Sharing something different today... because it's been a weird week. And because I have some interesting things to tell you about chocolate... and magnesium :) And don't worry, I'm not trying to feed you medicine here. Just highlighting a delicious way you can turn your chocolate treats into something extra wholesome.
Before you think I've turned nutritionista on you (not that that's a problem, it's just that clearly I'm not one)... and before we get to these delicious magnesium bombs... I've got to tell you what happened to me a few summers ago. One day out of the blue I began to experience horrible leg cramps upon waking up. Some days I'd even wake up because of that. Fast forward a month, leg cramps were still happening so I did some quick research about what could be causing it, and one of the things that really stood out on the list was magnesium deficiency. I don't know why that caught my attention -- but somehow I felt there was something to that, so I added it to my list of things to explore.
Now side story: back in the day I had a roommate who ate pumpkin seed butter every morning for breakfast, and boy did I make fun of her because, well... that stuff doesn't look the prettiest :S ...and compared to peanut butter or almond butter I thought it wasn't the greatest tasting either. So basically her apples and pumpkin seed butter were always subject to friendly ridicule :) That memory came to mind, and her telling me how pumpkin seeds are super rich in magnesium. So... back to my suspected magnesium deficiency. I caved in and bought a jar, realizing the irony of now ME having that stuff for breakfast...
I started having pumpkin seed butter (a natural high source of magnesium) for breakfast every day, not really believing it would do much, but it actually turned out to be tastier than I imagined (especially homemade!). Lo and behold shortly thereafter my cramps went away COMPLETELY. I was shocked at the precise results. It's rare to see such a quick and obvious result with natural cures, but this totally worked for me.
So pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed butter became little heroes in my life. And of course, my brain immediately starts thinking... green seed butter slopped onto apples is tasty and nutritious and all, but what about something prettier, more enticing... something you could feed to others who are picky about what their healthy food looks like...
Enter magnesium chocolates. See what I'm doing here? I'm giving you a reason to NEED more chocolate ;)
Anyways cramps or not, magnesium is actually a mineral that does a lot for the body. According to studies it appears to help to reduce chronic pains (a biggie for anyone with autoimmune conditions...), helps with building bone structure, strengthens heart muscles and heart health, enables nerve and enzyme function, relaxes the nervous system (and keeps you cheery), keeps conditions like diabetes at bay (because it helps with carb and glucose metabolism), reduces PMS symptoms (!), regulates melatonin and helps you to sleep better, alkalizes the body, helps with migraines... I can keep going, but I'm sure you get it: the bottom line is that job this little mineral has in the body is ENORMOUS. So why not give the body a little boost in all these departments? Especially when all that's involved is eating a delicious treat? :)
I packed these little bars with a selection of delicious magnesium rich foods: pumpkin seeds, figs, avocado, dark chocolate (yep, magnesium is one of the benefits of dark chocolate!), and maple syrup (yep, it's got a touch of magnesium in it too). There are many other combinations you can try, but I stuck to these simply because they're tasty :)
I do have to admit, nothing will ever come close in taste for me to these raw hemp chocolates, but considering the interesting and specific benefits of these bars, they're definitely worth trying out in your routine or for inspiration, or just for the love of trying strange new things ;)
A delicious mini raw dark chocolate bar packed with magnesium rich pumpkin seeds. Vegan and gluten-free.
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted or raw
- 8 soft dried black mission figs (remove and discard any hard stems)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ a small ripe avocado (peeled and de-seeded)
- 1 tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or use some fresh vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups chopped / chips / chunks of dark chocolate of your choice
- 1 - 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Place all ingredients, apart from melting chocolate and coconut oil, in a food processor and process into a sticky mass.
- Line a bread loaf pan (or anything of a similar size) with parchment paper. Transfer the processed mixture into the lined pan and press down into a smooth flat block. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour until the mixture firms up.
- Line a tray with parchment paper and place it in the freezer as well to chill (a cold tray will help your chocolates to set faster in a later step).
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl. Remove the chilled pan from the freezer. Lift the block out of the pan, trim the edges, and cut into bars (or smaller squares if you prefer). Place each bar on a fork, dip into the melted chocolate to coat all around. Run the bottom of the fork along the edge of the bowl to get rid of any excess chocolate. Then place on the chilled lined tray. Repeat until you coat all the bars. Decorate with desired toppings, drizzle with a bit of the extra melted chocolate, and place in the fridge or freezer to set for about 20 mins until the chocolate coating is firm to the touch. Enjoy! Keep bars refrigerated (or freeze some for later use).