Tuesday 8 April 2014

Chocolate + Gelatin! What, why and how!

Oh hey! Whaddya know? It’s Easter again! And what does Easter mean?

Treasure hunting of course!!

What? Is that not what your mind first wandered to? Well, I guess given the title of this post, I can’t really blame you. Your mouth is probably salivating in the hope that I’m going to give you some delicious chocolate recipe. I might. We’ll see where things go….

But as an aside, why not go on a treasure hunt? Why not grab a little basket and go fossicking around in the bush like you did when you were 10? How much fun was that?! And as I have blogged about before (actually my hubby wrote it, but I’ll claim it, thank you very much), incorporating PLAY into our life is super important for our health and longevity.

OK back to chocolate…’cos it’s so so good. Interesting factoid – cacao (the only form of chocolate you should be consuming) contains several components that make us feel all lovey-dovey. These are:
  • Anandamide, which has been termed “The Bliss Chemical” and is apparently being studied for use in treating anxiety and depression
  • Phenethylamin (PEA), which is a feel-good neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that is responsible for the feeling of love!
  • Tryptophan, an amino acid that serves as a precursor (starting point) for serotonin, our happy hormone that is often depleted in people who suffer from depression

Plus it tastes delicious, so you probably don’t need convincing do you?

BUT - word of caution - cocoa powder and your average store-bought chocolate (I’m looking at you, Cadbury Crème Egg) do not contain these loved-up bliss chemicals as the processing destroys them. And if we’re talking about aforementioned popular easter “egg”, the cocoa content is not even the part we should be worried about. There’s the sugar, the oils, the emulsifiers, the preservatives, the colours, the artificial flavours……just step away from the egg, people.

As a side note, does the Easter Bunny freak the shit out of you, too? Clowns too. Stephen King has a lot to answer for!

Image via myorganizedchaos.net
OK, so what’s a brother to do if he wants some chocolate, sans crapola? Make your own! It’s stupidly easy. And nutritious. And delicious. (Like what Nutella claim their product is, but they’re lying – don’t trust those bastards at Ferrero!)

Anywho, it just so happens that I am running a chocolate workshop at my house tonight and we are going to make lots of yummy chocolate. Bet you wish you could come, right? Well, you can’t, but I thought it only fair that I give you one of the recipes. This one contains gelatin (I only use GreatLakes Beef Gelatin, and so should you – all of the others are rubbish!). 

Why is gelatin so good for you? 

Lots of reasons, including:
  • It supports the growth of hair, skin and nails (it is a great source of bioavailable collagen and keratin)
  • It nourishes your joints and helps with joint recovery
  • It can improve digestion (the glycine content is very nourishing for the gut lining)
  • It provides an anti-inflammatory effect (and considering inflammation is at the root of all disease, this is a good thing, no?)
  • The glycine can also help improve sleep quality
  • It helps the liver to detoxify your body (again, the glycine helps bind up those bad boys)

I add gelatin to pretty much everything – smoothies, breakfast, soup, broth, and now…..


Now when I say “chocolate jelly”, don’t expect it to be all “wibble wobble, wibble wobble, jelly on a plate” (what? You didn’t sing that song when you were little?)

This recipe actually turns out more like a delectable, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mousse. Here’s your how-to:

Makes 2 large serves (it’s pretty rich – you may want to divide it into 4)

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 T gelatin powder
  • 2 T water

  1. Add coconut milk, cacao, and honey to a pot over medium heat and whisk
  2. Combine gelatin and water in small bowl
  3. Add gelatin mix to the pot and stir well until dissolved
  4. When the mixture is warm, transfer into 2-4 small serving dishes (e.g. ramekins or cups)
  5. Place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes (or freezer to set faster)
  6. Serve as is or with fresh berries/coconut flakes

Now if you’re thinking “that’s not really a substitute for Easter eggs”, I say “stop being so ungrateful!”. Kidding. The team over at I Quit Sugar, as per usual, have you sorted with a variety of crap-free Easter options.

Happy Easter everyone! x

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