Raw Vegan Chocolate Bars with Calendula and Sunchoke

 
 

Making chocolate at home is a recent obsession of mine. Now I am always well stocked. It's quick, simple and molto buono! This natural mood booster is a must-have in every home. It's one nourishing piece of bliss, loaded with antioxidants, prebiotic fibre and carriers of happiness, such as serotonin and anandamide. 

This recipe is raw, gluten-free and dairy-free. 

Raw organic cacao

This Amazonian warrior is all fit out with minerals and powerful antioxidants (over 40 times more than in blueberries) to help fight free radicals that cause cell damage and can lead to premature ageing and chronic diseases.

     
     

    Why use raw cacao instead of the usual processed cocoa powder? Unfortunately, commonly used "Dutch processing", that was originally developed in the 19th century to make chocolate taste sweeter, is believed to reduce cacao nutrients by 60 to 90%.On top of that, non-organic cacao may have been treated with harsh chemicals.  

    Raw organic cacao is one of the highest plant-based sources of iron and magnesium, with over 10mg of iron (53% RDA) and 360mg of magnesium (93% RDA) in one cup (approx. 66g). It has also got more calcium than cow's milk.

    Iron helps keep you fit and full of energy. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins and production of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. To get the maximum benefits of your plant-derived iron, make sure to combine it with some vitamin C. Think sea buckthorn juice, kiwi and citrus fruits. 

    Magnesium, which most of the Western world doesn't get enough of, helps turn food into energy, boost brain activity and create new proteins from amino acids among the others.  

    Sunchoke powder

    Also known as Jerusalem artichoke, topinambour or sunroot, raw sunchoke powder is mildly sweet and crunchy with warm, earthy notes; an excellent ingredient for your chocolate and stomach health.  

    Sunchokes are best known for their high content of inulin, a type of prebiotic fibre that promotes digestion. It is also a good source of minerals, such as iron and phosphorus, and helps your body absorb nutrients better.

    Calendula

    This sunny flower is a real wonder, used in traditional medicine to soothe, heal and cleanse. Calendula is known to help reduce inflammation, calm your stomach, as well as ease cramps. Besides, calendula is an excellent ingredient for a smooth, even-toned and glowing skin. 

    Calendula petals taste slightly bitter. Sprinkle a few petals on your chocolate and enjoy it with a nice cup of calendula tea. 

    Prep time 10 min Cooking time 5 min Total time 15 min Serves 2

    1. Line a tray or plate with sides with baking paper or aluminium foil.
    2. Melt raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, leave to cool for a few minutes then mix through raw cacao and sunchoke powder with a spoon.
    3. Once fully blended, add agave syrup and whisk well into chocolate.
    4. Pour chocolate into tray or plate right away so that sunchoke powder doesn't just sink to the bottom of the bowl. 
    5. Randomly drop calendula petals into the chocolate.
    6. Place tin or plate into the fridge for half an hour until it's ready to be served. Store in the freezer or fridge.