What We're Craving: Raw Chocolate
The rich, creamy, sweet, and satisfying treat we all know and love, chocolate is traditionally made by harvesting cacao beans, fermenting and roasting the beans. In a process called winnowing, the shell is removed to reveal the nib, which is then ground into a paste known as chocolate liquor. From here, chocolate liquor can be separated into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. And finally, conching is when common ingredients like milk, sugar, and other flavors are added to the mixture just before the chocolate is shaped and ready for consumption (1).
That’s traditional chocolate. What about raw chocolate? Not so traditional, but becoming more popular, raw chocolate is made almost exactly the same way as traditional chocolate. However, during the roasting process, the heat treatment does not exceed 107 degrees F. This temperature limit maintains many of the beneficial antioxidants and other nutrients found in the cacao bean. Antioxidants, you’ve likely heard, are key nutrients that aid in prevention of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Other nutrients found in chocolate include magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc (2).
Another difference in raw chocolate is the ingredients used - instead of milk, refined sugar, and soy, you’ll more commonly find coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and sometimes raw fruits or seeds for additional natural flavor.
We bet you’re loving all this good news about chocolate, right? We are, too! Like other sweet treats, chocolate still contains sugar and fat, and it’s important to consume it in moderate amounts. Health professionals recommend 1-2 small squares per day, about 6 grams, in order to obtain the benefits and enjoy the deliciousness of chocolate.
Here at Nourish, you’ll find Fine & Raw Chocolates for sale. Founder Daniel Sklaar began his chocolatier career in his small loft, making batches of the sweet stuff for friends. Soon enough, Sklaar’s chocolate made its place on shelves of local stores and eventually all the way across the country. Fine & Raw chocolate is free of refined sugar, dairy, soy, and gluten - all the delicious flavor comes first from the chocolate itself, and then from the addition of natural nut butters and fruit powders.
Next time you stop by, don’t forget to taste a bar for yourself. We hope you love it as much as we do!