You say “COCOA”, I say “CACAO”. Same thing? Not exactly.
Cacao is chocolate in it’s purest form. Cacao beans are found in fleshy, oval shaped pods on cacao trees. Once harvested, the beans are fermented and dried. Cacao is raw, unprocessed and contains no sugar, additives, or preservatives. It has not been exposed to heat and is loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients like iron and magnesium.
Cocoa is the processed version of cacao. Cocoa powder has been roasted at high temperatures and usually contains sugar and preservatives. The roasting process, which reduces the natural bitterness, is thought to destroy the intense nutritional benefits in raw cacao.
While raw cacao and processed cocoa offer some of the same benefits, cacao is more nutritionally dense since it’s less processed. Same goes for most of the other fruits & veggies in your diet - the closer they are to their purest form, the more nutrients they contain!
What can raw cacao do for you:
- Boosts mood (thanks to anandamide)
- Improves brain function (thanks to magnesium)
- Promotes a healthy heart, reducing risk of cancer (thanks to antioxidants)
- Balances blood sugar levels (thanks to chromium)
- Improves metabolism (thanks to B vitamins)
Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate is FULL of the good stuff: organic raw cacao, organic raw cacao butter, all non-GMO, and gluten and dairy free. So... what are you waiting for!?
It was EASY for NOT YOUR SUGAR MAMAS to choose to use organic ingredients in our products on taste and nutrient value alone. However, there are a number of reasons why we strongly adhere to organic standards day in and day out.
Our mission is to spread love through each one of our kickass products. We believe that in the way we do business – with products that nourish your body, by communicating positive and encouraging words, and behavior that is kind to the planet – we can accomplish just that. We believe that organic and ethically sourced ingredients allow us the most possibilities to have a positive impact. Here are three reasons why.
1. Organic is best for our consumers overall health – organic foods reduce your exposure to toxins including pesticide residues. According to the President’s Canceer Panel, there is a strong link between the increasing rate of cancer and our polluted planet. The advice? Choose foods grown with out pesticides or chemical fertilizers to decrease your exposure. Organic foods avoid these chemicals. Even more, healthy soils contain more nutrients than soils that have been heavily polluted and stripped of natural minerals.
2. Organic Foods are best for farmer’s health & livelihood – Would you want to be exposed to a high rate of chemicals each day? Industrial farming contributes to the highest amount of petroleum used per industry, with a big chunk of that due to the synthetic fertilizers they use. I feel bad for the people exposed to that EVERY DAY! Using organic methods protects the farmers from that exposure. Organic farmers are also able to improve their income due to the price premiums and reduced input costs that organic farming provides. In fact, organic systems are actually three times more profitable than conventional counterparts.
3. Its best for the PLANET & future generations! Organic farming helps protect the soil, water, and air from toxic chemicals that otherwise pollute the earth and our bodies. Organic farming helps build and improve soil help and conserve the biodiversity and wildlife habitats because more birds, animals, and beneficial insects live on organic farms. It helps fight global warming by reducing energy inputs and carbon. Research indicates that conventional farming practices emit 40% more greenhouse gases per pound of crop produced relative to organic farming methods – so reduce your damn carbon footprint, spread the love, and eat ORGANIC!
For me, everything lately has been "anti-flu". My boyfriend got it, so I've been determined not to. After reading this article on Mind, Body, Green about how to avoid the Flu Shot naturally, I was inspired to make tonights creation, incorporating the main natural fighters of the flu - ginger (boost immunity), garlic (anti-bacterial), turmeric (anti-inflamatory), and lemon (vitamin C). I wanted to feel warm, satisfied, and nourished so I went with a nice hearty meal of organic chicken, roasted root vegetables, and a warm leafy green salad. For dessert, I was in the mood for something really really creamy, so I made some raw chocolate pudding. It was delicious and I feel wonderful today as I write this!
P.S. I've gotten the question a few times at Not Your Sugar Mamas, if I am raw or vegan because most of our products are - and the truth is I don't have a label for how I eat. When I did eat a strict diet, I would look at other peoples food and think it was gross or if I wanted something that was outside of my realm, I would feel bad about myself. In turn, I felt uncomfortable eating around other people and felt sad and confused because I love the experience of eating. Through time, and learning different approaches to nutrition, I found that eating a plant based diet, rich in whole foods works work best for me, and I do eat meat and dairy when I feel like it, and I enjoy it when I do. And I almost always have dessert :) Here is a cute article about a 93 year old couple who was asked after celebrating their 69th wedding anniversary, what the keys to happiness are, the husband recommended "You need to enjoy life, eat sweets." I think so too, hehe.
Roasted Organic Chicken with green apple, with curried sweet potato and parsnip fries, with a warm red swiss chard salad with fennel, cherry tomatoes and flax seeds. (no dairy or gluten)
Organic Chicken thighs with roasted green apple: Preheat oven to 375. Toss chicken thighs with oregano, a touch of safflower oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Flip sides. Take out apple, cut in half and place in oven. Cook for another 15 or until golden brown and cooked through and apple is mushy.
organic chicken thighs
1 or two green apples
Ingredients: sweet potatoes & parsnips - cut into fries
1 tablespoon curry
Warm Swiss Chard Salad: Cook on low to medium heat. Saute garlic with coconut oil, add fennel, swiss chard and tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Be sure to keep moving the chard around coating it with the oil. It is done when soft and still green. When close to done add squeeze of a lemon. Top with flax seeds.
If you want an idea for the leftover chicken - throw the bones in a pot with more than enough water to cover them. Throw in some salt, garlic, oregano. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. Drain the meat, bones and you've got some organic chicken broth!!
For dessert, I've was craving something really, really creamy. This chocolate pudding recipe is really something. I made enough to have the next day. I experimented with some "whipped cream" too. Pair them together and you've got yourself a delightfully rich and creamy dessert. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help ease digestion, reduce inflammation, and improve joint health and skin tone. They also help make this dish creamy without egg or dairy. I used our BE SMOOTH mix because it has raw cacao, plus spirulina (green superfood) and maca (adptogenic herb) to give me some extra antioxidants to keep me healthy.
While I was living in Spain - every lunchtime meal or "menu del dia" included a "postre", it was never a big portion or even heavy, (sometimes it was a baked apple or a fresh squeeze orange juice), so I became accustomed to liking something a little sweet after every meal. It also kept me at the table longer to relax and digest my meal. I hope you enjoy this treat!
Raw chocolate pudding: Soak chia seeds with 1.5 cups of coconut milk, coconut flakes, maple syrup and vanilla. Put to the side.
Mix arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt the coconut oil, cacao butter, add the BE SMOOTH or RAW CACAO on low. Add coconut palm sugar. Stir constantly. In a blender, blend the coconut milk mixture. Leave 1/4 cup to the side (for whipped cream). Slowly add the remaining coconut mixture to warm chocolate mixture on stove. Mix on low for a bit. When thoroughly mixed, add the arrowroot mixture. Stir on low for a few more minutes. Pour into jars. Put in fridge for a few hours. Serve chilled.
Whipped cream: Use remaining 1/4 coconut mixture and blend with drained, soaked cashews. Put in jar and to the side. Serve chocolate pudding with a dollip of whipped cream!
3/4 cup BE SMOOTH
1/2 cup RAW COCONUT PALM SUGAR
1 tablespoon chia seed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can coconut milk (not half fat, but full fat)
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons cashews - soaked 10 minutes
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
From DIG Boston, titled "GOOD EATS GURU GOES CHOCOLATE"
Good Eats Guru goes chocolate
Who makes the best chocolate in Boston? Not Your Sugar Mama! No, seriously—this new star of the Boston chocolate scene is infiltrating the local shops and being snatched up at an alarming pace. As soon as the bin is filled in my neighborhood market, it seems to empty out in less than a week—and it’s no surprise why. I mean this chocolate is good. Better than good, great.
I can confidently go so far as to deem it
NYSM, which operates out of Martha’s Vineyard, was founded by Bennett Coffey and Kyleen (Ky) Keenan about two years ago. They have a chocolate factory in Vineyard Haven, and sell their chocolate in bars, superfood energy balls, chocolate mix, and more at shops and cafes around the state.
How do I love thee, NYSM? Let me count the ways.
1) It’s not just chocolate: Every batch is hand made from raw cacao fortified with superfoods like maca, spirulina, and goji berries. Instead of refined sugar, they opt for agave nectar to sweeten.
2) Those chocolate makers, they’re clever. Case in point: “Chocolate so fresh it’s cool. Kept cool, that is.” Because it’s raw cacao, it has to be kept in the fridge. Top-quality food with witty word play: Does it get any better?
3) The texture is nothing short of heavenly. It pulls apart like taffy and eats like light fudge.
4) They’re passionate about keeping it fresh, and have their own specific definition so there’s no confusion. Keenan clarified that “Fresh equals nothing has been added or additional processing used to make it shelf stable. That’s why we are in the fridge.” Right on.
5) Oh, and the taste? A miraculous convergence of decadent bittersweet wonder. If your palette’s attuned to such things,
it’s brimming with the flavor of its most important ingredient: love.
What, you can’t taste that? Trust me, it’s in there.
Their success is a no-brainer to anyone familiar with mindful eating. When I inquired about the chocolate making process, Keenan told me, “Bennett is the chocolatier… It’s important to her to infuse good vibes into the chocolate, whether it’s by playing good music or just removing distractions and making it a mindful process.” This little distinction can make all the difference and many people are coming to demand this important aspect of health, wellness, and nutrition in the marketplace.
This auspicious attitude carries over into their whole business model. At present, they do direct trade for their cacao with an association of farmers in Peru. Their goal is to set up direct trade relationships for all their ingredients. When I asked about plans for the future, Keenan responded,
“Willy Wonka meets Hersheys—but better, and healthier. We want our chocolate to be consumed by as many people as possible. Everyone has a right to enjoy this superfood in a healthy way.”
They do, indeed.
Not Your Sugar Mamas is a welcomed addition to Boston’s well-endowed chocolate menagerie. They even have chocolate smoothie powders and hot chocolate mixes perfect for the upcoming holiday season and frosty, snow-filled days. If you haven’t tried this chocolate yet, do yourself a favor and grab a bar at Life Alive Cafe in Central Square or City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain.
This was published in Dig Boston by Good Eats Guru. To read complete article please visit http://digboston.com/taste/2012/11/good-eats-guru-not-your-sugar-mamas/