Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Theobroma Cacao, the scientific name for the cacao tree, roughly translates to “food of the gods.” Very fitting for what we can deliver here at P.S.& Co. in terms of desserts! “Xocolatl,” or “bitter water” is where the word chocolate is said to come from. Cacao beans, which chocolate is made from, are grown in football-shaped pods. About 40 cacao beans can be found in each pod wrapped in a white pulp. Pods containing chocolate residue date back to as far as 600 B.C.
Heal with Chocolate? Yes Please!
We’re here to talk about the health benefits of everyone’s favorite: CHOCOLATE. Active compounds, flavanols, and methylxanthines are very prominent in cacao/chocolate. Flavonols contain B2, B3, C1 procyanidins, catechin, and derivatives. In recent history, the antioxidant properties of said compounds have caught the public’s interest. Pulled directly from plants, antioxidants are known to prevent and delay certain types of cell damage in the body. Providing anti-inflammatory benefits as well, studies have also shown that cacao has reduced obesity-related inflammation.
Cacao is high in iron, magnesium, and manganese. Playing a role in physiological functions, magnesium is known to offer benefits such as assisting in one’s sleep health, regularity, energy, mood, and even headaches. Manganese assists in bone health and the connective tissues in the body. And iron is a mineral that the body needs for development and growth. It boosts energy, immunity, assists in concentration and memory, and alleviates common GI tract upsets. Calling all vegans! People who are vegan or eat primarily a plant-based diet should be aware of their iron. It is 100% possible to get your daily intake of iron, one can increase their consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and of course chocolate! Pro-tip - Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your kale or black beans. Vitamin C boosts your intake of iron!
Choose the Right Chocolate Treats
“People love to hear good news about their bad habits” Dr. John A. McDougall
You’ve seen the latest food news spread across the headlines, “Wine Makes You Live Longer,” “Eat Fat, Stay Healthy,” “Eat More Chocolate!” As in most cases, the untouched, whole raw plant itself is what is providing the reported nutritional boosts (grapes in wine; the good fats such as in avocados, nuts, and coconut; and the cocoa beans used to make chocolate). Just like other headlines, it’s important to know what to look for and what to avoid. Many store-bought forms of chocolate and candy can include the following ingredients which may want to avoid:
High fructose corn syrup
Sugar as the first ingredient
Soy lecithin or other emulsifiers
Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
Artificial dyes (red and yellow dyes, caramel color)
Partially hydrogenated oils
Artificial flavors (sometimes simply listed as “artificial flavors”) or “natural flavor” which can sometimes fall under the same category as artificial flavors
Various forms of dairy (milk powders, casein, whey) - to look for if you are vegan
We are looking for dark chocolate varieties without unnatural additives to reap the most cacao benefits. When searching for chocolate bars, we recommend looking for about 70% cacao and more. For our plant-based readers, this does not necessarily mean it’s always dairy-free. There are more chocolate bars these days made with plant milk or other alternatives if you are looking for something a little less bitter. Some of our favorites are Hu Simple dark chocolate bars, Endangered Species chocolate bars, and Raaka bars.
Here at P.S. & Co., we pride ourselves on our clean, 100% organic, plant-based, and gluten-free baked goods and beverages.
We sometimes use Unreal candies to dress up our desserts. Not 100% organic, but hit the spot for custom requests. They offer delicious, natural dark chocolate alternatives to classic favorites such as M&M’s with their Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems or Mounds with their Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars.
Our vendors at Equal Exchange provide our wonderfully rich and clean cocoa powder, have a passion for changing the way food is grown, bought, and sold around the world.
Equal Exchange’s Mission:
A social change organization that would help farmers and their families gain more control over their economic futures.
A group that would educate consumers about trade issues affecting farmers.
A provider of high-quality foods that would nourish the body and the soul.
A company that would be controlled by the people who did the actual work.
A community of dedicated individuals who believed that honesty, respect, and mutual benefit are integral to any worthwhile endeavor.
After years of searching we were overjoyed to discover Santa Barbara Chocolate. They make an organic chocolate chip variety with organic coconut sugar, which fits right within our mission to to use organic cane sugar when absolutely necessary!
Just a few places you can find organic chocolate throughout our vast (and decadent) menu):
Organic Choffe - Organic Vibrant Dark Vibes coffee blended with house-made hot chocolate
Organic Tiramasmoothie - Two pieces of tiramisu, organic brazil nut milk, ice. (Our healthy take on a Wendy's Frosty!)
Organic Elvis - One of our most popular smoothies blended with house-made Brazil nut milk, banana, peanut butter (or almond butter), cocoa powder, sea salt, and ice
Organic Tiramisu - Includes coconut sweetened chocolate chips and cocoa powder
Organic Double Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie
Organic Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie
Organic Roasted Peanut Butter Cookie
Organic Pistachio Mocha Cookie Striped in Dark Chocolate
Daily Cupcake and Cake Slice Options