How to Make Chocolate the Healthy and Yummy Way (No Special Equipment Needed!)
First things first, when I talk about making healthy chocolate from home without any special equipment, I'm not saying things like your hands, a fork, and a refrigerator are not needed. Unless you view your pair of hands as delicate tools too special for chocolate-making, you'll be delighted with what I'll be sharing with you next.
That said, what I'm actually referring to is something like this chocolate electric melting pot, which is something you absolutely won't need. But if you're not looking to slave the day away in the kitchen mixing ingredients together, then I highly recommend investing in a good high-speed blender.
7 Basic Chocolate-Making Equipment
In order to make chocolate, you'll first need to have a few tools at your disposal. These are all basic things any kitchen should be equipped with in the first place -- so you have no excuse!
To whip up some homemade chocolate, look around your kitchen for these equipment:
- Something to help you blend ingredients quickly (a pair of hands and whisk work nicely)
- Mixing spatula
- Measuring Cups
- Fine sieve
- Saucepan with shallow sides
- Ice cube tray
4 Basic Ingredients For Your Healthy Chocolate Base
After you've gathered the necessary equipment, you'll now need four core ingredients to start cooking up some delicious chocolate.
Here are the required ingredients plus a short run-through on what they offer:
- Cacao Powder
Chocolate is usually made from roasted cocoa beans. However, the problem with the roasting process is that it alters the molecular structure of cocoa beans, thereby reducing the overall nutritional value.
Although some people opt to use raw beans in order to maintain the nutrient content of cocoa, shelling the beans is a laborious task and it may leave you vacuuming your kitchen for a week.
With that in mind, the healthier and more convenient option I recommend is, of course, cacao powder. This yummy powder isn't roasted like commercial cocoa beans and it's processed at much lower temperatures.
Cacao powder is also considerably easier to find and the powder already comes with the shells removed to ease your work.
Among the many brands of cacao powder out there, this HealthWorks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder comes highly recommended by past purchasers at Amazon for its unsweetened and rich flavor. So, if your kitchen is lacking some cocoa powder, you may want to pick some up before proceeding to the next step.
Also, because cacao powder is less processed, it's one of the purest forms of chocolate you can consume. It's often thought to be the richest source of antioxidants and magnesium among foods.
As a side note, you can make healthy chocolate with cacao nibs. However, the powder form will provide a much more creamy and consistent chocolate texture.
- Healthy Fat or Oil
Whether you eventually opt for cacao powder, cacao beans, or cacao nibs, you'll eventually need to combine the cacao with some unsaturated fat or oil to create your chocolate batter.
Some good sources of healthy fat include olive oil, coconut oil, cacao butter, and clarified butter. These sources are rich in monounsaturated fats which raise HDL (good cholesterol), lower LDL (bad cholesterol), and prevent build up of plaque in your arteries.
The texture of chocolate will vary during the final cooling process (as explained below) depending on which fat or oil you choose to utilize.
The third basic ingredient needed to make chocolate is milk. Just like the rest of the ingredients, it's important to keep our health in mind when choosing the milk that will go into our chocolate batter.
Almond milk makes a great option and will go a long way in helping you prepare some healthy homemade chocolates.
- Organic Sweeteners
Although sugar is the key to making delicious homemade chocolate, I'd advise anyone to not use processed sugar whenever possible as it's just plain unhealthy. There are so many healthier options out there that it boggles my mind why more people don't use them.
And we're learning to make healthy chocolate so it should be a given that we'll not be using refined white sugar, yes?
10 Healthy Sugar Alternatives
Here are ten sugar alternatives for you to choose from. Not only do they add sweetness to your chocolate, quite a few of these alternatives are also loaded with nutrients.
How to Make Chocolate: Your Step-by-Step Recipe
Now that you're aware of the basic equipment and ingredients needed, take some time to look through this simple chocolate recipe that will show you how to make chocolate from home with just four healthy ingredients. And as promised, the method I'm sharing will not require the use of any special tools.
So, let's get down to it! Tie your apron, set up the table, and follow along as I walk you through the process of making healthy homemade chocolate.
(Click on the tabs to navigate.)
- Step-by-step Instructions
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Melt the cacao butter and mix it in a bowl of olive/coconut oil.
- Next, place the bowl inside a hot pot of water. If you have a double boiler, that would work even better. In case you don't, just use a saucepan with shallow sides. Be careful not to pour any water inside the bowl.
- Using a whisk or fork, beat the mixture as you gradually add cacao powder. It's a good idea to pour the powder though a fine sieve, although this might require more than one pair of hands. Sieving the cacao powder and beating the mixture will prevent pockets of air and lumps from forming inside the chocolate batter. This is important if you want to churn out chocolate with a smooth and even texture. Make sure to beat the mixture thoroughly until it becomes a thick paste.
- Ideally, you'll want to simmer the mixture over low heat, preferably at 110 F. Heat until hot while stirring the raw chocolate batter off the sides frequently with a spatula to prevent scotching.
- Add milk and the organic sweetener of your choice to the mixture. Remember to only add both ingredients gradually so that the paste doesn’t become too watery or too sweet. Keep stirring and tasting, and then adjust with more milk or organic sweetener as needed. You may also add a pinch of sea salt to balance the taste, although this is optional.
- Pour the hot chocolate mix into ice cube trays or chocolate molds lined with wax paper. You can also wait for the chocolate mixture to cool down and then cut out bars or roll it into little balls. You can make custom chocolate designs using a wide range of cookie cutters or stencils shapes as well. However, remember that the mold will be easier to manipulate into your desired shape when it's warm. If the mixture starts to harden, put it over hot water again to make the shaping process easy.
- Place your raw chocolate in a freezer for 30 minutes or 1 hour in a refrigerator.
- Finally, pop out your homemade chocolates from the mold and share them with friends or family before you eat them all up!
Optional Ingredients To Add To Your Chocolate
While the basic ingredients listed above form the foundation of your healthy homemade chocolate, you can jazz things up a little with some extra ingredients.
In addition to the nuts above, here are a few more suggestions to kick-start you chocolate making and experimenting journey:
- Chopped raisins
- Dried dates
- Crushed nuts
- Edible seeds and flowers
- Grated coconut
- Shredded lemon or orange rinds
- Green tea extract
- Goji berries
- Cacao nibs
- Purple corn powder (rich source of antioxidants)
Many people will tell you making chocolate from scratch is something best left to the professionals. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Whipping up some homemade chocolate is easy and fun. And with the method I've shared above, you can make chocolate on your own in less than 2 hours. So, why not give it a try? It's exciting to experiment with different ingredients to make tasty, wholesome chocolate that can't be found on any convenient store's shelf.
In conclusion, I'd like to stress the importance of embracing organic ingredients when making homemade chocolate. Making raw chocolate using natural ingredients is a delicious secret, and once you discover it, you'll never again settle for commercially-made chocolates loaded with processed sugar, hydrogenated oil, and questionable artificial preservatives.
There's nothing more I have left to teach you so bon appétit! Let me know how your own homemade chocolate turned out.
Want More Chocolate Recipes?
Feel free to use whatever you've learned from this post to make your own chocolate flavors. If you don't know where to start, check out this 60 deliciously healthy homemade chocolate post for some ideas!