Cacao is a powerful healer. Indulge in the decadence of a cacao ceremony or simply make this elixir at home. Cacao has the potential to open your heart and assist in deep emotional release. So it’s no surprise that during emotional distress we are drawn to chocolate. Many of us say it’s to escape or distract us from the problem at hand, but with this new information, and the right form of cacao, you can use chocolate to move and transcend negative emotions and assist in your healing.
Cacao is NOT Cocoa
Before we dive into the recipe for the cacao elixir we need to clear up the confusion between Cacao and Cocoa. They are not simple spelling mistakes, Cacao is not the hoity toity way of saying chocolate. They are in fact very different from one another. Cacao is the raw, unsweetened, unadulterated, form of the cacao beans. The powder is a result of a cold-pressed procedure that keeps the beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, flavonoids, any other active healing compounds of the cacao plant intact. This is the purest form of chocolate you can comsume. This form of chocolate is said to be the best and highest source of antioxidants of all foods and the highest source of magnesium of all foods. (And we are all magnesium deficient these days, but this is entire other post on its own) Cocoa on the other hand looks almost identical but it has been blasted with heat, destroying these beneficial compounds. Most often the powder has little to no nutritional value left and is also loaded with sugar and additives. This is the chocolate you have probably been buying from your local store of the years. So when you are preparing this Cacao Elixir make sure you are using the real thing, Cacao, here’s why: A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a cup of hot cacao had close to double the amount of antioxidants than a glass of red wine, more than double the amount of green tea, and four to five times more than black tea! So lets get to it!
Ingredients for your Elixir
For 1 dose: 1 cup of water 1 heaping tablespoon of cacao powder 1 heaping tablespoon of cacao paste Pinch of cayenne pepper Honey as a sweetener to taste Optional spices: cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, turmeric, ginger, mesquite powder, maca, ashwaganda, chaga mushroom, peanut butter Optional additional: coconut milk, almond milk, or ghee(clarified butter) My personal favorite combo: cayene, cardamom, cinnamon, sea salt, mesquite powder, maca, a pinch of turmeric, a dash of black pepper, and a tablespoon of raw honey blended up with a tablespoon of ghee. The ratio of cacao to water is just a matter of what consistency you want. If you want it thinner, simply add more water. If you want a thick elixir, add less water- this is the way I personally like to perpare it. The cayenne helps with the assimilation of the cacao, it’s not necessarily required but this is how it was done traditionally in scared cacao ceremonies done by the Maya and Aztecs. Cow’s milk has been shown to block the active healing compounds, the flavonoids, in cacao. So if you use milk it will reduce the effects of your elixir and you may miss out on the sacred healing properties of cacao. Ghee however, goes through a clarification process that removes the milk solids making it a delicious option to “creamify” your concoction.
Super easy and quick to make 5-10 minutes. 1. Heat water with cayenne to just before a boil, don’t let it come to a boil during your preparation. 2. Take your cacao paste/block and cut into smaller pieces with a knife. 3. Add in the cacao paste and powder. 4. Use a spoon to stir the elixir until the cacao has melted. 5. After the cacao has melted add your desired sweetener and spices. Slowly continue stirring the elixir as the cacao will settle at the bottom over time. 6. After all the spices are added and the chocolate is melted I like to blend the elixer (in a heat save blender) with some ghee to create a thick and smooth, creamy, delicous potion. Enjoy!
What to Expect
Cayenne is a synergist. It helps increase blood circulation throughout the body allowing cacao to course through your veins with more efficiency. Theobromine, one of cacao’s main active compounds stimulates blood flow to the brain and to the heart. The amount of oxygen going to your brain can increase up to 40%, blood vessels dilate, your skin floods with oxygen becoming more sensitive. Many will feel the cacao immediately, feeling a buzz or high within half an hour. The heart opens, there is a feeling of deep love, gratitude, creativity, and expansion, flowing outward from the heart centre. For this reason Cacao has been know to assist in deep emotion release. The open heart connection is also what gives Cacao it’s aphrodisiac reputation. The full effects may last up to 5 hours. One thing to know is to go slow, take 2oz sips. Less can be more for some people. If you take too much at one time you may feel unwell.
History of Sacred Cacao Ceremony
For over 3000 years the world has been obsessed with chocolate. Todays chocolate, the highly processed bars, the Hershey’s kisses, the sugar laden hot cocoa, the creamy ice creamy is nothing to what it once was. In ancient Mesoamerica some 3500 years ago, chocolate was a scared specialty food. The Maya and the Aztecs believed that cacao was a gift from the gods. It was their most prized possession. The Maya drank cacao as a thick hot, spicy, sultry, ceremonial elixir. Reserved for the rich and the royals. When it came to the ceremonial and ritual use of cacao it was used spiritually and even politically, anything from healing ceremonies and bright festivals, to brutal blood sacrifices to honour the gods. Today this delicious tradition has made its way over to the the Western world, each day gaining more popularity- and of course without the ceremonial bloodshed. Cacao is a powerful healer. Respect the medicine. Enoy the medicine. PS: If you are in Vancouver and want some epic Cacao, contact my great good Sophia at Turtle Island Collective.ca or facebook page: Turtle Island Collective I consider her my mini cacao shaman, she creates delicious cacao concoctions from chocolates to body butters, and she has even spent some time with famous Cacao shaman in Guatemala. Give her a shout and she can hook you up with some delicious ceremony elixir worthy chocolate. “Turtle Island Collective is comprised of a handful of artisans who believe in sourcing the highest quality ingredients with the lowest carbon footprint. Specializing in hand-crafted chocolate, simplicity and environmental awareness.”