Tag Archives: Cacao

♥ In The Mood . . . For Cacao

Looking for something different this Valentine’s Day? How about whipping up an aphrodisiac in your kitchen blender for you and your beloved? Rest assured, no eye of newt is required for this love potion.

“What the h—?” you may be thinking. And rightfully so. Truth be told, I stumbled upon this recipe a couple of years ago and, of course, I was intrigued. How could I not be?

“You have to try it to believe it! Every ingredient in this beverage is an aphrodisiac designed by nature to enhance your senses. This elixir is a marriage of flavor with none overpowering the others. Don’t omit the salt; it is the spark that lights the fuse.”

Does it work? Hmmm . . . maybe. 🙂 It’s a tasty beverage nonetheless. And different. Different, but ‘good’ different. Be forewarned, though: this recipe makes 4 cups. Wow, that’s a whole lotta aphrodisiac!

♥     ♥     ♥

Cacao Aphrodisiac Elixir

Recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

6 green cardamom pods

1 Tablespoon ginger, minced

4 cups filtered water

4 dried Kalamata figs, soaked in 1 cup of filtered water

2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon rosewater

Pinch of salt  (I used Fleur De Sel)

Directions:

Place the almonds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, ginger, and 2 cups water in a blender. Blend, gradually going from low-speed to high-speed, for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse the blender well and return the spiced water to the blender.

Add the figs and the fig soak water, cacao powder, vanilla extract, rosewater, salt, and the remaining 2 cups water. Blend on low-speed for 20 to 30 more seconds or until the figs are well blended.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer again and serve.

Happy Valentine’s Day . . . don’t stay up too late. 😉

♥ The Celebratory Cacao Smoothie

I haven’t run since early September. Why? Back-to-back surgeries. Lack of motivation. The thrill was gone. But, honestly, I haven’t been a “runner” for a couple of years now. And I miss it! I miss the rhythmic pounding of my sneakers on the shoulder of the road. I miss the intoxicating aroma of the wet pines in the winter and the flowering trees in the spring. I miss the sights and the sounds that you never experience while sitting within the confines of a car. I miss the first gulp of cold, cold water after a hot, sweaty run. And I miss the self-satisfaction and inner peace that comes from being a runner: “when your feet are in the right place, your mind will follow.”

I had that on my mind when I rose this morning. I allowed myself some gentle yoga while I thought about the limits that I used to push my body to (and beyond) just a few short years ago. I sat at the laptop with my morning cup of coffee and began to read through my e-mail inbox. A blog post about running caught my eye.  I read it. I clicked her links, and then a few more links. And then a miracle happened: I put on my long-neglected running shoes and my ratty old “Just Do It” t-shirt and I stepped on the treadmill. I fixed my determined gaze upon my motivational focal point: an old Bloomsday poster with a refrigerator magnet affixed to the metal frame. And I began to run!

I promised myself that I would only run 1 mile [Sidenote: technically, I am not medically cleared to run until my post-op appointment next week]. And, truthfully, I was more than happy to step off the treadmill after only 1 mile. But I did it! And while it was difficult, it was also an exhilarating victory (albeit a small one) for me. I can’t wait to climb back on and do it all over again. But for now, it is (celebratory) smoothie time.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the Cacao Bliss Smoothie at Free Bird in South Lake Tahoe. Since that trip, I have been on a mission to replicate it. While my version is not identical, it’s still pretty dang good. I added a banana to my version of the smoothie and I used the organic (but not raw) cacao powder that I already have on hand. I also added cacao nibs for an extra bit of yumminess. And, because it is a celebration of sorts, I enjoyed my cacao smoothie in a choc-tini glass.

♥     ♥     ♥

Cacao Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (or canned lite coconut milk)

1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)

2 heaping Tablespoons cacao powder

4 Tablespoons almond butter

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (The Free Bird uses Celtic sea salt in their smoothie but I like Fleur de Sel because I think it pairs wonderfully with chocolate)

1 large pinch of cacao nibs (about 1/2 Tablespoon), optional

15 to 20 ice cubes (depending on cube size and the desired thickness of the smoothie)

Instructions:

Place the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra cacao nibs if desired.