Should we all be eating chocolate for breakfast?
Welcome. I’m Kieran Renihan, founder of Chocolution. I’m at the Eden Project doing some fun and interesting workshops with chocolate. My mission is to help people understand and engage with chocolate like never before (well maybe like people did 2000yrs ago!).
Most of us feel like we should cut back on chocolate; that it’s not healthy. But actually, cocoa – the key ingredient in chocolate – is really, really good for you.
Cocoa comes from the beans of a small, tropical, evergreen tree, which are then fermented and roasted before they’re made into the sweet delicacy we know. Medical studies have shown that the antioxidants it contains are associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of heart disorders.
The chocolate I grew up on, however, was highly processed, low in cocoa content (12% – 34%) and high in fat and refined sugar. In the UK three in five of us eat this type of chocolate most of the time – and it’s this sort of thing we’re not meant to eat too much of.
You see, as with most things, chocolate should be about quality versus quantity.
My favourite type of chocolate is raw chocolate, minimally processed, with 70% cocoa and sweetened with agave nectar from the tequila cactus. It is the best breakfast food ever; uplifting, full of energy and vitality.
Did you know that cocoa contains compounds like anandamide, known as ‘the bliss chemical’ for its effect on mood, and phenylethylamine, which is released when you’re in love? While unsweetened raw cocoa is very bitter, eating it is like nothing else on earth – I heartily recommend trying it.
I believe that if we start to understand what chocolate really is, we can renew our relationship with it and start respecting, rather than ‘abusing’, it.
That’s exactly what we’re trying to do through the Chocolution. Our raw chocolate making kits are designed to help people, from school kids to foodies, learn about the ingredients that go into chocolate – and give them the opportunity to make their own healthy chocolate bars.
If you’d like to taste raw chocolate and have a go at making your own, at Eden’s Chocolate Jungle festival, keep an eye on the full event listing.
Or, if you’d like to get your hands on a chocolate kit for yourself, why not enter our competition? We’ve got five Eat Dark kits to give away, each containing the ingredients to make your own dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate bar, complete with a mould to shape it and agave nectar to sweeten it.Click For Our Bespoke Chocolate Workshop Information