“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.
I made a recipe similar to this and used honey. The honey actually separated out after hardening and I ended up with a sticky mess! Have you made this with honey with no problem or is maple syrup the way to go? Thanks for any help.
Oh yikes! No, this one I made with all honey, and I had zero issues like that! I wonder if part of the problem is you may have waited too long to refrigerate it? I gave it a good whisking right before pouring it into the pan, and then put it straight into the fridge while it was still warm.
I made this recipe with maple syrup and it separated out. I thought the problem was probably that I didn’t let it come to a rapid boil. I made it again, but with honey and let it come to a good boil for a couple of minutes (whisking constantly). I poured it and froze immediately with no issues. Much better this time and no leaky centre!
Can I just ask what type of honey you used for this recipe? Is it the pure honey from like a bee farm (pure honey goes white when refrigerated) or the honey you buy from your local supermarket eg capilano brand??
Nikki M says
I,ve been making this for awhile, using 1/4c rapadura. I have tried honey and maple syrup and they always separate out into a layer between the parchment and the chocolate. Any suggestions on how to stop that?
I’ve had the opposite experience, actually! I tried making a homemade “magic shell” which is very similar to this recipe, sweetened with cane sugar (which rapadura is, except less-refined)—but I quickly discovered that sugar and oil do not mix! It separated into layers and didn’t work at all. With honey, I had no issues! I just commented above with a tip to make sure you refrigerate it quickly—hope that helps!
I’m just curious is that agave syrup will work in place of the liquid sweetener? Anyone try that yet? I don’t want to waste if it doesn’t work! Thanks! 🙂
I don’t recommend agave, for this or anything else, to be honest.
I use agave all the time… works perfectly …but I can’t understand why people are boiling this recipe!! You’re just supposed to melt the coconut oil then add the rest. If chocolate gets too hot weird things happen. It gets gummy and gritty.
AND…chocolate has iron! A lot of people are unaware at the level of iron in chocolate.
I just purchased Cacao powder. Can it be substituted for cocoa powder? How are they different?
It is the same thing, just in different languages 🙂
Most cacao powder is RAW (processed at very low temps)… so, not quite the same as the Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali that you are linking to on Amazon.
I just made this with maple syrup, I added dried tart cherries. I didn’t have fleur de sel, so I used pink Himalayan salt instead. Geez, it’s fantastic! It made me order that book.
kirsty spencer says
I just made this like 45 mins ago and oh me oh my is it wonderful! It didn’t separate or do anything weird and i think it tastes kind of like a mounds candy bar. Next time I’m gonna try adding chopped nuts maybe hazel nuts or almonds. Thank you for the recipe i think i have found my new favorite treat
Marisa Tolsma says
This is AMAZING!!! I made mint chocolate cups with it. I used peppermint extract mixed with coconut oil for the mint filling. They are SO good. I can’t wait to try using it to make lots of other chocolate goodies – it’s so simple and easy, and delicious!
Oh my – this was sooooo good!! I used maple syrup because it sounded like it would go better with the coconut oil to me. A deliciously decadent chocolate fix!
Susanne Vinther says
I would be quite interested to know, if you can refer me to any scientific researches, that prove that coconut-oil has a positive effect on the metabolic rate and bodytemperature?
Your best scientific approach for the answer to your question would be to seek out your own sources on the internet. That would give you a better picture of the how the data and opinions run.
Can you make this recipe using carob powder?
I have never cooked with or used carob powder before, but from the recipes I’ve seen in Nourishing Traditions, it looks like you can substitute it for cocoa. Maybe try a very small batch and see how you like it?
I use to bake exclusively with carob many years ago. I had a brownie recipe that no one could tell was made with carob and not chocolate. I think substituting carob would probably work fine.
Sticky results? These days, honey is frequently not genuine honey. Other substances may be mixed into honey causing it to not perform as expected in cooking.
Good point! That may be the reason why some have had a different result with using honey.
You should always use local honey. The honey that comes from far away places is not always pure.
I tried this using molasses, it was wonderful!
Nice! Molasses would make it even more supportive to the metabolism—with all that good magnesium in there!
whoops I meant to take out my last name if you could remove it, I’d appreciate it.
No problem. 🙂
I made this chocolate with honey and the end result looked good, but it’s so terribly sweet that I can’t eat it. Suggestions? I’ve been thinking about melting it down and adding natural peanut butter (which has no sugar) just to cut the sweetness. Have you ever melted/reworked a batch before? Can you think of any reason it wouldn’t work? Really don’t want to throw this out, given all the expensive ingredients that went into it.
Wow really? This is about as un-sweet, or dark, as I can handle. But yes, you could easily dilute it though by just re-melting and adding more coconut oil and chocolate. That should work just fine.
I made this last night, followed the recipe exactly, and mine looks identical to the posted photo of the chocolate. It does snap, though not quite like a chocolate bar, it’s still a bit more flexible than chocolate (probably due to the coconut oil, which is extremely soft even when solid) but it does, indeed, snap.
Mine was super sweet too. And I had to store it in the fridge b/c it never hardened. I think I’ll try adding less honey next time.
I mean freezer!
Chris Young says
I’ve been on a low carb version of a paleo diet for 6 months and a variation of this recipe is one of my favourite snacks although I skip the sweetener and melt in a bar of 85% dark chocolate and chop up 1 date which I find is enough once you have switched to a low-carb diet.
Most of what you say makes a lot of sense but I’m afraid I have to disagree with your statement that the body needs sugar as this is it’s primary fuel source. Our bodies evolved to run on fat rather than sugar and we are capable of creating all the glucose we need internally. The only reason most humans crave sugar is because it is highly addictive but there is growing evidence that it is actually poisonous in high doses. There is only ever a maximum of 2 teaspoons circulating in our blood at any time and any excess sugar gets converted to fat by the liver and stored (especially around the belly).
this is the classic mentality of a new paleo. we can create glucose through gluconeogenesis but this is not an efficient process. fat is only the optimal fuel source when you are not very active. IF you follow the paleo lifestyle you know you need engage in high intensity activities. these activities require starchy carbs for fuel. that’s why the founder of the paleo movement (dr. cordain) wrote a book titled “the paleo diet for athletes” where he names starchy carbs as the best fuel to replenish muscle glycogen and recover from workouts. extreme dieting is the real enemy. too much of anything is bad but don’t be afraid of carbs
Lee Ann says
I made this and dipped frozen bananas in it and rolled apple in crushed almonds. It worked great. I put the back in the freezer for a hot day. I just tried one, and there are delicious.
My honey had gone a little had, so I warmed it up before adding the cocoa powder.
That sounds good! Thanks for the tip! 🙂
I made this with half maple syrup and half honey. The sweetener did separate from the chocolate/cocoa mix. I’m glad it did because I found that the recipe called for too much sweetener (as i was pouring it in i was thnking “wow this is a lot of sweetener”). I am going to try this next time with about 1/4 cup sweetener or even less and see how it goes. But the texture was lovely. Thank you for posting a great recipe that is so easy and each person can adjust to their preference! I eat a paleo diet so I do think that for me it’s best to use the minimal amount of sugar that I can get by with for this treat.
Would coconut nectar work instead of honey? It has a lower glycemic index and would up the coconut taste a bit, too.
This sounds awesome!!! Most of what you say makes a lot of sense to me and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Many have spoken about this not working because we (our bodies) didn’t “evolve” to use sugar . . . I Don’t believe in evolution and I don’t believe that grains as well as natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc… are bad for us. Many cultures and past peoples ate grains, potatoes, and carbs and were very healthy. I belive we are made in the image of God and the foods that he provided for us has a purpose not only as fuel but also medicinally and just for our good pleasure. What has been so nasty is the over processing of our foods and “man” interferring with what God already perfected (GMOs and such), this of course can lead to many health problems including leaky gut and allergies and intolerances. Any way . . . sorry to go on sooo much that was just my two cents. Thanks for the recipe can’t wait to make it!!! 🙂
apologies for spelling and grammatical errors.
This is very cool!! Like the idea. From the sites listed with recipe (very thoughtful!!)Just to buy ingredients to make this…(no shipping or tax included) It would cost upwards of $70.00. Wow. So as much as the thought of making this awesome treat pleases me it will have to go on the list of things for “someday when we’re rich”. And why as much as I would like to be on board with a re-enlightened society for what to eat for good health… not gonna happen for most everyday folks with middle class incomes. 🙁
you can buy a huge jar of coconut oil at the grocery store for about $35 that will last months. a bag of cocoa powder will cost $2 at a bulk food store. for $70 you could make this recipe about 100 times. this is not for rich people. each batch costs less than a chocolate bar and is really good for you.
Sherry this is so NOT an expensive recipe to make- go to your local health food store or a regular grocery store fill the basket with said ingredients and there’re NO WAY it will cost you any where near $70.
I used a combo of honey, molasses, and syrup. It tastes great and we love it, but I was expecting more of a “snap” to the texture like a chocolate bar would have. Mine turned out more soft and fudge like. Maybe I kept it on the stove too long or maybe my honey was the wrong kind (not sure if it was “raw” or “pure”). Any suggestions for how I can get a better “snap” next time? Thanks!
Are you refrigerating it?
Once it’s cold, it turns pretty hard. I’m trying to remember if it “snaps” like a normal chocolate bar does… it’s been a while since I’ve made a batch. Guess I’ll just have to make one again and see—darn! 😉
I used honey… didn’t separate, but was super sweet and never hardened like I hoped even though I refrigerated it. Stayed fudgy… not that I’m complaining!
I tried twice to get this to work as the recipe stated. The first time, it got hard and cracked, but the maple syrup/honey mixture separated. I tried melting it down again, whisking further, and put it in the fridge right away. I got the fudgy texture like you mentioned, Sarah. Agreed- still delicious. I’m making rice crispy squares with home made marshmallows and plan on mixing the fudge in with them.. mmmm mmmmm. It’s good with a spoon too!
i just made this w/raw local honey & have an albeit delicious, big bendy bar that won’t snap apart. it’s like yummy chocolate jerky. i wonder what happened?
“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.”
True and false… Yes the body needs 8 types of sugar to work perfectly, but it can make those sugars itself from fat, so no you don’t really NEED sugar, the body is magic that way, just like it can convert sugars into FAT! And in most cases, it is not just sugar, that are meant to be bad, it is the processed kind, not the natural kind.
Yes sugar IS the main problem with lifestyles, FAT does NOT make you FAT, it is the optimal fuel for the body, hence 9 kcal per 1 gram, where Carbs is 4 kcal per 1 gram… Carbs is not the prefered fuel by the body, it is merely treating the Carbs, in the same way white bloodcells attacks infections, it wants to get rid of that first before anything else, which is why so many diets fail, they want you to eat low fat meat, and then promotes crap like potatoes and other starchy foods, and that is why people can’t stick with such diet, they simply don’t see enough good results, because the body then just burns Carbs instead of burning off the FAT that they WAN’T to get rid of! There is a reason for diets such as Low Carb High Fat!
Others than that, great writing, and i can’t wait to try out this recipe 🙂
sugar is not made from fat. glucose is synthesized from protein through gluconeogenesis. this is not an efficient process therefore fat is not necessarily the optimal fuel source. starchy carbs are by far the best fuel source for replenishing muscle glycogen. the optimal fuel source depends on what you are trying to fuel. if you live a sedentary life then fat is a good fuel but if you are healthy (and therefore active) then low carb is stupid.
Thank you, Marc.
This coconut oil cocoa mixture makes great “hot chocolate”! Put a few tablespoons of this mixture into a blender. Add about the same amount of a good quality, unsalted, grass fed cow’s milk butter ( I used Kerry Gold). Add 2-3 cups of boiling water and blend. The butter takes the place of the milk or cream and takes the bitter edge off of the cocoa powder, especially if you have used less sugar like I did. Blending melts the butter and thickens the drink to the consistency of a creamy hot chocolate!
My daughter makes a delicious chocolate fudge with coconut oil, cocoa, and Date Lady Date Syrup.
Chocolate really doesn’t have caffeine. It does have theobromine which is almost identical to caffeine and very difficult to test for separately from caffeine. Here’s a website to take ALL worry away from chocolate. Yes, I love you, too. 🙂 http://www.xocoatl.org/caffeine.htm
The first two times I tried this, the honey separated and the center was always gooey. This time, I accidentally allowed the ingredients to come to a boil, maybe for a minute, when I turned away to tend to a child. Then I poured it into a parchment lined pie plate and put it straight into the freezer. This time it didn’t separate. The center is like taffy, but it can be broken in pieces while frozen, so I now have these beautiful chunks of stress-relief in a container in my freezer.
I just came across this recipe and I LOVE IT. I made the chocolate last night, but the only problem I have is that it melts in my hands! Any suggestions for the next recipe?
Has anyone tried this recipe with rice malt syrup?
I just did then, beautiful! Set perfectly and tastes great.
I tried this with maple syrup a friend made and instead of the vanilla,I used the zest and juice of 1/2 an organic orange. It turned out amazing!!!
Yum!! Awesome idea!
Depending on the type of cacao bean it is made from, it either contains little to no caffeine or trace amounts. The misconception that chocolate (cacao) contains caffeine is is based primarily on confusion between two similar alkaloids: caffeine and theobromine. The two stimulants are related and have similar chemical structures, but possess very different properties, effects and origins.
A study completed in 1993 (The Biochemist, April/May, 1993, pg. 15), definitively showed that chocolate contained 1.3% theobromine, by weight, up to 5.82% serotonin (an organic compound that enhances mood and energy, provides better mental focus, improved sleep patterns, less anxiety and decreases body fat), by weight, and no detectable caffeine.
Theobromine clearly has stimulant properties, so perhaps people reflexively attribute those effects to caffeine—even though many of the effects are fundamentally different from caffeine. Perhaps when referring to caffeine, they intend to reference an entire class of chemicals called xanthines, of which caffeine is but one example.
The amount of xanthines present in cacao is highly dependent on the variety of cacao bean that is used. There are three main varieties of cacao: criollo, trinatario and forastero. Criollo beans account for 1-2% of the world’s cacao, trinatario beans for around 10-20% and the rest are forastero. Criollo beans have the highest amount of theobromine but also contain trace amounts of caffeine whereas trinatario and forastero, typically, have little to no caffeine.
Theobromine and caffeine are similarly constructed types of pharmacologically active chemicals but with noticeably different effects. Theobromine is gentle, mild, has a slow onset, is long lasting and non-addictive whereas caffeine is intense, strong, fast acting, short lived and addictive.
A typical sample of cacao beans will yield anywhere from zero caffeine to 1,000 parts per million of caffeine (less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in coffee).
…100% pure cacao is healthy for you, what makes chocolate [possibly] not healthy, is the additives and processing of it.
Wow, very interesting. Thanks!
This. recipe. is. delicious. Oh my heavens. Life will never be the same.
I made this tonight and it was delicious, and rich. Very rich. Which was great because it kept me from overindulging. I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet and thought I’d give this one a try. Thumbs up from me. I think I can even reduce the amount of honey by a bit and still find it quite enjoyable. Next time I make it, I’ll do more taste testing as I mix ingredients together.
Charmaine San Pedro says
I am big enthusiast on making your own anything! I love making my own chocolate but I must say, after extensive research, I feel that cacao must be consumed in moderation.
I like to switch it up with unsweetened carob powder to make my own vegan carob chips! It doesn’t even need sweeteners because carob is naturally sweet. 🙂
Mark Kenwright says
What are the carb, fat calorie figures for this recipe?
I make it with:
3 cups of coconut oil
1.5 cups of cocoa powder
0.5 cups of honey
I also add some crushed nuts
This was delicious! And like many, I had some problems. I used raw local organic honey, raw cacao powder and coconut oil in the exact proportions listed, and also got the separating issues and gooeyness (even after being in the freezer, it was like soft taffy). It also came out way, way way too sweet so I re-melted it down and tried adding more cacao and coconut oil and it was a mess. Some of the coconut oil would not blend in, even after throwing it in the Vitamix. So weird! I guess these ingredients must vary in some way that affects the chemistry of the recipe.
Hello I tried this and have 1 question. When I try to whisk coconut oil and cocoa powder, at one point coconut oil and cocoa powder separate and won’t mix. So then I have in my bowl pure coconut oil and in the other cocoa with maple syrup. Any advice? 🙂