Recipe: Healthy Valentine’s Day Chocolate Hearts
This time of year, stores all over Japan are overflowing with Valentine's Day chocolates. Unfortunately, most of what's available is highly processed and contains loads of sugar and empty calories. But what if I told you that you can very easily make your own, which will not only satisfy those chocolate cravings but is also great for your body!?
This recipe uses raw cacao, which is different from cocoa. Cocoa has been heated, a process that removes many of the good nutrients and benefits of the cacao. At a pinch it is fine to use cocoa, but it’s best to stick with the raw cacao when possible. You can find it in health food stores, some international supermarkets in Tokyo, Japanese online stores, and online at iHerb. Cacao is one sexy superfood, and some health food experts have even named it one of the healthiest foods in the world! It is one of the foods highest in antioxidants, which neutralize nasty free radicals and toxins in the body, making cacao an anti-aging powerhouse. Specifically, cacao can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, and protect the nervous system. In addition, it is high in minerals, especially magnesium as well as iron, zinc, potassium, copper and calcium. It also contains a compound that stimulates endorphins and the happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which is one of the reasons why chocolate is so closely linked to love and romance!
With these yummy, healthy hearts containing only natural ingredients and superfoods cacao, coconut oil and raw honey, they are perfect guilt-free chocolates to whip up for your lover (or yourself!) this February 14.
Raw Cacao Healthy Chocolate Hearts
Gluten free / dairy free / egg free / paleo / vegan option / refined sugar free / raw
Adapted from Living Healthy With Chocolate
Makes approximately 15 hearts
What You Need
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons almond butter (or cacao butter or extra coconut oil for nut free option)
2 tablespoons raw cacao
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ – 1 tablespoon raw honey (or other sweetener such as maple syrup)
Filling suggestions (optional): Nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, raspberry
What to Do
- Place ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan of water (double boiler) and gently melt all ingredients, stirring continuously.
- Add any filling (optional) to silicone mold and top with melted chocolate.
- Place in freezer until set (about 30 minutes).
- Share with your lover or friends! (These are best kept in the freezer or fridge right up until serving/gifting.)