Raw Chocolate with Wild Berries
Nearly everyone loves chocolate, there's no way around it. Luckily, while the chocolate industry has had issues when it comes to their production methods, the source of their cacao, and the working conditions of their cacao farmers, attention has been brought to these issues and companies are becoming more transparent. As a company that values transparency and integrity, we at Helsinki Wildfoods believe this is a crucial part in ensuring that chocolate is produced in a sustainable and ethical manner, with respect for human rights.
According to Finnwatch, the only way to be completely sure that these practices are upheld is by checking that the company consumers are buying from has a certificate. Certificates are based on the audits made regularly by a third-party in the farms. Certificates and accountability systems ensure that cacao farmers are paid extra plus they set criteria for working conditions. International certificates such as UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade have fairly different criteria, but each of them promises not to use child labor in production.
Even though these international certificates are not yet bullet proof, for now, they are one of the best options for conscious consumers. Companies have also introduced their own labels of integrity, which NGOs are skeptical about if not supervised by a third-party. We encourage you to demand integrity not only from your favourite chocolate brands but also from us at Helsinki Wildfoods!
The cacao plant (Theobroma cacao ≈ the food of the gods) which is the main ingredient in every chocolate product grows wild in the tropics of South America and it can be cultivated almost anywhere in the torrid zone. The biggest cacao producers of the world are The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kameron.
Chocolate is produced from the beans of the cacao fruit. While chocolate is usually produced in high temperatures the heat killing most of the nutritional ingredients, the healthy fats and vitamin C, raw cacao is chocolate in its pure and original form. Raw cacao is loaded with minerals such as magnesium, chrome, zinc, sulphur and copper. It contains also fibre and polyphenols plus it has heaps of vitamin E and C. Because of its high level of antioxidants, cacao can enhance cognition and positive mood; no wonder chocolate makes us so happy!
Many traditional chocolate products contain a lot of white sugar, food additives and dairies, all of which may cause problems not only to our digestion but also to the merry minds of our little Easter bunnies craving for sweets. Tip! When you make chocolate yourself from raw cacao you can avoid all the nasty sugar rushes plus surprise your loved ones by hiding their favourite freeze dried wild berries or nuts inside the treats. If the ingredients are chosen with care, raw chocolate is more than just a sweet treat; it’s healthy food that makes you satisfied with just few bites.
Raw Chocolate with Whole Wild Berries
freeze dried whole Wild Berries or your favourite nuts
Raw chocolate paste
- 1dl raw cacao butter*
- 1dl raw cacao powder*
- cold pressed coconut oil
- 3tbsp Birch Sugar
- 1/2tsp Nettle Crystal Salt or rose salt
- a hint of vanilla (optional)
*Make sure that the cacao product contains a certificate that ensures the product being produced in a sustainable manner with respect for human rights.
- Place the butter and oil in a heat resistant jar and place it in a hot water bath (in a sink with a tub or in a pot on the stove with medium temperature or in a dish filled with hot water). Let it sit until the butter and oil are melted. Raw cacao butter melts in 35 Celsius degrees and cold pressed coconut oil in 25 degrees. This way you’ll be able to save all the healthy vitamins and fats of cacao!
- Turn the heat of if using a stove.
- Add in the raw cacao powder, Birch Sugar and Nettle Herb Salt. Blend well. Taste and add some Birch Sugar, salt or raw cacao powder if needed.
- Pour 1/3 of the chocolate paste on the bottom of an ice cube mould or small muffin cups.
- Place in a freezer for 10 minutes.
- Take the moulds off the freezer and add a tiny pile of wild berries in the centre of each mould. Place them in a freezer for another 10 minutes.
- Take them off and fill the rest of the moulds with 2/3 of the chocolate paste.
- Now, the chocolate should freeze straight away, but if you want you can place the raw chocolates in the freezer for another ten.