Do you ever crave a little something sweet? How about chocolate? What kind of chocolate do you opt for? All chocolate is made from cacao beans (also known as cocoa beans). Raw chocolate is unprocessed with no dairy, sugars or chemicals added. In its raw state, the chocolate has not been heated and is a wonderful source of antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, which supports the heart, increases brainpower, aids bowel movements, relaxes menstrual cramping, relaxes muscles, increases flexibility, helps build strong bones and increases alkalinity. It also is full of mood-enhancing compounds: phenylethylamine, which are chemicals that we produce in our bodies when we fall in love; anandamide, an endorphin or “bliss chemical”; tryptophan, a mood enhancing nutrient; and serotonin, which helps to build up our stress-defense shield and feel good.

Chocolate may get a bad rap for being a “junk food,” but the right chocolate is a powerhouse of nutrition. It’s great to have a little chocolate on hand for those “sweet tooth” moments, and this one is full of healthy ingredients that won’t get you off track.

MAYAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
1 cup cashew butter
1 cup raw honey
3/4 cup cacao powder, plus extra for finishing
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maca powder

Place the cashew butter, honey, cacao, vanilla, salt, cayenne, cinnamon and maca in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated. Place the additional cacao on a plate. Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and then roll them in the cacao. Store the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If you have problems rolling into even balls, chill the mixture for a few minutes and roll again. This recipe is from Brad’s Raw Made Easy.

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