There’s a very good reason why more and more people are scoffing down herbal chocolate. Every ounce of ordinary dark chocolate contains 155 calories, and is filled with sugar, preservatives and additives such as artificial flavors. Switching to healthier recipes allows people to indulge in their sweet tooth without packing on the pounds and putting their health at risk through obesity.
The traditional method for making chocolates begins with a harvest of cocoa beans, which is then refined and fermented. The beans are then roasted and ground, and then converted into a viscous sweet liquid by adding sugar and milk. This batch is then stored and cut into smaller pieces. Making this an herbal product is quite simple, and just needs some of the ingredients to be replaced with healthier alternatives.
There are any number of herbs and natural ingredients that can be combined to produce chocolates that are just as heavenly, but without the excess calories and harmful contents. For instance, it’s possible to make guilt-free healthy chocolates using cocoa butter and cocoa powder with honey. The recipe can be further improved by using natural ingredients such as lavender, cinnamon, rose petals and mint.
There’s really no specific formula that has to be followed. The main ingredients included in most recipes are milk and dark chocolate. If sweetness is an essential requirement, then sugar can be replaced with honey as the third main item in the recipe.
The cocoa should be powdered in order to facilitate mixing and addition of just the right measure. The tried and tested combination that provides best results is a mix of three tablespoons of cocoa to go with three cups of milk and two spoons of honey. After this, the rest of the recipe can be whipped up by a process of experimentation to find a combination that matches preferences and tastes.
Adding a couple of spoons of gluten-free organic vanilla extract will produce vanilla-flavored chocolates. To get mint chocolates, just add a few drops of organic peppermint oil. Remember that this is a concentrated and potent oil, so an excess of it will smother the flavor and taste of everything else in the recipe.
Another good example is the use of coconut oil as a replacement for milk. Couple this with stevia to replace honey, and it makes the recipe completely free of the high calories and carbohydrates that ordinary chocolates contain. Mint leaves chopped fine can provide additional natural flavoring. It works best when the coconut oil is heated and in liquid form, so that it mixes properly with the rest of the ingredients.
There’s no way for these experimental recipes to be as famous and easily available in the market as the ordinary chocolates produced by big brands with their factories and global network of distributors. But that’s not stopping people from finding these healthy alternatives for indulging their insatiable appetite for sweets. There’s always the option of whipping up a batch of herbal chocolate at home. Either way, it is an ideal gift for family and friends during the holiday season, and for birthdays and other celebratory events.
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