Chocolate sauce! Could be bold enough to suggest that’s all I need to write here? Because who doesn’t need a little bit of chocolate sauce in their life, especially when ‘normal’ chocolate is off the menu.
Yup, you read that right. Even though chocolate, or rather raw cacao powder, contains lots of amazing nutrients and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, chocolate in its solid form contains cocoa butter. This is what make chocolate solid, and it high in saturated fats. Which makes it on the no-go list of foods when you’re following a low fat health programme like Overcoming MS.
Both cacao and cocoa powder do contain fat, but in much lower amounts. Which makes it just about ok to have, but not in excess amounts! Indeed, research seems to show that people with MS who consumed hot chocolate had reduced fatigue. Which is good to know!
I’ve used raw cacao powder for this recipe. Cocoa powder is fine too (and less expensive), it just doesn’t contain the same level of anti-oxidants. That’s down to the processing once the cacao pods are harvesting. Cocoa powder is heated at super high temperatures – this gives it a sweeter, smoother flavour. This is what’s used for most chocolate products. Cacao powder is heated at much lower temperatures and is still considered raw. It leaves it which a much more bitter flavour but also with more nutrients and those wonderful anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Cacao contains high levels of flavonoids, a group compounds with strong anti-oxidant properties that help support the body and reduce inflammation. Specific research indicates that raw cacao can help reduce blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels and help reduce stress levels. However, all of these studies also stress the importance of a healthy diet!
As well as flavonoids, cacao contains good amounts of iron, magnesium and potassium, and cacao powder still has some fibre too. It also contains caffeine; less than coffee but still pertinent to anyone sensitive to caffeine.
This yummy chocolate sauce contains just 3 ingredients:
- cacao (or cocoa) powder
- maple syrup
- vanilla essence
When used immediately after making it can be used as a dip for fruit, poured onto desserts, ice cream or as a drizzle over cake. It can also be used as a cake topping as gets firmer once in the fridge, like with these yummy raw chocolate brownies.
Fortunately, I’ve never been a big chocolate fan (I’m more of a cake person!) so avoiding it hasn’t been too much of an issue for me. Even so, there’s always a time and a place when only chocolate will do; this recipe really hits the spot. I hope you enjoy it.
- small bowl
- small balloon whisk
- small jar to store
- 30 grams raw cacao powder
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Place all the ingredients into a small bowl. Stir well to combine using the small balloon whisk.
- Use immediately or store in a small jar in the fridge.