The secret to cacao is in its freshest, purest most delicious form, fresh from the tree on which it grows, where the cacao beans are eaten straight from the shell in which they grow.
Now I do’t know about you but last time I looked I didn’t have a cacao tree growing in my garden, more’s the pity. However cacao trees are a reality for many people and are said to have originated in Central America.
Cacao trees prefer to grow in plenty of shade, with consistent warmth and humidity, protected from winds and with access to running water. The majority of the information we have about cacao trees comes from the cultivated crops rather than from any wild trees. It is speculated that it would have grown wild in the tropical rain forests of the Amazon with the Amazon river region considered it’s evolutionary birthplace.
Did you know that midges do the natural pollinating of cacao flowers? Six species of midges in fact.
One thing I do know is that it’s no secret that we as a nation love chocolate. For quite some time it’s been the heavily processed, heavily sweetened varieties available from just about anywhere.
What we are catching onto is the wonderful secret world of eating our chocolate in an unadulterated form – no dairy, no processed sugar, no fillers, no artificial flavourings.
Eating your chocolate in as natural a form as you can possibly get it is quite literally having your cacao and eating it. Dark rich cacao is considered energetically and physically a magic food.
Becoming aware of where your chocolate comes from allows you to know that your cacao is actually a plant based food; something quite exotic; if from a family plantation an unadulterated choice and grown with love, kindness and tenderness.
Did you know that white chocolate used to be produced from white cacao beans?
In Mexico in the days of Emperor Montezuma cacao was both a revered ceremonial drink and a currency with more reverence for the cacao than gold or silver. The cacao bean represented wealth and abundance and it’s secret magic potency can still be experienced today by attending a cacao ceremony.
Inside the cacao bean are the nibs. Crushing the nibs creates a paste and from this the oil, cacao butter, can be separated from what will eventually become the cacao powder. It is the combination of the cacao butter and powder with a sweetener, which in it’s simplest form creates chocolate and this is something that you can do in your own home.
When buying chocolate now I choose ‘bean to bar’ producers to buy my chocolate from with my favourite being Forever Cacao. Bean to bar means that the maker is importing the beans and taking them and creating chocolate, no middle man.
Did you know that eating a teaspoon of raw cacao nibs will make your teeth squeaky clean?
Cacao has been the subject of many scientific studies that have revealed some of it’s many health giving properties. It contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and more, all of which combine to bring us a plant based food that some call a medicine because of it’s combination of natural compounds and the potential effect on our bodies. If you are interested in finding out more then I highly recommend ‘Naked Chocolate’, by David Wolfe and Shazzie.
If you would like to experience cacao for yourself and what secrets it may reveal to you then Denise holds monthly full moon heart opening cacao ceremonies. During the ceremony she draws on the power of the full moon and entwines some of the processes of Access Consciousness, helping to clear