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Bring the Raw Chocolate Experience Into Your Hydroponics Urban Garden

Dry and eat these beans as an aphrodisiac from chocolate heaven Dry and eat these beans as an aphrodisiac from chocolate heaven

As a hydroponics gardener, you’re already in love with growing the highest quality flowers, fruits and nuts that are loaded with essential oils, potent flavors and delicious aromas that send you to heaven. But there’s one thing you might want to consider growing because it combines all the goodness of your current crops with nutritional and culinary benefits. What is it? Cacao Theobroma, an evergreen tree that produces cacao beans from which are derived the ingredients of chocolate.

According to scientists, when cacao is properly grown and processed for human consumption, it retains a wide variety of natural substances that beneficially affect humans.

These include theobromine, anandamide, phenylethylamine, phenylanine, tryptophan, antioxidants and other substances that elevate mood, brain function, sexual performance and energy levels.

Not only that, but raw cacao contains significant amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, protein, arginine (an important amino acid), calcium, chromium, iron and dietary fiber.

You’ve probably noticed that I am using the phrase “raw cacao” rather than the word chocolate. That’s because cacao is the nut (or bean, depending upon whose definition you use) that comes directly from the tree and is the source for the main ingredient for a processed product we often call chocolate.

Most of us consume cacao that has been heated, treated, and combined with sugar, milk products or other substances. This is what we have been told is chocolate.

By the time it gets into our mouths, it has lost most of its original nutritional punch, and a lot of its original cacao flavor.

That’s why there’s an increasingly popular “raw chocolate” industry that offers us the chance to eat dried, minimally processed cacao bean pieces, sometimes known as nibs.

The first time you taste raw chocolate nibs, you’re shocked by how intense and different it tastes as compared to a chocolate bar- even a “dark chocolate” bar.

You’re not getting the dose of sugar, milk solids, salt, flavorings, preservatives and other materials commonly found in commercial chocolate bars, especially the low-end bars such as “Snickers” that have been described as “the junk food of candy bars.”

Raw chocolate nibs take some getting used to, but once you acquire the taste for them, you’ll never look back. Better yet, raw chocolate nibs are versatile so you can use them for gourmet desserts that taste better than regular chocolate treats.

One word of caution, however- there are significant differences in quality and taste in the raw chocolate nibs industry.

I consider myself a raw chocolate connoisseur, and have sampled approximately 14 different types of raw chocolate nibs. My favorite is supplied by a company called Navitas Naturals.

It’s hard for me to define what it is that makes Navitas my favorite. Part of it is a more full-bodied flavor that has more nuances and breadth than other types of raw cacao I’ve sampled.

Not only that, I like its crunchiness and freshness. It helps that Navitas certifies that its raw chocolate is organically and ethically sourced. And over time I’ve become a fan of other Navitas “superfoods,” such as their goji berries and Australian Wakami sea vegetable flakes.

Navitas raw chocolate can superpower a superfood chocolate munchies treat for you right now.

Lately, I’ve noticed that they’re offering raw cacao paste, powder and butter, along with naturally-sweetened cacao nibs (for people who can’t handle the hardcore intensity of raw, unsweetened cacao nibs).

If you want to grow a cacao tree or two in your hydroponics garden, you’ll probably have to raise the roof- it’s a tree that grow between 10 and 30 feet tall under its normal tropical conditions. At the very least, make sure you consume lots of raw cacao as you work your hydroponics urban garden- it’s a medicinal herb that’ll help you have more energy for your hydroponics.

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Last modified on Thursday, 02 December 2010 18:47

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