Chocolate boosts your mood. Chocolate enhances the flavor of everything from chicken to milk. Chocolate is healthy - so long as it's 70 percent cacao and, I would add, organic.
The Aztecs referred to chocolate as the "nourishment of the Gods."
With over 300 identifiable chemical compounds, cacao is one of the most complex and pleasurably satisfying foods on the planet. But chocolate lovers take note, for cacao's health benefits, you must eat dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is just milk, sugar and trace amounts of cacao. It won’t boost anything but the width of your belly.
In its raw form, cacao contains anandamide (a euphoric neurotransmitter), arginine (used for erectile dysfunction), seratonin and phenylethylamine (mood-lifting hormones), tryptophan (a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant), theobromine (a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine), antioxidants and other beneficial compounds known to rejuvenate the skin and hair and detoxify the liver.
Cayenne's heat comes from a compound called capsaicin. Studies have found that capsaicin both relieves and prevents cluster headaches, migraine headaches, sinus headaches and inflammation. Many popular "fat-burning" supplements contain capsaicin, since it can increase metabolic activity for over 20 minutes after it's eaten.
Chocolate lifts your mood, calms your nerves and stimulates your energy all at the same time. Relaxation, pleasure and bliss in one delectable food. Make sure to eat the organic, Fair Trade variety. Not only will your body get a jolt, but your soul will too.
This spicy hot chocolate recipe is organic, vegan and delectably heart-warming. Felicidades!
By Giselle Achecar
Spicy Spiked Hot Chocolate
Two cubes of Cacao paste (4 oz. of unsweetened dark chocolate - 70 percent cacao)
Organic agave nectar
Organic almond milk
Organic vanilla extract
Organic cinnamon and cayenne pepper
Option: Organic milk
Melt the cacao paste in a double boiler.
Add a liberal squeeze of Agave nectar into the pot.
Add a capful of vanilla extract.
Add a pinch of Sea salt.
Whisk continuously as it melts together.
At this point your concoction is the consistency of a brownie in a pot.
Add almond milk to taste. With this much chocolate you’ll probably use the whole quart. Keep whisking as it heats.
Add cinnamon and cayenne at your pleasure.
Whisk and heat until hot. Pour your warm libation into a mug.
To really melt your insides, add a splash of Vodka. That’s EcoRico, baby!
Giselle Achecar is the vibrant creator of EcoRico, an eco-lifestyle brand which includes the online sensation EcoRico cooking show, EcoSexy tips and the ground-breaking personal success program “Marry Your Passion with Your Purpose”. This Latina Chef makes green living fun, sexy and accessible. Connect with Giselle at www.eco-rico.com, www.facebook.com/ecoricotv and on Twitter @EcoRicoTV.