The genus name of chocolate, Theobroma derives from the Greek theos, "god," and broma, "food," thus meaning "food of the gods." The common name chocolate derives from an Aztec name for this plant, chocolatl. Cocoa was the "love tonic" of Montezuma II, who is reputed to have drunk some 50 cups daily before visiting his harem of 600 women.
In 1502 the returning crew of Columbus brought cacao beans back to Europe, and in 1550 nuns came up with the idea of adding sugar and vanilla, leading to what we now regard as chocolate. During the 1800s, physicians recommended chocolate to boost libido, and to this day it is well known for its ability to inspire passion.
Cacao is considered an aphrodisiac, antioxidant, cardiotonic, diuretic, emollient, laxative, nervous system stimulant, and nutritive. Cacao increases levels of serotonin and endorphins in the body. It gives a short-term boost in energy and, when consumed in its whole, raw from, is beneficial for the teeth, as it contains tannins that inhibit dental decay. It also contains phenylethylamine, a compound that is naturally occurring in the brain in trace amounts and is released when we are in love, peaking during orgasm. Cacao also contains theobromine, a compound that dilates the coronary artery, increasing blood flow to the heart. Most commercial chocolates today, however, have a low cacao content and contain sugar and hydrogenated oil. It contains many constituents including Vitamin E, B complex vitamins, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, amino acids (arginine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyramine, tyrosine), phenylethylamine, anandamide, dopamine, serotonin, xanthines (caffeine, theobromine, trigonelline), flavonoids (epicatechin, catechin, procyanidins), essential oil, sucrose, glucose, mucilage, oleopalmitostearin, tannins, and natural sugars. In its natural form, chocolate is considered bitter, warm, dry, yang, governed by Mars and Uranus and corresponding to the element of Fire.
Raw cacao is one of my muses and how I get so many books written!
You can make this ice cream more quickly than it takes to go out and buy it. Choose vitality!
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
1 quart water
1 tablespoon raw honey or 2 dates, soaked 20 minutes
Rinse the nuts in a colander to remove enzyme inhibitors
Combine all ingredients in a blender and liquefy. Then strain through a sprout bag. Or a paint strainer bag (available at paint or hardware stores) Pulp can be saved to add to casseroles, cookies or other dishes.
Note: These same directions can be used for making cashew, hazelnut, pine nut, sesame, sunflower, walnut, or pumpkin seed milk.
Makes 1 quart.
Oh la la Chocolat! I Scream:
1 quart almond milk (You can buy almond milk at natural food stores, but it will be pasteurized and create more packaging)
1/2 cup pitted dates
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
Place everything in the blender. Blend and chill for 1 hour. Place everything in an ice cream maker and process till frozen.
What do you love about chocolate?
Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over forty years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Omega, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman Holistic College of Nutrition and has a private practice. Brigitte is the author of twelve books, including The Sexual Herbal, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, Healing Herbal Teas, and Rawsome! Click here for more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com.
Check out her international model yogini daughter, Rainbeau at www.rainbeaumars.com
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