Here’s a sweet and healthy treat from KDHamptons  contributing wellness editor, Charlotte LaGuardia…  “Cacao has more calcium then a glass of cow’s milk, is a plant-based source of iron, and can boost your mood almost immediately! The cacao content is what gives chocolate it’s health benefits and dark chocolate its bitterness. This superfood is not new, there are records of cacao being used for spiritual rituals in the Yucatan more than 4,000 years ago! It is important to keep in mind the cacao is different from cocoa,” shares Charlotte.

Raw cacao, either in powder or bean form, has the highest antioxidant content and has not been chemically processed. 

Conventional cocoa powder and chocolate have both been chemically processed and roasted to reduce bitterness and darken the color. Unfortunately, this damages the antioxidants and flavanols, leaving the cocoa and chocolate without most of the original benefits. 

By choosing raw organic fairly traded cacao not only are you getting 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, you are also reducing your intake of pesticides, and supporting fair wages a child labor laws for cacao harvesting.

These brownies were designed to quench chocolate cravings in a more healthful way. Each brownie contains plenty of fiber, omega-3 fats, magnesium, and iron. All of which have been shown to boost mood and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. They are also great for premenstrual syndrome, cramps and cravings because of the magnesium content. 

2 TBS ground flax seed

1/4 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

2 ½ cups purple sweet potato, grated

4 TBS raw honey

½ cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup raw cacao powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 TBS almond flour

2 TBS tapioca starch

¼ tsp pink salt

½ cup dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 9X9 glass baking dish with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides. 

In a mixing bowl combine the flax seed and coconut milk, let sit. Grate the sweet potato and melt the coconut oil. Once coconut oil is melted turn off the heat and add the honey, stir until liquified.

Add sweet potato, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla to the flax seeds and stir until well incorporated. 

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, almond flour, tapioca starch, and salt. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully incorporated. Lastly fold in the chocolate chips and transfer to the parchment lined baking dish. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester stick comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a month. 

For more great recipes follow Charlotte LaGuardia, MS, CNS;

Clinical Nutritionist, Thrive East; 631-374-5510