The well-publicised health benefits of dark chocolate have given many chocolate lovers an added reason to indulge in recent years.
Sales have doubled in the past five years and are worth £85 million a year in Britain alone. Conveniently forgotten, however, is the fact that a bar of dark chocolate still contains high volumes of fat and sugar. So how do you enjoy the health benefits of cocoa without the worry of an expanding waistline?Raw-food expert and nutritionist Jessica Fenton says the answer lies in the unadulterated beans of the cacao pod. This, she says, is the real superfood, and it is quite different from its foil-wrapped relative.
Cacao pods, which grow on trees, originated in Central and South America. Ancient South American civilisations prized them so much for their medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties, they even used them as currency.