Nothing says February like love and chocolate. The ultimate marriage, perhaps a cliche, but also a very good combo that exists for a reason. Chocolate is one of the world’s most sexy foods, surrounded by an allure that keeps us intrigued and hungry for more. It's delicious, and if made using quality ingredients, it is also very nutritious.
Unfortunately, most chocolate is a far cry from healthy- packed with sugar, and full of fillers, and artificial flavors. But this doesn't have to be the case. Chocolate is the leading food source of theobromine, a stimulant that has many similarities to caffeine, but without the negative side effects like anxiety or up all-night angst. What does theobromine do? Theobromine is a vasodilator and mild stimulant. Because it increases blood flow, it helps to increase alertness and boost mood. I think of it as the little bump in blood flow that most of us need to just feel better! Worrying about the caffeine in chocolate, or the overly stimulating effects is a bit misaligned– as the actual caffeine in chocolate is nominal. Any unwanted rush from chocolate typically comes from too much sugar, and not from the caffeine.
Making your own chocolate is super easy and leaves you in control of what sugar or other ingredients you choose to put in it– and that's why we love to add Manuka honey to our chocolatey mixes.
What makes Manuka honey so special?
The medicinal benefits of Manuka honey come from the antibacterial properties and active enzymes that are created and stored in the honey– an intense immunity boost via mother nature’s nectar. It is also highly antibacterial and bacterial resistant. Manuka honey is rare in that it only comes from the bees that pollinate the Manuka bush in New Zealand and Australia– hence the higher price, but worth it! Even if you don't use only Manuka in a recipe, you can supplement it and add a few tablespoons at a time. The flavor is deeply rich, smooth, and not overly sweet.
Our favorite Manuka is from Activist, whose quality and integrity we trust implicitly. These chocolates are my go-to afternoon pick up, that feed mind and body. Enjoy alone or share with someone you love!
Chocolate Fudge with Manuka Honey //
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup cacao butter
1/2 cup cacao oil
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp Activist manuka honey (can sub other honey or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
Line a 9" loaf pan (or smaller) with parchment.
Pour mixture in pan and refrigerate for about an hour until firm.
Pull out the fudge using sides of the parchment and cut into 1-inch squares.