Today I am going to show you how to make some raw chocolate with no sugar. It’s sweetened with a tiny amount of liquid stevia instead. And it has lots of omega 3 fats in it too. Get ready!
Dark chocolate. I love it. And we know that if it has more than 75% cocoa solids in it, then it has many health benefits. While it provides modest dose levels of some minerals and vitamins, dark chocolate really shines in providing polyphenols which have antioxidant activity. These can give benefits such as reducing inflammation, balancing autoimmune activity, and preserving cognitive function.
“Raw” chocolate means lower temperatures are used which helps maintain more of those polyphenols and phytonutrients.
And this version doesn’t even have any sugar in it!
Raw chocolate techniques
Raw chocolate is easy and quick to make. One thing you need to realize about raw chocolate is that it isn’t tempered. That means it does melt a little bit more easily than tempered chocolate. So in the sunshine or hot hands, it’ll melt quicker. You can store it at room temperature, however, which I always think is best as it then eases so beautifully into that lovely melt-feel in the mouth.
Another thing about the raw process is that the chocolate doesn’t shrink much as it cools. This means that if you want to make chocolate using molds, the hard plastic molds aren’t the best way to go. For those molds, you need the chocolate to shrink so it pops out when it is cold. When making raw chocolate, it’s best to use silicone molds, so you can easily release it.
Despite the lack of tempering, you can see from the photo, there is still a lovely shine to the chocolate.
In this recipe, I add ground flaxseed and hemp seeds – specifically Spectrum Ground flaxseed with mixed berries and Manitoba Harvest organic hemp hearts. They add omega 3 fats, fiber, and protein. You can add other things instead such as different seeds or nuts – or omit them altogether.
Liquid stevia is the only sweetener used. I used NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia, alcohol-free.
Obviously, the taste and bitterness depend on the cacao ingredients used. You might already have your favorite brands but the ones I used were:
- TerraSoul raw cacao butter
- Navitas Naturals raw cacao powder
Some other cacao powder brands will make a really bitter chocolate – too bitter to eat (in my opinion) – so I’d start off with the Navitas Naturals one.
FYI – Cacao vs cocoa. If something is called cacao, it generally means it is raw and less processed, thus contains more micronutrients. If it’s called cocoa, it generally means it isn’t raw – it has been heated to higher temperatures and has been processed more.
As you can see from the main photo of this post, I made this omega 3 raw chocolate into individual shapes using a silicone mold. Alternatively, as you see on the left, you can just pour it onto a sheet to make a bark. You can add other things to the bark or leave it as it is. I’ve also used this recipe for chocolate covered strawberries. Get experimenting.
This is a strong chocolate. If you didn’t add the flax and hemp, it would be about 100% cocoa solids, as so little stevia is added. With the flax and hemp, it brings it down to 83%.
If you are used to eating sweet milk chocolate, this could be quite a shock for you. But if you generally eat high cocoa content chocolate (i.e., above 75%), you’ll no doubt like this. Adults and children both like it – and whenever I make it, it’s always eaten up eagerly!
I weigh the ingredients for the chocolate recipes instead of using cup measurements as you need to be accurate – and it’s difficult to measure the cacao butter in a cup. Don’t let that put you off – you can buy inexpensive scales, like this one – Digital Kitchen Scale.
- 70g raw cacao butter, chopped
- 50g raw cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia liquid
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
- Chop the cocao butter into small pieces and place in a bowl. Sit that bowl in a larger bowl, containing boiled water. Take care not to get any water in with the cocao butter.
- Let the cocao butter melt (about 5 minutes). If the water cools too much, replace with more hot water
- Remove from the water bath, and add cacao powder and stir well.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
- Poor into silicone molds or on a silicone sheet to make chocolate bark.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature.
- You can make this as plain chocolate, using only the cacao butter, powder and stevia.