Have you ever just wanted to eat a big piece of chocolate, but then thought of all the sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, not to mention calories and fats?
Like me, you probably have, but decided to eat it anyway.
I know some chocoholics who just have to have their chocolate or life isn't quite the same. My wife is a confirmed chocoholic. It's really her only "vice", so I try to be as supportive of her as I can in this indulgence.
When we started using coconut oil, my wife wanted to reap the weight-loss benefits of the coconut oil as fully as possible. She had been buying semi-sweet chocolate, which has hydrogenated vegetable oil in it. This type of fat favors weight gain.
We had already eliminated most other oils and fats from our diet with the exception of butter, olive oil (uncooked, on salads), and coconut oil. The only unhealthy oil we hadn't eliminated was the hydrogenated vegetable oil in the chocolate she was eating. She decided to learn how to make chocolate with coconut oil.
Using virgin coconut oil and the best quality cocoa we can find, she is now able to easily and quickly make a wonderful and truly healthy homemade chocolate bar. And there's no cooking involved!
With this totally natural, healthy, and easy-to-prepare chocolate, you can have your “cake” and eat it too—without worrying about what’s in it!
You can even count it as part of your diet! That's because virgin coconut oil, a major ingredient of this chocolate recipe, actually helps you lose weight.
Learning How to Make Chocolate at Home Eliminates One More Source of Undesirable Additives from Your Diet
When we found this simple alternative, we were able to eliminate a lot of sugar, as well as all the harmful additives found in commercial chocolates. Here are some of the ingredients that may be found in commercial chocolates:
wheat glucose syrup
sugar as the number one ingredient (even in semi-sweet chocolate)
hydrogenated vegetable fat (trans fat)
emulsifiers such as soy lecithin, which is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides, derived from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process.
There are natural chocolate bars on the market now that do not contain these ingredients, but they’re quite expensive. So lower cost is another benefit of making your own chocolate.
One of the biggest advantages of making your own chocolate bars is that you’re in charge of what's in them, and that's important if you want to take responsibility for your health.
The following recipe for homemade chocolate makes an approximately 150-gram bar, or an equal amount of bonbons. You can easily double or quadruple the recipe without affecting the results. You may also add optional ingredients that will increase the amount of the end product.
How to Make Chocolate: The Basic Ingredients
5 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil
5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tablespoons of finely grated coconut
1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar (see notes below)
1 pinch of salt
If you have natural vanilla extract, a few drops are a wonderful addition.
a pinch of powdered cayenne pepper
whole, chopped, or ground walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
raisins or other chopped dried fruit
Use your imagination to add to this list!
Please note that there is very little that is “hard and fast” in this recipe, and very much that can be varied according to your preference, including the amounts and proportions of the main ingredients. That’s one of its beauties!
How to Make Chocolate: The Preparation
Mix (by hand) the cocoa powder with virgin coconut oil until thoroughly blended. (My wife was amazed at how well and quickly the cocoa blends with the coconut oil, since cocoa is not instant and doesn’t blend with most liquids unless the liquid is hot.) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Place the mixture in either a mold or a tray approximately 3 inches by 6 inches, though this can vary depending on how thick you want it—and what size tray you have available! Pat it down as evenly as possible. You can also use an ice cube tray or individual molds to make separate bonbons.
After filling the tray, place your natural, healthy, homemade chocolate in the refrigerator. If you are making a bar, after about ten minutes in the fridge, you may want to score it to make it easier to break into nice little symmetrical bite-sized pieces once it's hardened.
Leave the chocolate in the fridge until almost ready to serve if room temperature is over 24-25°C (76°F), since this is virgin coconut oil's melting point. If it is cold where you are and the room temperature is cooler than this, refrigeration is not necessary (unless you want to keep it out of sight to make it last longer!)
How to Make Chocolate: Special Notes:
If room temperature is below 25°C (76°F), your virgin coconut oil will most likely be solidified. In order to get it into its liquid form, just gently heat the amount you’re going to use. If your oil is in a glass jar, you can safely set the jar in a container of warm water until the oil melts. There's no need to boil the jar and oil.
At in-between temperatures, when it’s neither liquid nor hard, coconut oil takes on a lovely creamy consistency, which is easy to work with, like butter left out at room temperature for a few hours. When it’s like this, it’s not necessary to heat it.
The sugar we use for our natural chocolate bars is either organic demerara sugar or muscovado (raw or unrefined sugar, obtained from sugar cane juice by evaporating and draining off the molasses). If you use demerara sugar, blending it into a powder before adding it to the chocolate/coconut oil mixture will produce a smoother chocolate bar. Muscovado does well without being blended.
If you are going to use nuts in your chocolate bar or bonbons, you may want to consider soaking the nuts before using them. Soaking removes unwanted enzyme inhibitors and improves the nutritional value of the nuts. The enzyme inhibitors protect the nuts and/or seeds until they have what they need to grow, i.e., sunlight, water, soil, and warmth. But the same inhibitors also inhibit enzymes in your stomach, something you don't really want to do!
You may need to investigate a little to find a good grated coconut to use in your natural healthy homemade chocolate. Most commercial grated coconut contains preservatives, humidifiers, and white sugar. One option is to buy a mature coconut, crack it open, and grate it yourself. The downside of this is the time and work it takes to break the coconut, separate the meat from the shell, and grate it. If you do have time, though, and are so inclined, fresh grated coconut is the best!
My frugal wife wants me to explain that her original purpose for including grated coconut in the recipe was to “stretch”—in a healthy, delicious, chocolate-compatible way—the other, and rather more expensive (at least where we live), main ingredients, cocoa and coconut oil. One of these days we’ll try making the chocolate bar without grated coconut, which we’re sure will work, and probably be just as delicious! We’ll just either need to use a smaller container to “mold” the bar in, or more cocoa and coconut oil.
Some might want to use a bit more sugar if omitting the grated coconut, as even the unsweetened variety of grated coconut, which we use, is naturally sweet. Again, it’s a matter of experimenting and seeing how you and your family like it best.
All that to say this: We’re almost positive you could make this without grated coconut, but we can’t say for sure because we’ve never tried it. If you have, we’d love to hear how it turned out! Let us know how to make chocolate your way!
Comments on How to Make Chocolate Just Right for Your Family's Tastes
This recipe is so flexible you can include just about any kind of dried nuts or fruits you want, as well as many spices, fresh or dried.
You can be as creative as you like, mixing and matching your choice of ingredients according to what is available, your budget, and even your mood.
I personally like my chocolate with a pinch of cayenne pepper, although it's definitely not to everyone's liking. (Some claim that cayenne is an aphrodisiac, but I haven't been able to confirm this. If you know or have confirmed this, please let us know and we'll publish your findings!)
If you have any tips on how to make chocolate at home, let us know and we'll publish them here for others to enjoy!
Happy homemade chocolate bar making!
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