IMG_5186With Valentine’s day right around the corner I wanted share a simple recipe for making your own Love-Filled Chocolate Squares.

First Cacao vs. Cocoa

Chocolate comes cocoa beans from cacao trees. Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cocoa beans which keeps the living enzymes and beneficial nutritional content.

Cocoa is made by roasting the cocoa beans at high temperatures that reduces the enzyme content and lowers the nutritional value. Both are considered dark chocolate but I’m all about using the purest form of a food to maximize nutrition and health benefits.

Dark chocolate is 60% or more cocoa and contains polyphenols, the same antioxidants in berries, green tea and red wine. Polyphenols help your fight against free radicals from environmental toxins and inflammation. When choosing a chocolate look one with 65%+ cacao and of course don’t eat the whole bar. That way you’re more likely to eat a bar with less sugar and get the powerful minerals: copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Milk chocolate only has 5-7% cocoa and the added milk binds with the antioxidants eliminating their ability to fight free radicals. And the added sugar in these bars also can increase inflammation. So you miss out on the health benefits if you nosh on white or milk chocolate.

Now let’s get to yummy part. Here’s my super simple and delicious homemade chocolate recipe.

Love-Filled Homemade Chocolate

*Optional add ins: Walnuts, crystallized ginger, dried cherries, coconut. I added walnuts and crystallized ginger which was AH-mazing.

  1. Melt coconut oil in medium saucepan. Add coconut sugar and stir until melted. Then add remaining ingredients.
  2. Grease 3 X 5 glass container with coconut oil to keep chocolate from sticking. Add mixture and put in freezer for at least 1 hour. You can get creative with the container, I’ve used all sizes.
  3. Cut and enjoy! I let mine sit at room temp for 15 minutes before cutting.

And remember regardless of if you are rolling solo or with a mate I want you to know you are important and loved.

Use this holiday to be grateful for what makes you unique and to love yourself up. Nurture not only your taste buds but your soul as well.

That might mean you go for a long walk to get your heart pumping, do some chest stretches to open your heart space, buy some sexy undies regardless of if no one sees them, pay it forward by buying a stranger a coffee, schedule an health appointment you’ve been putting off, or connect with a loved one (friend, kids, mate or fur baby).

Now I want to hear for you. How do you plan on spending the day dedicated to love? Leave a comment below.