“I can’t overdo it on the chocolate or my bed sheets get drenched with sweat.”
-Matt Stone, Eat for Heat
Whew! How’s that for a snack to get your temperature rising?! In more ways than one, I can assure you. (A high body temperature is associated with a high metabolism… and well, let’s just say that one’s libido tends to directly correlate with metabolic rate! Yet another of the many positive effects of a healthy metabolism. 😉 )
Chocolate really is pretty magical. Especially if you make it yourself! And with this recipe, you’ll get an amazing mix of metabolism-stoking ingredients—every one of them offers a benefit to boost body temperature and get your metabolic rate pumping.
And that’s a very important thing—because metabolism is about a whole lot more than feeling warm and toasty. Or managing a healthy weight. Metabolism is the foundation of every aspect of your health. Which is why it’s so very important that you learn how to nourish it!
You can go ahead and start doing just that, by simply making this homemade chocolate and chowing some down.
Yeah, you heard me right. Chocolate is a health food.
(I know. I love you, too.)
Homemade Dark Chocolate Chunks with Fleur de Sel
- 3/4 cup quality organic coconut oil (this is the kind I buy) Note: if you do not want your chocolate to taste coconutty, you can opt for quality refined expeller-pressed coconut oil, which does not have a coconut flavor.
- 3/4 cup organic cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup liquid sweetener—honey, maple syrup,organic molasses, or a mix
- 1 tsp vanilla extract OR a good scraping of vanilla beans
- A pinch of salt (can omit if you’ll be salting the finished chocolate with fleur de sel)
- Optional: Fleur de sel (this is a fancy, flaky, delightfully special salt to be sprinkled onto treats like chocolates or caramels—(find it here)
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then add in the rest of the ingredients (except the fleur de sel). Whisk together thoroughly.
To make chunky dark chocolate bars, line a baking dish with parchment paper, and pour in the chocolate. Refrigerate until hardened (it doesn’t take very long). Then, either cut into bars or break into chunks. If you want to add a sprinkling of fleur de sel, do so! It’s delightful! Be sure to store your chocolate in the refrigerator or even the freezer so it doesn’t get melty. Coconut oil liquifies at 76 degrees.
You can also use this chocolate for dipping things like fruits, nuts, marshmallows, or pretzels (one of my favorites!) like you see here:
Just dip them in while the chocolate is still warm and in liquid form, then lay onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Refrigerate immediately and remove when chocolate has hardened. Store your chocolate-dipped treats in the fridge as well.
So chocolate helps my metabolism? How does it work?
If you’re wondering just how this chocolate will make you sweaty-sheets-warm from your burning hot metabolism, here’s why that’ll happen.
Coconut Oil: Metabolic Superfood
Coconut oil is one of the most powerful metabolism-boosting foods on the planet. I raised my body temperature (and my metabolic rate) by a full degree in less than a week, simply by eating coconut oil! It’s pretty amazing stuff.
“Coconut oil is renowned for its ability to assist with metabolic rate and body heat, but any source of coconut will do. The medium-chain saturated fatty acids seem to be the active warming ingredient. Coconut is of course very calorie dense with a low water content, and cooking foods in oil of any kind increases the calorie to water ratio [to create a warming effect from your foods].”
Eat for Heat, Matt Stone
Cocoa: Magnesium Powerhouse
It makes me sad to see so many people shunning chocolate and cocoa at the advice of certain nutrition gurus, simply because it has a small amount of caffeine. Caffeine actually has some health benefits, and there’s really no reason to avoid it entirely, if you ask me.
Besides caffeine, cocoa contains a hefty amount of some very key nutrients that are hard to find in such a potent source elsewhere. For example, cocoa’s zinc, copper, and selenium content rivals that of oysters, a nutrient-dense superfood to be sure, but not one that you’d want to eat every day, probably. If you ate chocolate every day, you’d get almost the same amount of zinc as you’d get from one serving of oysters, and more copper and selenium, plus many other minerals.
But most impressive to me, is cocoa’s magnesium content! Magnesium is essential for optimal cellular respiration and metabolism. Most of us are at least somewhat deficient in it, and few foods are a rich source of this critical mineral. In just one ounce of cocoa, you get 140 mg of magnesium—that’s 35% of your RDA! Pretty awesome.
Natural Sugars: Optimal Fuel for your Cells
I really wish we’d all stop blaming sugar for all our problems. Really, truthfully, sugar is NOT the devil. And you need it.
In fact, it’s your body’s preferred source of fuel. That’s because your cells run on a form of energy from sugar—glucose. Getting enough glucose into your cells provides fuel they need to do their job, which is to provide energy to all of your body’s systems. That’s essentially what metabolism is—how effectively your cells are able to take in this fuel and turn it into energy.
So, providing your body with natural, wholesome sources of this very important fuel is ideal. Natural sugars feed the metabolism and shut down the body’s stress response—raising body temperature and stimulating a healthy metabolic rate.
Salt: The Ultimate Warming Nutritional Tool
While salt is demonized by most of the mainstream nutrition scene, here among the alternative realm of real food, it’s generally pretty well-accepted as a beneficial nutrient. But did you know that salt is critical for the body’s metabolism?
Salt acts as a thermogenic substance in the body, which means it increases your energy expenditure and heat production. In short, salt actually raises your metabolic rate. Salt works to lower stress hormones and also raises oxytocin levels, which can lift your moods and give you a feeling of well-being.”
The Nourished Metabolism, Elizabeth Walling
Combined with the sugars and saturated fat, salt makes this chocolate cover 3 out of 4 of the “Anti-Stress S’s” — Matt Stone’s suggestions in the book, Eat for Heat, for the most pro-metabolic and warming nutrients. The only one missing? Starch. But hey—eat up some of those chocolate-covered pretzels I made, and you’re 4 for 4, baby!
Want to learn more about eating the right foods for better metabolic health?
I highly recommend reading the books I’ve referenced here in this post—Eat for Heat, by Matt Stone, and The Nourished Metabolism, by Elizabeth Walling. Both are an invaluable resource in figuring out what you need to get your metabolism in optimal shape, so you can live a healthier, happier, more stress-free life.