The EdventureProject, one of the organizations that we sponsor, had the opportunity to learn how the cocoa bean travels from seed to chocolate during their recent stay in Guatemala. In a video of their interview, we learn the following facts about cocoa beans:
*cocoa pods grow on the trunk of the tree and are harvested year-round
*in Guatemala, cocoa is pronounced “cuh-cow”
*a cocoa pod is about the size of a large sweet potato, and cutting it is like cutting a gourd
*inside the pod is the arrangement of cocoa seeds held together and surrounded by a white, slimy, citrus and sweet-tasting liquid
*that sweet, white liquid is what feeds the fermentation process
*cocoa beans are fermented naturally on the jungle floor, inside the pod
*cocoa beans are extracted from the pods, dried, toasted (to remove the shells), and then ground into powder (cocoa powder)
*cocoa butter is the result of pressing the cocoa beans with a press, extracting the oil
*the Mayans like their chocolate hot... but by that I mean spicy!
*the skin of the bean is released when heated, and the skin by-product is often used to make tea
*chocolate can be made with just cocoa powder and honey.
*chocolate mousse: Kari says she makes a chocolate mousse with avocado, cocoa powder and honey!
I'll ask Kari to share her chocolate mousse recipe. Here's my first try at sweetened chocolate which will completely replace my need for a Snicker's bar fix:
Homemade Chocolate (chewy like a taffy but softer, smoother, and velvety)
On low heat, melt about a tbs of coconut oil, add 2-3 tbs of honey and stir. Slowly stir in about a tbs of cocoa powder until a chocolatey, velvet consistency occurs (may need to remove from heat before you get to this point). Transfer to plate and cool (or drizzle over a banana). Enjoy!