Tag Archives: chocolate

Yummy Scrummy Winner… and a Blu Animation!

Hello lovely readers!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and a great start to the week! 

Before I talk about anything else, I better put you out of your misery and announce the winner of the Yummy Scrummy giveaway. 

A piece of Yummy Scrummy will be on its way to one lucky winner tomorrow...

To select the winner, I allocated all the commenters a number (except Dan as it didn’t seem to fair to give him the chance to win his own chocolate brownie 😉 ) and then used random.org to generate a number. 

I’m excited to say that the lucky winner is…. Ragnhild (Vegan Aphrodite).  Congratulations Ragnhild!  I’ll be in touch shortly to get your postal address.

Thanks to everyone who took part.  I wish I could send you all a Yummy Scrummy!  I can’t do that BUT I have got another exciting giveaway planned for next month AND it has a chocolate theme again!  I’ll post a note on Facebook/Twitter once I know which week the giveaway will fall in.

Before I sign off tonight, I just wanted to share a surreal moment that I had at the weekend.  On Saturday morning, Lil’ L and I went along to the kids club at The Little Theatre Cinema in Bath.  The session was described on the billboard as ‘Animation Extravaganza’.  Considering the average age of kids at the club is around 5, I imagined that they would be showing a series of short cartoons like Tom & Jerry.  I was wrong!  Very wrong! 

One animation involved a zombie (eyes popping, bits of brain dripping out, blood splattering the pavement) chasing a chicken down a road.  Even Lil’ L buried his head into the back of the chair!  I sat there in amusement, taking sneaky peaks at the other parents to see the looks on their faces 😉

Whilst still inappropriate for 5 year olds (IMO), the next animation absolutely blew me away.  It’s by the graffiti artist Blu and is called ‘Big Bang Big Boom’.  It’s described as ‘a short unscientific story about evolution and its consequences’.  I found it utterly mesmerizing.

 

Maybe I’m just ‘not down’ with what 5 year olds are watching these days! 😉

 

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The Wonders of Raw Chocolate… and a Yummy Scrummy giveaway!

It’s Chocolate Week here in the UK, so happy chocolate eating everybody!

Those of you who know me will be aware that I’ve become just a teensy weensy bit obsessed with raw chocolate. 😉  For most of my life, I’ve never been that bothered about chocolate… but all this changed when I experienced my first piece of raw chocolate.  As soon as I popped it into my mouth, I could feel its magical properties taking hold.  I was hooked!  I immediately went home and googled ‘raw chocolate’ to see what I could find out about the wonder food.  I also got myself a copy of David Wolfe & Shazzie’s ‘Naked Chocolate’.

Have you ever wondered where cacao beans comes from?  Well, they come from the beautiful Theobrama Cacao.

(c) Luis Ovalles

I love the cocoa pods.  Aren’t they beautiful!  Here’s a shot of them at various stages of ripening.

(c) Medicaster

 And here’s a peek at the cacao beans inside one of those beautiful pods:

(c) US Department of Agriculture

And what did I discover from my research? Well, listen carefully chocolate lovers…  raw chocolate is SUPER GOOD FOR YOU!  It’s absolutely brimming with nutrients, which explains why my body felt like it was ‘zinging’ after one small mouthful.  Here’s a list of some of the important nutrients found in raw chocolate:

  • Magnesium (important for a healthy heart, muscle relaxation, strong bones, growth and repair, brain function. Sadly it’s the most deficient mineral in the diet)
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamins B and C
  • Antioxidant flavonols
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA) (dubbed the ‘love chemical’, PEA seems to help create feelings of attraction, excitement and euphoria.  PEA is noticeably abundant in the brains of happy people 🙂 )
  • Anandamide (known as the ‘bliss chemical’.  Anandamide is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ananda’ meaning ‘bliss’)
  • Serotonin, Tryptophan and Dopamine (also powerful mood-enhancing nutrients)
  • Fibre

The above is just a fraction of the nutrients contained in raw chocolate.  It truly is a ‘super food’!

Raw Cacao Beans (c) David Monniaux

Cacao has been dubbed ‘Nature’s Prozac’ as it contains three neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA) – which help alleviate depression and are associated with feelings of well-being.

It has also been suggested that eating raw chocolate can help with weight control as it diminishes appetite.  I’ve experienced this for myself.  In the past, I could have easily guzzled a whole box of milk chocolates.  With raw chocolate, I literally feel full up after one or two small pieces. 

So why should we be eating raw chocolate rather than regular chocolate?  Well, most commercial chocolate is highly processed and heated to very high temperatures, which means that most of the nutrients are destroyed or altered.  Commercial chocolate is often loaded with refined sugar, causing energy spikes and slumps, as well as weight gain.  It can also contain processed fat, various synthetic chemicals, artificial preservatives, cheap emulsifiers and other fillers.  Adding dairy milk also blocks the absorption of the great antioxidants in chocolate.

I love making my own chocolates and giving them to friends & family. This is a shot of the Macmillan event where I sold raw chocolate to raise funds for the charity.

At the Love Food Festival in Bath yesterday, I bumped into Dan and Paula from Elements for Life, and I bought some bars of their award-winning Yummy Scrummy raw chocolate brownie

This delicious raw chocolate brownie is packed with goodness, and topped with lush goji berries.

To celebrate the fact it’s Chocolate Week (and recognising it would indeed be greedy to keep all the bars for myself 😉 ) I’m going to give you guys a chance to win a bar and experience the delights of Yummy Scrummy for themselves.  🙂

To enter the giveaway, simply leave me a comment and describe your  favourite chocolate flavour.  My current 3 favourite flavours are goji berry & nut; orange; and coffee.

The winner will be chosen at random at 7pm (GMT) on Monday 17th October.

Good luck everybody! 

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Nutrition