Chocolate lovers unite! Whether you’re a vegan, a raw food enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys a sweet treat, chocolate is a universally beloved indulgence. But with so many different types of chocolate available, it can be tough to decide which one to choose. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between raw chocolate and regular chocolate, and hopefully help you decide which one is right for you.
Raw Chocolate: A Healthier Alternative?
Raw chocolate is exactly what it sounds like – chocolate that hasn’t been heated above 118°F. This means that it retains all of the nutrients and antioxidants found in the cacao bean, which can provide a range of health benefits. Some of the benefits of raw chocolate include:
Read more: How to Temper Raw Chocolate
Raw Chocolate Benefits
- High in antioxidants: Raw cacao beans are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Mood-boosting properties: Raw chocolate contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which can help your body produce more serotonin – the “feel-good” neurotransmitter.
- Improved heart health: Some studies suggest that the flavanols found in raw chocolate can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
But raw chocolate doesn’t just offer health benefits – it can also be delicious! Raw chocolate is often made with natural sweeteners like coconut sugar or maple syrup, which can give it a unique and complex flavor profile. And because it hasn’t been processed at high temperatures, raw chocolate has a slightly different texture than traditional chocolate – it can be a bit harder and more brittle.
Raw Chocolate FAQ
If you’re new to raw chocolate, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most common:
- What’s the difference between raw cacao and cocoa? Raw cacao is made from unroasted cacao beans, while cocoa is made from roasted beans. Raw cacao is often considered to be healthier because it hasn’t been processed as much.
- Is raw chocolate vegan? Yes! Because raw chocolate is made without milk products or other animal ingredients, it’s a great choice for vegans.
- Is raw chocolate gluten-free? It can be! Make sure to check the ingredients list, as some raw chocolate products may contain gluten-containing ingredients like barley malt.
Regular Chocolate: The Classic Choice
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with traditional chocolate – it’s been a beloved treat for centuries, after all. But it’s important to note that not all chocolate is created equal. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a regular chocolate:
Read more: Raw Chocolate vs Dark Chocolate
Differences between Raw Chocolate and Regular Chocolate
- Processing: Regular chocolate is typically made by roasting cacao beans, which can destroy some of the nutrients and antioxidants found in the bean. It’s also often processed with additional ingredients like sugar and milk, which can add calories and reduce the health benefits.
- Taste: Because regular chocolate often contains more sugar and other additives, it can have a sweeter, creamier flavor than raw chocolate. This can be a plus for some people, but if you’re looking for a more complex and nuanced chocolate flavor, raw chocolate may be the way to go.
- Availability: While raw chocolate is becoming more popular, it can still be tough to find in many grocery stores. Regular chocolate, on the other hand, is available just about everywhere.
Raw Chocolate vs Regular Chocolate: The Verdict
So, which type of chocolate is best for you? Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and dietary needs. If you’re looking for a healthier chocolate option that retains all of the nutrients and antioxidants found in the cacao bean, raw chocolate is definitely worth a try. But if you’re a die-hard traditional chocolate fan, there’s no need to feel guilty – just make sure to choose a high-quality chocolate that’s made with real ingredients.
Making Raw Chocolate at Home
If you’re interested in making your own raw chocolate, it’s actually quite simple! All you need is raw cacao powder or cacao butter, a natural sweetener like maple syrup or coconut sugar, and any additional flavors or ingredients you’d like to add (such as nuts, dried fruit, or sea salt). Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
How to Make Raw Chocolate
- Melt 1 cup of cacao butter in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of boiling water.
- Once the cacao butter is melted, remove it from the heat and stir in 1 cup of raw cacao powder and 1/4 cup of maple syrup or coconut sugar.
- Add any additional flavors or ingredients, such as chopped nuts or dried fruit.
- Pour the mixture into a chocolate mold or onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Let the chocolate cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator until firm.
And there you have it – a delicious and healthy homemade chocolate treat!
Whether you prefer raw chocolate or traditional chocolate, there’s no denying that this sweet treat is a beloved indulgence for many people. By understanding the differences between raw chocolate and regular chocolate, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own raw chocolate at home? Happy indulging!