The awesome answer is yes! But there's always a but.
Like most things, not all chocolate is created equal.
Most chocolate you see in the stores today or even in boutique chocolatiers are made by large industrial chocolate manufactures. Large industrial chocolate manufacturers focus on consistency of flavour, fluidity and texture to make sure they produce a great confectionary product. The downside of this focus is that it can destroy some or all of the nutritional value of its core ingredient - the cacao bean.
How does chocolate love you back? Chocolate is so much more than just confectionary.
Cacao beans come from the fruit of the Theobroma fruiting tree. Yes chocolate is made from fruit - now this is living!
The humble bean is known to protect the body from the impact of free radicals, reduce stress and depression and protect against heart diseases.
The bean contains the following key nutrients and antioxidants:
- saturated fatty acids, palmitic and stearic acids, and the mono unsaturated oleic acid,
- essential minerals and vitamins (magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese, A, B1, B2, B3, E and pantothenic acid),
- stimulants (theobromine, caffeine, tyramine and phenylethylamine),
- bioactive compound neurotransmitters (polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids/antioxidants).
High temperatures, over processing, substitute ingredients, high fructose sugars, preservatives, emulsifiers and synthetic flavourings do destroy the nutritional value.
The great news is that there are small number of chocolate makers who are going back to the old ways of making chocolate. The way that preserves the nutritional value of the cacao bean - plus tastes amazing!
17 Rocks chocolates are made from volcanic stone-ground chocolate. We make our chocolate from cacao beans sourced from our pacific neighbours, Papua New Guinea. Our beans are grown in volcanic rich soils deep within Papua New Guinea's rain forests.
We slow roast our beans at a low temperature to minimise any chemical and physical changes to the beans whilst reducing the concentration of volatile acids ie bitterness. We stone-grind the beans to release the cacao butter and create a delightful, smooth, rich chocolate delight. We add pure ingredients so we can limit the amount of sweetener we add to our chocolate without compromising on flavour.
That's how we make sure 17 Rocks chocolate loves you back!