WTF is raw anyway?! To make it simple raw means not cook, or in chocolatey terms the cacao is not roasted. Now this is where it get’s more interesting, as raw does not mean you can’t apply heat.
Soo now you wanna know how hot can a cacao bean get before it is official roasted, i.e. not raw anymore? Viktoras Kulvinskas, an influential and pioneering leader in the raw food world, found that once food is dried (think dried fruit vs fresh fruit), the temperature of the food could go as high as 150 degrees before the enzymes were destroyed (ps: raw/not-raw is discussed around enzymes being alive and kicking or dead as a door knob) . Kulvniska's testing method was basic: heating food then trying to sprout said food. If the food sprouted it meant that the food was still raw at the temperature it was heated too. #prettysmart.
We're gonna throw the following into the conversation too. Cacao beans get fermented, which is a MAGICAL process, well fermentation in general is MAGICAL. Do you know this? You should know this. If you don't, google it. The origins of eating cacao, a.k.a, theobroma (its lesser know Latin name), a.k.a FOOD OF THE GODS (Latin translation), is a mystery. What we do know is that ever since cacao's documented possible beginning, it has been consumed as a fermented food. Read: magic
Why are we talking about fermentation again?
Well, most people don't know that chocolate is a fermented food. So if you're trying to add more fermented foods to your life, then eat chocolate! The other reason fermentation has come up is because the cacao beans are heated during the fermentation process.
Moving along, even though we have the best instagram on the planet, we don't have all the answers. At the same time, we are committed to the continual practice of mastering and re-mastering the art of chocolate making. Mastery of chocolate comes through, open minds, creativity, thoughtfulness, being relevant and eating a very very healthy amount of chocolate. Seriously, go check out our insta, say hi and let us know your thoughts in this conversation;)
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Some of the health benefits of raw chocolate:
Antioxidants: raw cacao is the highest antioxidant food source we know of with 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants are associated to anti-aging and longevity and all you have to do is eat chocolate to tap into this - what a deal!
Magnesium: is a key mineral in the body that's essential for healthy bones plus helping the heart and blood vessels function better. Magnesium is the biggest deficiency in the American diet and cacao is among the best sources of magnesium on the planet!
Theobromine: comes from the Greek for "food of the gods” (cacao’s scientific name is Theobroma), and is a cardiovascular stimulant that increases heart function and blood flow.
Serotonin: is sometimes called the happy chemical, as it promotes wellbeing and happiness. Cacao contains a healthy dose of serotonin precursors, which helps the body produce serotonin.
PEA (phenylethylamine): is a neurotransmitter found in cacao that is normally produced in the body when we fall in love. Oh hello.
Anandamide: the “bliss molecule” - need we say more? Literally named after the Sanskrit word for “joy, bliss, or happiness.”
Zinc: is a major player in supporting the immune system, liver, pancreas, and skin. It also facilitates digestion and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Chromium: an important trace mineral found in cacao which helps to balance blood sugar. Nearly 80% of Americans are deficient in chromium.
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