We have found an amazing gourmet product that not only tastes good but that also makes up for a little healthy snack: dark chocolate truffles with goji berry. The truffles are made from organic cacao powder and organic cacao butter and also contain goji berries, well-known for their health properties as well as cherries. They are sweetened with fruit extracts (dates and agaves) and do not contain any chemicals or added sugar. The truffles are made by hand and have each a delicious flavor and texture that will make you want to eat the whole box at once. The organic dark chocolate truffles with goji berries can be part of your “sweet” cabinet but they also make for an excellent gift for chocolate connoisseurs. Plus, they come in a very cute little container. The dark chocolate truffles, can purchased online here. They are shipped internationally and will be home withing 6 to 10 days depending on where you live. Eating chocolate can be healthy if the chocolate is dark and unprocessed and does contain any additional sugars or fats.
Dark chocolate is derived from cacao seeds. The cacao tree, also known as Theobroma cacao which means the “food of Gods” in Greek and is native from South America although it is also grown in Africa and more particularly in Ivory Coast, the largest world exporter of cacao. The cacao tree is an evergreen tree belonging to the Sterculiaceae family that needs a humid climate and an irrigated soil to grow properly and is often found at altitudes ranging from 600m to 1000m. It produces poisonous leaves, flowers that grow in clusters on the tonk of the tree and fruits or cacao pods that resemble of a yellow melon and become orange/light brown when ripen. The cacao pods measure from 10cm to 40 cm and contains 30 to 60 seeds or cacao beans that are enclaved in a whitish and dry pulp. The cacao beans, once extracted, are fermented between 2 to 8 days in order to release their aroma or chocolate flavor and then dried. Later on, the beans will be roasted at the factory to start the process of making chocolate, first producing a thick chocolate liquor that is cacao contained in cacao butter. Cacao liquor is then separated from the cacao butter that contains 40% to 50% of fats and turned into cacao powder. Dark chocolate is typically made from chocolate liquor and milk chocolate with chocolate liquor, sugars and milk. Chocolate can also be made from cacao powder extracted from beans that have not been fermented or roasted and therefore are packed with much higher percentage of antioxidants. Unfermented beans deliver a stronger and bitterer-tasty chocolate.
Organic dark chocolate health benefits
Cacao is packed with antioxidants called polyphenols that protect the cells from oxidation much like berries or beans and that result in good health, helping boost the immune system, prevent cardio-vascular complications and even cancer, reduce bad cholesterol levels and can even lower the blood pressure. Cacao is also packed with minerals that are essential for health such as copper, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Cacao also helps make us feel good and are a sort of anti-depressant because it contains phenylethylamine, a substance that helps produce natural chemicals in our brain, also known as endorphins. It contains mild stimulants like theobromine that is also helpful in reducing coughing and caffeine in small dosage to give us a little boost.
Organic dark chocolate
Let’s not forget that cacao is derived from a tree, hence its beneficial properties and we are not talking here about sweet and unhealthy chocolate bars but the cacao itself or pure chocolate. The healthiest chocolate will be a very dark and organic chocolate and even a fair trade organic chocolate although it is important not to rely only on the packaging to chose your chocolate but like with all organic products, to also check the list of ingredients to ensure this is a truly organic chocolate. Organic chocolate is made from organic beans that have not been spread with pesticides and that have not been fermented or roasted, keeping intact its health properties. Also, dark and organic chocolate is unsweetened or less sweetened, contains less fat and has not been mixed with other ingredients that give the bad reputation to eating chocolate. Dark chocolate can be incorporated in the diet if it is not eaten abusively.