little cups were devoured!**
Recipe adapted from Wellnessmama.com
Traci D Mitchell is a fitness and nutrition expert featured on Dr. Oz and The TODAY Show. Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.
Filed under: Nutrition/Diet