Who here is a chocoholic?
Better question.. who here isn’t a chocoholic? Anyone? Nope? Thought so.
Chocolate is one of the most divine tastes to (wo)man. In fact, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs literally called cacao the food of the Gods because it evoked such divine feelings. Cacao was believed to be a gift from the Gods after creation to provide us with universal wisdom and downloads, connecting us with our inner wisdom. It wasn’t just a crop but the sole most prized sacred medicines in Mayan and Aztec kingdoms.
In ancient Mesoamerican history, the tribal people would sit in circle, called a cacao ceremony, singing shamanic songs saluting the Four Directions and the Five Elements; fire, water, earth, air and ether while sipping cacao. They would then ask questions to the Gods, such as what their village should do in a turbulent time or how to overcome a plague or drought. Through hours of singing, dancing and drinking this sacred cacao elixir, the answers would come to them. Cacao was the holy elixir that opened their hearts and made them closer to their divine selves.
The cacao consumed then was very different from the chocolate most people consume today. It was never sweetened, heated or processed but rather straight from the Earth. It was never meant to be a sweet treat but it’s bitter taste was enjoyed because it was medicinal. Sometimes, it was further sprinkles with chili to help further open the heart.
When the Spanish moved to Mesoamerica, they didn’t understand the spiritual benefits of cacao and saw the entire thing as “barbaric.” They colonized their land and started mass-producing and processing the sacred cacao, heating it up (which kills the medicinal benefits) and adding in sweeteners to fit their European palettes, which couldn’t handle the bitterness or spice. Flash forward several thousands of years, the “chocolate” we have today is a far cry from what cacao used to be, taken this healing elixir and turned it into a brightly-wrapped, commercialized, sugar-filled money-maker.
Until the past few years.
The world has been waking up to the benefits of cacao and more and more people are turning to raw, dark chocolate. I’m not talking about 72% Ghiradhelli but actually true cacao, straight from the bean. However, it is quite difficult (and expensive) to buy raw chocolate, as it needs to be stored in the refrigerator since it is a living food. It’s not uncommon to see two tiny pieces of raw chocolate sold for $12 at many natural health markets in LA, making it an indulgence most cannot afford as a daily treat. However, if you make a batch of my superfood truffles and keep them in your freezer, you’ll be ready for when chocolate cravings calls.
Difference Between Regular Chocolate and Cacao:
One of the major differences between commercial chocolate and real chocolate is that the stuff you find in grocery stores is not actually made out of cacao. It is made from cocoa, which is a processed version of cacao that has been heated, therefore void of all nutrients. This recipe uses actual cacao, which is packed with vitamin c, magnesium, sulfate and other essential vitamins and minerals which are actually GOOD for you. It’s practically like taking a raw vegan multivitamin.
Difference Between Other Raw Chocolate and Mine:
Most raw chocolate recipes use lots of coconut oil to provide stickiness and texture. However, the balls end up tasting like coconut, not actual chocolate. Sometimes you just want a raw vegan dessert that doesn’t taste like coconut, am I right? That’s where these balls come to play. They’re made with actual cacao butter, which is what real chocolate companies use. It provides that rich creaminess we love chocolate for, but isn’t so heavy and dense like coconut-oil. The base is also cashew butter, which gives is a super creamy, light texture and also makes it packed with protein.
Additionally, every other raw chocolate company I have seen uses some sort of sweetener that has sugar; agave, maple syrup, coconut nectar, honey, etc. Mine contains ZERO sugar because Lakanto Maple syrup, the sweetener I use, is made out of monkfruit, an ancient Chinese fruit that tastes extremely sweet but actually doesn’t impact your blood sugar levels. That means this chocolate can be enjoyed by those trying to lose weight, diabetics, Candida-sufferers, autoimmune disease patients, etc. If you’d like to try some you can use my special discount SAHARA for 20% off, exclusively for Freshie followers on the Lakanto Website.
My Superfood Cacao Truffles allow you to indulge in chocolate the way it was meant to be consumed- unrefined and unprocessed. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, without the dairy, sugar, soy lecithin, milk powders and other ingredients the chocolate industry pumps into our chocolate. Most importantly, it’s a sacred experience, encompassing your mind, body and spirit in it’s process.
All of your senses are activated, from your touch when you made the balls, your smell when you were putting them together, your sight when you admire the superfood toppings and of course your taste when you indulge in a divine bite.
Even if you don’t love super dark chocolate, you still may enjoy this recipe because it’s base is cashew butter, which really lightens up the flavor. I’ve made raw vegan chocolates with just cacao, coconut oil and a sweetener and it’s extremely dark which isn’t for everybody. Since the base of these truffles is cashew butter, it has a really airy taste and texture, almost like milk chocolate truffles but still with the rich taste of pure cacao. I used cacao powder, as well as cacao butter, which is the fat of the cacao beans removed and is amazing for your skin, hair and overall health. It is a healthy-fat, full of minerals and fatty acids.
One of the best parts about this recipe is you can make it as dark or light as you want, customizing your cacao strength. I used 1/3 cup cacao because I do like the taste of dark chocolate but you can reduce it so it’s more mild or even increase it a bit so it’s super dark.
The customization don’t stop there! After mixing up the batter, you’ll roll them up in balls and toss them in superfoods of your choice; I used cacao nibs, goji berries, hemp seeds, sea salt and cacao powder. You could try sesame seeds, chia seeds or other combinations as well.
These raw chocolate truffles are delicious little treats that make perfect gifts. I put mine in little gift bags with a piece of ribbon afterwards and gave them to my friends and family as gifts. So cute, thoughtful and homemade!
So how long do these babies last? As long as you don’t eat them! They last for about a week in the fridge but about forever in the freezer, so save a few baggies in the freezer for when it’s that time of the month and you want something healthy to satisfy your choco-tooth.
They’re also an awesome addition to stylize your smoothie bowl for some super Instagrammable pics. I made a combination of itty-bitty and big-juicy balls to have a variety to play around with!
Sahara’s Superfood Chocolate Truffles: Raw Vegan, Sugar-Free, Coconut-Free
- 1 cup cashew butter (make your own by blending cashews in the blender—no soaking required!)
- ¼ cup Lakanto Maple Syrup (order with coupon code SAHARA for 20% off)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
- ¼ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup cacao butter
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- Your choice Superfood Toppings
- Cacao powder
- Cacao nibs
- Goji Berries
- Hemp Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sea Salt
- Blend the cashew butter, Lakanto maple syrup, vanilla, water and salt until smooth. Use a spatula to push down the sides to really make sure you blended it well. The reason you don’t want to add everything at once is because you’ll damage the cacao if you overblend it.
- Now add in the cacao butter and powder, spoon by spoon so it can really integrate with the cashew. Don’t blend on too high of a speed because you don’t want the blender to heat up, which will destroy the nutrients.
- Line a bowl with saran-wrap (this will keep the chocolate from sticking.) Scoop out the chocolate mixture into the bowl.
- Place it in a fridge overnight to firm. This will make scooping it out much easier.
- The next day, your mixture will be ready! It’s time to dress the balls up.
- Cover your cutting board with parchment paper and add on your choice superfood toppings in various corners so they don’t mix.
- Spoon out your chocolate mixture and roll them into smooth balls. I made a variety of sizes for when I want just a little small bite or a big juicy one for photos.
- Roll the balls into the superfood toppings and set on a plate. You can eat them now or leave them in the fridge/ freezer for later enjoyment.