Eating 8 beans a day, whichever way you choose.
You can nourish your Body, Heart and Mind in a real way with the Super Cacao Bean.
By you enjoying the Cacao beans daily, great discoveries will be made in new ways to use them. The Cacao trees share that only 40% of what this incredible food can be used for has been thought of by the human mind.
These Photos were taken in the Solomon Islands, October 2019, where with the sponsorship of Strongim Bisnis of Australian Aid, we showed the villages and Regional Training Centres how to use their own Cacao beans on a daily basis. Its a thrilling time for Cacao as we open the doors for it to become a daily food. Our hearts will sing when Cacao is center stage on the dinner table, alongside salt and pepper..
Eating this food daily will change your life!
Ideally source high quality fermented sun dried beans, ideally where the origin and the quality of the farmers lives and how the sale of these beans support them in a real way is known.. The beans have had over 65% of its moisture removed in the sun drying so they can be stored for years. Just store in a air tight container.
Slowly roast the beans. This can be done in the oven but it is best if they are slow roasted on the frying pan over a gently heat so the fullness of the experience can be enjoyed. Turn the stove on medium and allow the pan to warm up and then turn down to low.
Place the beans on the pan ensuring all beans touch the surface(like making pop corn).
The pan should never get hotter then being able to move the beans around with the palm of you hand.
Allow them to sit for a few minutes without moving and then move the beans around and allow to sit in one place again for about 30 seconds. Continue this process.
The time of roasting will be aprox. 8 minutes but it is not an exact science, rather its about you connecting with the beans and with the aroma that is arising. Take a moment to appreciate it. Breath it in - a beautiful chocolate moment of presence. A popping noise will draw you back into your sense of sound as the skins begin to shrink, the cacao butter melts inside the bean in the heat and the bean starts to expand.
Note: A low heat is necessary, else the cacao butter inside the bean will burn and there will be a dominate burnt taste.
Once the popping starts remove the beans from the heat and allow them to rest for a few minutes. We did this on an open fire in the villages.
Whilst the beans are still warm, start to peel them by squeezing the shell which will crack and remove the whole bean. Keep the husk/shell.
Now you have whole beans, cacao nibs if you break the beans into pieces, and Cacao husk Tea!
You can enjoy:
CACAO HUSK TEA
Keep the skins that you have peeled in a glass jar or container for your favourite cup of tea.
Boil the water, add a tablespoon of husks and allow to sit for 5 minutes and your cup of Cacao or as they call it in the Solomons, Kokoa Skinnie tea is ready! And have some fun - experiment with your favourite herbal teas and created blends with the Cacao husks.
Ideally eat a minimum of 8 whole roasted peeled beans every day. After roasting they will be soft and warm, but as they cool down the cacao butter within the bean will harden and the bean itself will become crunchy. It is a beautiful whole amazing food, bringing minerals, iron, magnesium, your daily source of antioxidants and serotonin to support a whole healthy happy day.. 8 beans a day keeps the doctor away..you can eat more of course - I always do!
About twice a week i get up a few minutes earlier then the now teenagers in my home and have my Cacao bean roasting time so I can be fully with the beans and enjoy the magic of these three steps. I then always keep two cups on the bench, one with the roasted whole beans and one for the shells. Every day I carefully count out 8 beans or more depending on how I feel and what is ahead of me for teh day, peel them and eat them for breakfast. That's all my body needs first thing in the morning and within 10-15 minutes I experience the boost of positivity and slow extra energy coming through. I will then have a cacao smoothie for morning tea, the recipe of which I will post soon.. Note the Cacao bean contains only a miniute level of caffeine. It is nothing like coffee. The energy is a slow sustaining release.
When the beans cool down, place them in a bag and crush with a rolling pin to make Cacao nibs. This is simply what Cacao nibs are - the roasted peeled bean broken into small pieces. Keep stored in a glass jar and a personal suggestion is to place on the table with every meal. This is the new salt and pepper and will bring balance of flavour and nutrients to every meal. Add to porridge, granola, smoothies, muffins, bliss balls, add to vanilla yogurt and for savoury, sprinkle over steamed vegetables or fish, add to tossed salads and discover your way of enjoying them.
Having recently become vegan, its is a fundamental nutrient in my diet and of course a fundamental food!
Whilst the beans are still warm, placed peeled beans into a Breville spice & coffee grinder.(see photo below), and fill to half way.
Start slowly to grind. Hold down for 10 seconds and stop, and keep repeating this process. First they will become powder, and this can be also used for smoothies (incredibly healthy for smoothies as the powder still contains the fat and so the health properties are optimised more by the body). After about 5 minutes of blending, the powder will become paste as the cacao butter releases. The first sign will be a slight indication of moisture, as the cacao butter releases and this will continue until the whole mass becomes a liquid. Yes your won chocolate!
The further you go the smoother your chocolate will be. This will not be as smooth of course as machine ground chocolate, but it will be perfect for homemade chocolate and for ceremony grade Cacao drinks and has its own unique qualities.
Make sure you scrap all chocolate out before it sets! Scrap out with a soft spatula into muffin moulds with a paper cup liner, for example.
Place liquid paste from the spice grinder into boiling water and allow to boil for 5 minutes intensely to make thick luscious hot chocolate. Sweeten with own choice of sweetner, honey/coconut sugar/maple syrup..
40gs of chocolate to 120 mls of water to make the most gorgeous real hot chocolate. The boiling process is key to make it thick - just stand and watch the alchemy that takes palce from watery hot chooclate to thick luscious hot chocolate!
Stored 100% chocolate
Once you have scraped out the chocolate from the spice grinder, place on baking paper of in a muffin paper in a muffin tin and once set this can be stored for months and used to:
Grate over food or chop up and add to cakes or savoury food or to make hot chocolate at a later date adding sweetner of choice.
Scrap out the liquid chocolate from the grinder into a bowl, add dried fruits, nuts, sweetner of choice and anything and everything really. Spread out on baking paper and allow to set. Break into pieces and eat it all or store for later. It is endless what flavours can be used that will add texture, contrast and look. I love to add lots of cacao nibs for the crunch, hazelnuts, essential oils, dried fruits for sweetness.
This will be untempered chocolate, taste amazing but wont had the shine or snap that tempered store chocolate has. That can come or not. In the Solomon Islands we are developing a whole new time of untempered chocolate because it does not melt in the heat like tempered chocolate does.
And a final note - enjoy the gift of electricity for the Solomon way is to hand pound the warm roasted peeled beans in a wooden pounder, its a great work out in the heat of the tropics, but incredible because it means every village can make their own chocolate.