Sometimes I look at people's gorgeous food pictures on Instagram and think to myself, "I'll never make the time to make that." (Note the empowering difference between saying "I'll never HAVE the time" versus "I'll never MAKE the time." One is victimstance. One is choice. I digress).
And yet, it doesn't have to take that much time. I whipped up this recipe I'm calling "Fly Me to the Moon Chocolate" (because it gets you HIGH. The legal kind, of course.), while I was chatting with my beloved friend on her birthday. It wasn't hard. It took maybe 20 minutes of actual effort. And if I was focused it would have taken less time.
I used the "Basic Chocolate Recipe" from the Moon Juice Cookbook. In the cookbook, she recommends a method of "batch cooking," where you make large batches of things that you use over days, weeks, or months, and that provide a basis for all of your cooking.
The cookbook tends toward too much raw food for me—my personal experience aligns with the the Ayurvedic perspective that pre-cooking your food supports digestion and health. The dry and cold properties of raw foods are too vitiating for my vata nature. For those unfamiliar with Ayurveda, it means that my body-mind type tends more toward being thin, dry, anxious, fast...out of balance, I get insomnia, constipation, anxiety, depletion, and nervous system issues—lots of nerve pain! Tending my vata with cooked foods, oil massage, routine, and good sleep patterns is SO worth it for me!
That said: chocolate is a central nervous system stimulant, and is drying by nature, so it's overall not good for vata-types like me. But it's sooooooo good, and it's important to ENJOY and CELEBRATE life! The Ayurveda doc I have a mega girl-crush on right now, Dr. Kathy Jo Steheli, advocates living an "80/20" lifestyle: 80% of the time, do right by your health and your body, as best as you know how. 20% of the time, do whatever you want!
So this is a fantastic "20% recipe." ENJOY!
Fly Me to the Moon Chocolate Bark
Note: most of these ingredients can be substituted or omitted if you don't have it. Use the chocolate as a canvas and create to your heart's desire!
Basic Chocolate Recipe (from the Moon Juice Cookbook)
In a double boiler (or you can use a pot with simmering water and a stainless steel mixing bowl on top like I did :), melt the cacao paste & cacao butter. Stir constantly. Add the vanilla & salt. Transfer to a blender and blend until well-combined. (I personally thought this step wouldn't be necessary, but found that without the blending, the butter & paste remained somewhat separated from each other.)
Here's the part where you can get experimental. I added:
1/4 c. strongly brewed Rasa Koffee (I used 2 T in 1 cup water & let steep 30 minutes)
1 tsp chaga extract (I love the one from Sayan Chaga but there are many available)
1 tsp mucuna pruriens (from Sun Potion: a bean that contains the precursor to dopamine)
1 tsp reishi (also from Sun Potion)
1 tbsp Anandamide (amazing cacao + herbs mix from Sun Potion)
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or to taste—can also use stevia. I HATE most stevia but I LOVE the one from Anima Mundi Herbals
1 tbsp raw local honey (or to taste)
3 tbsp goji berries
Then I blended it, and poured it all into a shallow dish.
It didn't look so pretty. And I remembered that old adage, "If something isn't pretty yet, just add flowers." (OK maybe I just made that up).
I gathered some rose petals from the garden, and sprinkled them along with some calendula & lavender flowers, and some goji berries on top. All of those you can buy at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Put in the fridge to cool.
While it was cooling, I took my remaining Rasa Koffee and blended it in the dregs of the cacao that was in the blender and added a touch of milk for a delicious Rasa Mocha.
After the chocolate is cool, unceremoniously stab at it with a butter knife & spatula and break it off into irregular chunks, and VOILA!
And if you don't have nor want to buy any of those fancy ingredients, other things you can try include: spices like ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom; dried fruits, nuts, & seeds....citrus zest, like orange or lime....collagen powder...the cacao is your canvas...have fun!
And remember, flowers (or thin slices of citrus!) always make it prettier. :)