Who doesn’t love a chocolate orange? It’s always been a traditional part of Christmas in our house but I’d never really thought about making my own until this year. I’m not a fan of commercial chocolate bars as they are so high in sugar, additives and unhealthy fats but I’d never realised how simple it is to make your own. Chocolate only needs to have three ingredients: cacao butter, cocoa and a sweetener!
The only downside is that buying cacao butter does involve a trip to the health store or ordering online – I’ve now bought in bulk as I’m getting through so much as these chocolates make the perfect healthy, festive gifts.
You’ll see I use cocoa and not cacao in the recipe. That’s because although cacao (the raw form of cocoa) contains double the antioxidants, it is raw ie not to be cooked. Cooking destroys the benefits of this expensive ingredient so always save cacao for raw cooking and use cocoa for heating. Nevertheless, cocoa is still bursting with nutrients that are heart-protective, mood boosting and can help support blood sugar levels.
I’ve also used buckwheaties which are just soaked and dried buckwheat kernels. They add a delicious crunch, reminiscent of maltesers teasers but without all the nasties. In fact the buckwheat adds a boost of antioxidants and also a good protein source, alongside being high in magnesium and manganese.
Soaking the kernels helps to break down the anti-nutrients (hard to digest bits) and release beneficial nutrients – the seed thinks its germinated and this creates a nutrient cascade. I’ve given details on how to make them below.
We hope you enjoy these chocolates, let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.
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