Oh, happy day! Here’s a recipe that makes it perfectly acceptable to eat a decadent chocolate bowl of YUM for breakfast. You will feel like you are doing something wrong, like you’re starting your day with dessert, but it is oh-so-right! This breakfast is full of nutrients, anti-oxidants, and has the perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbs to start your day. Plus it has a serving of the superfood, Maca. If you’ve never tried it before, it smells kind of like butterscotch. It’s an adaptogen that is derived from a root in the mountains of South America. It’s said to be good for hormone balance, immune system support, and increased energy, and it’s loaded with a long list of amino acids and nutrients. If you aren’t ready to branch out and buy this ingredient, you can make the oats without it, but I like to have it on-hand for this recipe, raw brownies, energy balls, and smoothies.
But the real star of the show here is cacao. Cacao isn’t just cocoa spelled wrong, it’s the raw, unprocessed version (and way more fun to say). Both cocoa and cacao are extracted from cacao beans. The fatty part of the fruit is removed (that’s cocoa butter, which is used in cooking and beauty products), and what’s left is cacao powder. When cacao is heated and processed, we call it cocoa powder. Unfortunately, the heating and procession and general “sciencing” kills off many of the living, vital, key nutrients that exist naturally in the cocoa bean. Cacao has a slightly stronger, richer, and more acidic flavor, whereas cocoa loses some of that “punch” in the roasting process.
If you are baking or heating a dish, you can use either, since you will be applying heat anyway, but if you are preparing something to be eaten raw, I highly suggest you reach for the raw cacao powder, and this is why:
- Cacao is high in antioxidants – 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries – decreases your risk of cancer by scavenging for free radicals
- Cacao is high in magnesium – magnesium is basically nature’s “chill pill” – it relieves muscle soreness, decreases anxiety, promotes more restful sleep, aids in digestion, plays a role in heart health, may prevent migraines, and regulates levels of other key minerals in the body.
- Cacao is the highest plant source of iron – good for circulation and carrying oxygen throughout the body
- Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk – strong bones!
- Cacao is an aphrodisiac and a natural mood elevator
Strawberry Chocolate Superfood Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 TBSP almond butter
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 1 TBSP cacao powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of strawberries, cut up
- 1 scoop collagen peptides, optional
Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight before eating.
You can make this up to 2 days in advance with the strawberries already mixed in. I recommend leaving them out and adding them right before you eat it if you plan on preparing them more than 3 days in advance.
Optional toppings: more strawberries, almond butter, or coconut cream; cacao nibs.