If you have read the studies about Cancer prevention and chocolate what they are talking about is the base of chocolate, cacao. The Cancer prevention is not from eating milk chocolate or from the candy.
Cacao is the source of the chocolate, the chocolate bean which is the base of all things chocolate.
What is great about chocolate is not a commercially processed chocolate bar laden with sugar, added chemicals such as preservatives, or chemicals used to grow the chocolate. To get the best part of what chocolate has to offer we need to try to get closer to the root of the goodness, and to get rid of as much of the bad stuff as possible (the stuff added by man and inserted in the processing process).
Usually medical doctors will tell people to eat chocolate candy that is 70% or more chocolate. In other words they are trying to get you to eat semi-sweet or bittersweet or dark chocolate that has the higher concentration of the cacao. They want you to avoid the milk chocolate which has less cacao. Also some cheap chocolates have less real cacao in them and use artificial flavors for some of the chocolate taste! You can read what Dagoba says about types of chocolate here.
The first order of business is to eat ORGANIC cacao products. It makes no sense to try to prevent Cancer by eating cacao then to intentionally eat chemicals used to grow the cacao. I’m sorry but I don’t see any sense there.
The second order of business is to take it up a notch and eat cacao.
I personally use Dagoba organic cacao.
Some who eat cacao claim it keeps serotonin levels high, thereby keeping a person happy feeling, a natural anti-depressant, you could say. Some say that the cacao acts as an aphrodisiac. They do have natural caffeine in them so you get the caffeine also. I’m not making any direct health claims, for more information about the health benefits of cacao, you can read this and this.
The Story of Dagoba Chocolate is there for your reading pleasure as well.
One form of cacao is cacao nibs. These are partially ground cacao beans. They are little nuggets, basically. To be clear, these are unsweetened and unprocessed. They are just ground up a little bit and called ‘nibs’.
Some eat the nibs directly. I’ve read that eating one ounce a day is recommended.
Alright now I’ll admit that I can’t handle eating the nibs. As you open the bag of cacao nibs the most awesome aroma of chocolate comes out. It is unbelievable. You have never smelled a more concentrated, deep chocolate smell. But then you taste it and, it tastes nothing like chocolate because the sugar is missing. I can’t take the taste of it.
Some people use the cacao nibs in cooking. I have not found recipes that work for me.
I had leftover cacao nibs and tried to make them into powder using my VitaMixer blender and my food processor. It did not work. Do not try it.
Hot Cocoa Recipe using Cacao Powder
So I buy cacao powder and use that. I mainly make a hot chocolate, a cocoa, with it. The recipe is simple. You use the milk of your choice. You heat it up. You add one part sugar or a healthier sweetner alternative to one part cacao powder. The amount will vary. Start with 2 teaspoons cacao and 2 teaspoons sugar to 8 ounces of milk. Then taste it and alter as you see fit. I have found that over time I have acquired a taste for it with more cacao and less sugar.
This will be the best cocoa you’ve ever tasted. Trust me.
Note 1: Those of you who choose to eat a "raw diet" have taken issue with the fact that I heat my milk. I am not on a raw diet. Also in March 2011 I received an email from Dagoba responding to my inquiry, they say their cacao nibs and powder are not "raw" as they are roasted.
Note 2: I usually only have 1% milk in the house. I have tried this with 2% and even with whole milk (4%). The more fat is in the milk, the better this is, believe me. The cocoa made with whole milk is simply the best tasting!
Downside: The only complaint and issue with using the straight cacao powder is that since no manmade agents have been added to make the cacao suspend itself through the milk and stay there, it tends to settle over time. If you are not going to drink this quickly, keep your spoon and give it a stir if you need to. It also might clump a little and leave little balls of powder on the surface. Just stir this a bit more than usual and enjoy. The taste and quality of this drink is worth the little extra stirring.
Note: If the clumping of the cacao powder bothers you, you can buy Dagoba’s organic hot chocolate powder. It is too pricey for me, with a price today of $8.80 for 8 ounces of hot cocoa powder.
Where to buy Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder (and more)
I buy our organic cacao powder from Dagoba, directly from Dagoba through the Internet.
Dagoba’s online store
Other Dagoba FAQ including some health questions
Recipes to use Dagoba: to find more recipes to try with cacao nibs, just do a Google search for keywords “cacao nibs recipe”
And if you must read a book about chocolate as well why not try this book? It is on my bookshelf!
I own this cookbook, too.
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