I was born with a great love for sweet foods. My mother gave me money to buy a sandwich for school, but I always bought pita bread, put a bar of chocolate in it, and held a chocolate-milk bag in my other hand. It was my favorite breakfast. To this day I get excited by chocolate, and you’re more than likely to see me holding a chocolate bar in one hand, and a cacao drink in the other. Only this time, it’s a healthy version of the drink.
Discovering raw chocolate was a delightful experience for me. When I discovered the true cacao beans, I found out that it’s a superfood with great benefits, capable of strengthening the heart on a physical, spiritual and emotional levels. When I eat chocolate I feel a sweet happiness because I’ve found my gateway to creativity and nourishment.
I’ve made raw chocolate thousands of times, but each attempt turns out a bit different for two reasons. The first is that I never follow a recipe; I follow my instinct each time and let it guide me in the process of choosing ingredients. The second is that even when you follow a recipe, making chocolate is like alchemy. The cacao beans that transform into chocolate are influenced by our mood, the utensils we use, the kitchen we make it in and our state of mind.
Cacao beans symbolize health, prosperity, creativity and joy. Cacao is a spiritual food. Through the pages of history you’ll find stories about the god of cacao, about christening babies in cacao, and about marriage ceremonies with cacao. In light of this fruit’s mysterious and sacred aura we have no choice but to open up our hearts to its inherent magic, to embrace it into our lives with respect and appreciation, and to do wonders with it for the benefit of ourselves, our family and our friends.
The Triple Power of Cacao
The central quality attributed to cacao is strengthening the connection to the heart and to the natural harmonic flow of love. Cacao heals the heart on a physical, emotional and spiritual levels. On the physical level, research shows that cacao improves the general condition of the cardiovascular system. It contains N-caffeoyldopamine and N-coumaroyldopamine compounds which suppress a molecule that causes an accumulation of residue in white blood cells as well as in artery walls. It decreases the danger of clotting.
On an emotional level, cacao contains phenyethylamine (PEA) which is also called the love chemical, anandamide (AEA) which is also called the happiness chemical, and tryptophan – an amino acid which improves one’s mood. In addition, cacao increases the production of serotonin which functions, among other things, as a counter for anxiety and stress.
On a spiritual level, cacao is considered to be a sacred and powerful food; enjoyable and nourishing, and sustaining our life force. Shaman healers conduct ceremonies in which they brew a potent cacao drink by praying and focusing on the intent to heal the participants. During the ceremony their mind and emotions open up and they feel connected and joyful. Cacao creates clarity and a deep connection to the force of life.