- 2 cups grated courgette
- 1/4 cup coconut melted
- 1/2 cup low fat yogurt* (greek or soy)
- 5 tablespoons of agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plain or wholemeal self raising flour
- 1/2 cup raw cocao powder, you can substitute regular coco powder but the health benefits are not as high
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
If you’re feeling naughty like I was ( always am ) I also added 50g of dark chocolate pieces.
Mix all ingredients together. Cook at 200 c for 15 mins.
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Raw cacao vs cocoa: what’s the difference?
Is there a difference between the two aside from a few vowels?
The studies that boast of chocolate’s amazing health benefits are not referring to your average store-bought chocolate bar (damn misleading researchers). The chocolate that they’re referring to is raw cacao.
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter).
Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.
What are the health benefits of raw cacao?
- Lowers insulin resistance.
- Protects your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.
- Shields nerve cells from damage.
- Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Reduces your risk of stroke.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Slows the ageing process by assisting with nitric oxide metabolism: Nitric oxide protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and thereby lowering your blood pressure. However, nitric oxide production produces adverse reactions and toxic metabolites, which must be neutralised by your body so they don’t result in oxidative damage to your blood vessel lining. Cocoa polyphenols protect your body from these metabolites and help counter the typical age-related decline in nitric oxide production.
- Guards against toxins: as a potent antioxidant, cacao can repair the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. In fact cacao contains far more antioxidants per 100g than acai, goji berries and blueberries. Antioxidants are responsible for 10% of the weight of raw cacao.
- Boosts your mood: cocoa can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. And the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate.
- It is rich in minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.