Raw cacao is considered by some the best food ever, by others a stimulant not part of an optimal diet, and by others the most nutritious food ever but they don’t eat it because its too stimulating in their experience. It’s so funny how things in the raw food world are seemingly conflicting, but of course there is truth behind it all. I’d like to appeal to everybody here and show you what I do with cacao that cancels the stimulation side and turns on the balancing side. If you have sworn to yourself that you are done with cacao, or if you are currently eating bags of cacao every week, either way this is the blog for you.

Tonic herb ice cube tray nougats drenched in blue green algae chocolate

My technique of eating cacao without the stimulation is a new way of looking at chocolate that is also the ancient South American way of looking at chocolate: eating cacao with an abundance of tonic herbs and other superfoods.

Blueberry pie with chocolate-shilajit seed crust

So, next time you make an all raw cacao drink, chocolate ice cream, hard chocolate, fudgey pudding, chocolatey bliss balls, cacao-containing energy bars, chocolate pie, or any other raw recipes you enjoy, consider ammending those recipes with the rich earthy flavors of these tonic herbs and superfoods (each ingredient is a link to a source of the ingredient I really like):

Internet orders + blender + cacao + herbs = gourmet cacao without the stimulation

~Astragalus Powder

~Blue Green AFA algae

~Chaga Mushroom powder

~Cordyceps Mushroom powder

~Ginseng Bude Blossom Crystals

~Goji berries (Up to you to decide whose goji’s you like best)

~He Shu Wu extract powder

~Host Defense multi-mushroom mycelium powder

~Lion’s Mane mushroom extract

~Mucuna powder

~Noni powder

~Pearl Powder

~Reishi Mushroom extract powder

~Rhodiola extract powder

~Royal Jelly (Sean Lee Gardner’s Organic Powder)

~Shilajit powder

~Spirulina powder (“Azteca” and “Manna“)

~Tonic Herb Tea (Bethanne’s blog shows you how to make this; this tea is perfect to make as part of the nut mylk base for the cacao drink! We get all our tea herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs)

~Vanilla Bean powder

I am going to request that you let loose some ideas you might have about your chef skills and realize that you are ALREADY a deeply skilled master alchemical chef ready to whip up a cacao recipe with this technique – even if it is just simply bliss balls (bunch of coconut flakes, hemp seeds, cacao, a couple teaspoons of tonic herb powders and sweetener mashed and rolled into small balls!). Another simple quick recipe is to mix raw cacao powder with melted coconut oil, some sweeteners, pinch of salt, and your choice of herbal powders, and then put into ice cube trays and chill.

My very Edible Goddess sipping a reishi "hot" chocolate

There is one more variable to the situation of how stimulated or balanced you feel with cacao and that is the quality, processing temperature, and sprouting of the cacao. Sprouted cacao (hardly available on the market today, but will be available soon) will likely be the ideal cacao as the spouting may lower the theobromine content and boost the more calming constituents. We will see, and you can bet I am really excited to see, if a sprouted cacao revolution comes about. Of course, if the cacao has been pressed or even secretly roasted despite being labeled “raw,” then that can also mess with the desired more balancing effects of cacao. We hope that truly raw heirloom and wild quality cacao will only grow in the market and that all the sources will get much better at consistently having the best ever cacao beans, powder, butter and paste – all made with integrity and love.

For now, don’t fear cacao. Eat as much cacao and herbs as you can handle so that you can enjoy the best health ever with therapeutic amounts of minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and spirit-boosting effects contained within all of these superfoods and herbs.

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