Ancient cacao drink is known as the proto-chocolate and an ideal alternative to coffee! If you are considering reducing your daily dose of coffee, you are probably wondering how to survive the day without caffeine? Luckily, there are adequate, healthy replacements! But with this particular replacement, you will be sure that nothing of that wonderful flavour is missing.
Coffee is seductive and addictive…
In our previous articles on coffee, we wrote about all the benefits of coffee and how it can be Keto friendly. However, if you consume more than 3 cups of coffee daily, chances are you are having too much! The obsession with the coffee can lead to stomach acid disruption, problems with the natural cycle of alertness and sleep, tremors, nervousness, diarrhoea, reduced fine motor coordination and lack of calcium and iron.
How good is your coffee?
Since coffee is mainly grown in the equatorial area of Latin America, South East Asia, South Africa and Africa, the industry needs to find ways to extend the shelf life and add preservatives. Due to higher crop yields and breeding, coffee is often treated with various pesticides. To obtain types with a different amount of caffeine and the specific flavour, the coffee industry often uses GMO manipulation. This is why it’s crucial to always search for organic 100% Arabica coffee if you want all the health benefits it can give!
Mean tricks of the food industry
What makes me upset is the denaturalisation of coffee in instant coffee-based drinks! In these products, coffee is the least present ingredient. Research by the German Stiftung Warentest foundation has shown that up to 60% of sugars can be present in instant drinks. Imany Coffee products are sold with added sugar and artificial sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers. The most famous one, the infamous 3-in-1 is made with hydrogenated vegetable oil! Now, every Ketonian knows, this is something we don’t want in our diet!
If you are drinking less than 3 cups of coffee a day, then you can enjoy your daily ritual and don’t allow it to grow into an addiction! Make sure you choose, buy, and drink more conscientiously! On the other side, if you want to have something similar, yet less aggressive – here’s a great alternative! Raw cacao!
Notice how I say CACAO and not COCOA? This is because CACAO is the unprocessed raw cacao bean, while COCOA is the processed form!
Raw cacao beans and ancient cacao drink
Records on the use of cacao bean by Maya, Aztec and Olmec civilisations, inhabited in Central America date back many centuries in past. These ancient cultures were used as the main ingredient in a bitter but healthy beverage called Xocolatl. This drink was highly appreciated for nutritional properties. It had the ability to raise energy and mood for a long period of time. That’s why cacao bean is a very important substitute for coffee, and it does not have to be exposed to high temperature.
Raw cacao beans have the largest antioxidant potential. No wonder the ancient cacao drink was considered as the warrior-potion. They are also rich in flavonoids! Furthermore, a special type of flavonoid called epicatechin protects brain cells from damage. Cacao beans also prevent excess fat bonding and help regulate blood pressure.
Cocoa is rich in minerals, and is especially known as a superior source of magnesium, one of the alkaline minerals that has a positive effect on heart function, lowers blood pressure, stimulates brain function. Additionally, it helps the digestive system (as a laxative) in the release of toxic substances from the body. It is also important for the development of healthy and strong bones. It can reduce and eliminate cramps, which is probably the primary reason why women are craving for chocolate during the menstrual cycle.
The raw form of cacao is an excellent source of iron and sulfur. These minerals are also known as beautifiers. They strengthen nails, hair and skin. Also, these minerals can detoxify the liver and stimulate the work of pancreas. In addition, cacao is rich in calcium, zinc, copper, sodium and manganese. It also contains important amino acids, especially tryptophan and anandamide. They have a fundamental role in stimulating a chemical reaction that brings a sense of satisfaction and happiness. Furthermore, cacao phenylethylamine increases concentration and memory capacity.
In the industrial chocolate, all the benefits of cacao bean are lost by roasting and processing. The industry process the beans at temperatures higher than 150˚C. By mixing cacao with sugar, milk and chemical additives they literally destroy all the health benefits. Such processing destroys most of the antioxidants and nutrients in cacao.
How to prepare ancient Cacao drink?
In this particular recipe, we will really travel back in time but use the modern kitchen convenience to prepare a healthy beverage that can replace coffee. Whether you just want to have one cup of coffee less daily or you want to replace it totally with this beverage, you will be surprised by the energy and flavour it will bring!
Ancient Cacao Drink
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 300 ml (1,5 cup) water
- 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp red hot paprika powder
- 1 tsp green stevia leaf powder optional
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Place the water in a deep saucepan. Add coconut oil, Ceylon cinnamon, hot paprika powder and stevia leaf powder. Bring this to a boil. Set it aside and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture.
Now place raw cacao powder in a ceramic cup and cover it with just a small amount of this spice-infused water. Stir well using a wooden or ceramic spoon. (avoid using a metal spoon) Now add the rest of the liquid and stir well.
You can enjoy this beverage hot or cold, but always have it freshly prepared. I strongly advise to have it right after your meal, not in between the meals.