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Cooking Class 2.12.2017
Cacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa powder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.
Cocoa beans are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree. The fruit of the cocoa tree is a pod full of sweet pulp enfolding a cluster of about 20-40 cacao seeds. Cocoa refers to the low-fat constituent of the finely ground cacao beans. These ground beans, known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, also contains cocoa butter which is a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat. Cocoa butter is a mixture of monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and saturated fats, namely stearic acid and palmitic acid. About 50-60% of cocoa liquor consists of cocoa butter.
Cacao bark, butter and flowers have also been valued since ancient times for treating various diseases like skin ailments, bowel malfunction and wounds. Cocoa has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities. Health benefits include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, constipation, diabetes, bronchial asthma, cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome and various neurodegenerative diseases. It helps to improve cardiovascular health and brain health. It also helps in treating copper deficiency.
Commercially available chocolates and cocoa-products may not be rich in the original beneficial flavonols since their properties get destroyed by over-processing and heat. In order to obtain the benefits of cocoa, it is important to consume the correct source of cocoa. Milk/dairy blocks the absorption of the antioxidants in chocolate, so be sure to check the labels!
Antioxidant Capacity: Studies have shown it is evident that cocoa exhibits higher antioxidant activity than against green and black tea, and red wine. Antioxidants helps to neutralize the oxygen-based free radicals that are present in the body. Cacao is abundant in phenolic phytochemicals and possesses a high amount of flavonoids as well.
Of course, everything in moderation!
Jodi’s Sweet Potato Brownies
Grain Free, Paleo, GF, Dairy free
Happily serves 12
ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
2 medium Sweet Potatoes
14 Medjool Dates
1 1/2 Cups Quinoa or Almond Flour
4 TBSP Raw CACAO Powder
3 TBSP maple Syrup (Grade B) or Coconut netar
Pinch of sea salt
Peel Sweet Potatoes. Slice/cut and steam for about 20 mins until soft.
The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook.
Add Sweet Potatoes and Dates to food processor, blend until a creamy smooth texture.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, then add cream mixture. Stir well.
Place on Parchment paper lined baking dish and bake for 20-30 mins on 350 until the toothpick comes out dry.
Allow to cool 10 mins for the brownies to gel together, very important step!!
Tip: If you don’t use raw cacao powder, you cause conventional cocoa powder but you will need to double the quantity.
Chocolate Nut Butter Cookies
GF, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 12
ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chocolate Peanut or Sunflower butter
3/4 Cup Coconut sugar
Combine all ingredients. Bake on 350 for 7-8 mins.
If you are not using an already flavored nut butter, you can use a regular nut butter and ad 1/4 cup raw cacao
Chocolate Iced Coffee Protein Shake
Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 1
ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
2 TBSP Raw Cacao powder
2 TBSP Collagen Powder
2 oz Coconut milk
2 oz Cold brew (optional)
4-6 oz Chai Tea or water
Dash of cinnamon
Stevia Powder if desired sweeter
Blend all ingredients in bullet/blender, transfer to shaker bottle.
Green tea is the least processed and thus provides the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea. Green tea is made by briefly steaming the just harvested leaves, rendering them soft and pliable and preventing them from fermenting or changing color. After steaming, the leaves are rolled, then spread out and “fired” (dried with hot air or pan-fried in a wok) until they are crisp. The resulting greenish-yellow tea has a green, slightly astringent flavor close to the taste of the fresh leaf.
In black tea production, the leaves are first spread on withering racks and air-blown, which removes about one-third of their moisture and renders them soft and pliable. Next, they are rolled to break their cell walls, releasing the juices essential to fermentation. Once again, they are spread out and kept under high humidity to promote fermentation, which turns the leaves a dark coppery color and develops black tea’s authoritative flavor. Finally, the leaves are “fired,” producing a brownish black tea whose immersion in hot water gives a reddish-brown brew with a stronger flavor than green or oolong teas.
Oolong tea, which is made from leaves that are partially fermented before being fired, falls midway between green and black teas. Oolong is a greenish-brown tea whose flavor, color and aroma are richer than that of green tea, but more delicate than that of black.
Green tea has always been, and remains today, the most popular type of tea from China where most historians and botanists believe the tea plant originated throughout all of Asia. Why is this so? Perhaps because green tea not only captures the taste, aroma and color of spring, but delivers this delightful bouquet along with the highest concentration of beneficial phytonutrients and the least caffeine of all the teas.
Herbs for Anxiety
Not looking to use Conventional Drugs to help ease Anxiety? Try some of these herbs.
Licorice Root contains a natural hormone alternative to cortisone, which can help the body handle stressful situations, and can help to normalize blood sugar levels as well as your adrenal glands, providing you with the energy necessary to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Some claim licorice stimulates cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, thereby calming the mind.As a soothing tonic, drink it warm as in a tea.
Kava Kava, an herb from the South Pacific, is a powerful muscle relaxer and analgesic. Kava Kava is also effective at treating depression and anxiety associated with menopause. http://www.care2.
Some herbal supplements reduce anxiety without making you sleepy (such as L-theanine), while others are sedatives. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is squarely in the second category. It is a sleep aid, for insomnia. It contains sedative compounds; the German government has approved it as a treatment for sleep problems.
Valerian smells kind of nasty, so most people take it as a capsule or tincture, rather than a tea. If you want to try it, take it in the evening—not before you go to work! Valerian is often combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile, and lemon balm.
Yes, it’s in beer, but you won’t get the tranquilizing benefits of the bitter herb hops (Humulus lupulus)from a brew. The sedative compound in hops is a volatile oil, so you get it in extracts and tinctures—and as aromatherapy in hops pillows.
“It’s very bitter, so you don’t see it in tea much, unless combined with chamomile or mint,” says Blumenthal. Hops is often used as a sedative, to promote sleep, often with another herb, valerian. Note: Don’t take sedative herbs if you are taking a prescription tranquilizer or sedative, and let your doctor know any supplements you are taking.
You can also take it as a supplement, typically standardized to contain 1.2% apigenin (an active ingredient), along with dried chamomile flowers. In one study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to patients taking placebo.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that passionflower has shown in a few studies to work as well as some of the benzodiazepine medications that are usually prescribed for treating anxiety.
A four-week double-blind study, for example, compared passionflower with oxazepam. Results showed oxazepam worked more quickly, but by the end of the study period, both treatments were shown to be equally effective. Bonus—side effects like daytime drowsiness were fewer with passionflower.
A second study also showed that passionflower helped ease symptoms like anxiety, irritability, agitation, and depression in participants going through withdrawal from an opiate drug addiction.
Dosage: Try one cup of passionflower tea three times daily, 45 drops of liquid extract daily, or about 90 mg/day.
A 2010 multi-center, a double-blind randomized study of lavender oil compared to anti-anxiety medication lorazepam found that both were effective against generalized and persistent anxiety. Bonus — lavender had no sedative side effects.
“Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects,” researchers stated, it could be an effective and “well-tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines” to treat generalized anxiety. An earlier 2000 study found similar results.
Dosage: Try about 80 mg/day of the supplement, or use the oil as an aromatherapy solution.
Though usually found in combination with other herbs, lemon balm also has anti-anxiety powers on its own.
Research published in 2004, for instance, gave participants a single dose of lemon balm extract (300 mg or 600 mg) or a placebo, then measured their mood after one hour. The higher dose resulted in reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose helped participants do math problems more quickly.
Dosage: Use in aromatherapy, try 300-500 mg of dried lemon balm three times daily, 60 drops daily, or 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm herb in hot water for a tea four times daily.
A 2012 double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave participants either placebo or a capsule containing 300 mg of high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha extract, twice a day. The study lasted for 60 days. Those taking the ashwagandha showed significant improvements. Even the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were substantially reduced in those taking the extract. And there were no serious side effects.
In an earlier 2000 study, ashwagandha had anxiety-relieving effects similar to those of lorazepam.
Dosage: Typical dosage is 300 mg standardized to at least one to five percent withanolides, once or twice a day.
This one isn’t really a herb — it’s a water-soluble amino acid, but it’s gotten such good research behind it, we had to include it here. It’s found mainly in green tea and black tea and is also available as a supplement.
Studies have found that it acts directly on the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety—without causing drowsiness.
Research from 2008, for example, found that those participants taking 50 mg of L-theanine a day had a greater increase in alpha (relaxed brain waves) activity than those who took a placebo.
An earlier 1998 study found that 200 mg a day leads to increased alpha brain waves and a relaxed, yet alert, a state of mind.
A later 2011 study found that it was also associated with reduced anxiety, and was well tolerated and safe for participants.
Dosage: A typical cup of black tea contains only about 25 mg of l-theanine and green tea only about 8 mg. While a cup of tea may be calming, if you want more potent effects, try a supplement, about 200 mg a day.