Where does chocolate actually come from?
The cacao plant has ist origin in Middle and South America. Cacao, which is a part of the normal chocolate we know these days, has already been used around 3500 years ago by different tribes, like the Mayas and Aztekes.
‘Cacao’ means by its given name from the Atztekes “foods of the gods”.
These tribes made ceremonies with and around the raw cacao bean, and drank the cacao as a holy and sacred drink, as well as also used it in everyday life. In these early times, the raw cacao was often only mixed with some chili and honey when drinking it.
Just around 1500 the cacao bean found ist way to Western Europe, first to Spain. When the bean arrived in the Netherlands, treatment and processing of the bean was introduced 1828, which allowed the creation of cacao power, as we know it today. Just 20 years later, the first chocolate bars, adding sugar and milk to the cacao, were produced.
What is the difference between Raw Cacao and normal chocolate?
Cacao is coming from the cacao plant which has fruits that contain the beans, same as an apple or avocado containing (a) pit(s). The raw cacao bean is as well the base of our normal chocolate, but for normal chocolate the beans are heated over 42 degrees celsius, which actually reduces the healthy nutrients in the beans and by which it looses it’s “raw” state.
With normal chocolate we also have additionally added sugars and other additives in it.
The sugar in normal chocolate creates a not so nice environment in our body. Yes, for sure we feel good when eating or drinking it, as it releases one of our happy hormones serotonine, but it also acidifies our body.
Our body needs a certain milieu inside the blood and all organs, to stay fit, happy and healthy.
If we consume a lot of sugars, same with e.g. white flour, coffee, conventional dairy products and meat, our body does not really receive what it needs. When feeding it mainly with the above, it has to work even harded to keep the right milieu within the body, to not get too acidic (sour).
If we feed outselves too long mainly with acidifying things, like the above mentioned, as well as feeling often stressed , thinking negative and feeling a lot of “down” emotions, our body can’t keep the healthy milieu, which is alcaline, then our body/ we get sick.
So how can raw cacao help us to be more healthy?
- Raw Cacao contais by nature a lot of healthy and vital minerals, like magnesium, iron and calcium. We need these minerals to have e.g. strong bones and muscles, as well as a healthy brain and heart. Especially for woman, drinking raw cacao before having their monthly menstruation, supports their blood release.
- Raw Cacao contains a lot of antioxidantants, like blueberries as well, but raw cacao has 40 times more of them. Antioxidants absorb free radicals, particles that come from pollution and toxins in our environment.
- Raw Cacao is a mood booster, anti-depressant and calm sleep supporter, as it contains fundamental neurotransmitters for the brain, e.g. tryptophane, Raw Cacao support us to create our happy hormone serotonine, which is as well relevant to produce our sleep hormone melatonine.
These positive effects can have a high impact towards the value of your general health as well as daily life experience.
What does Raw Cacao and Bushcraft have in common?
“Living with the wild”, is what Raw Cacao and Bushcraft bring us. Using Pure Cacao in it’s most natural form possible, raw, it supports us to connect with our most natural, wild and authentic self, bringing us back to our true nature, living from our heart.
We can for sure prepare and consume Raw Cacao also indoors, but creating a nice ceremonial time outdoors around our ancient plant, created by mother nature for our wellbeing, has a way more deep experience and effect on us.
It has been scientifically proven and recognized, that the Cacao plant grows more on the planet, the more unrest (e.g. wars, fights, stress, etc.) we have. Nature is wise and always likes to support us to come back to our center, into our heart and back to love.
When shall I best use Raw Cacao?
You can use Raw Cacao for so much wonderful added value to yourself & life.
- Raw Cacao shows a really profitable influence on people, connecting oneself more back towards the inner self. We are often with our attention and focus in the outside. Raw Cacao can bring you back to yourself, giving you some “me-time”.
- It supports infinding peace and calmnesswith yourself, opening up your heart to explore your own longings, desires and answers to challenging questions. Your heart knows all answers you need, Raw Cacao can open these doors for you again.
- Raw Cacao nourishes you on a physical, mental and emotional level. It provides your body with great nutrients, relaxes your brain and calms your mind as well as bringing your feelings into flow again and supporting you in being a joyful self.
When shall I not use Raw Cacao?
As Cacao is containing a certain amount of caffein, it should best be consumed any time on the day, but not 4-6 hours before going to bed. Otherwise it can happen that falling asleept might become challenging. People having a high blood pressure, diabetis and histamin intolerance shall be careful and low in consumption with Raw Cacao.
Raw Cacao is seen as food and should not be consumed and drank “like water”. Use Raw Cacao as a nice additional treat and not like an everyday essential.
How do I prepare my Raw Cacao?
You can prepare your Raw Cacao in many different ways. Most important, feel into yourself what matches you today. You can use it on a day-to-day basis or for a ceremony with yourself or a group of people. You can prepare the Raw Cacao at home or out in nature.
We always recommend to take yourself time for the cacao and yourself when consuming it. No ‘in between’ or rush with the preparation and consumption.
Use 15g (light daily dose) or 30g (high ceremonial dose) of the Raw Cacao per person, cut it gently into small pieces, for example with a Swedish Casström Lars Fält knife on a Kupilka 44 board, and mix it with around 150-200ml of plain water or organic plant based milk (oat, almond, coconut or hazelnut) or a mix of both in a pot.
For the beginning, organic plant based milk tastes for many softer and nicer. You can then over time gradually move more towards a mix with or only plain water, which is more pure and brings you the full character of the Raw Cacao.
Warm the mixture up, regularly stir it, and do not boil it. The Raw Cacao stays at its best quality when not being boiled. In the wild you can use one of Bushcraftshops great gas or spirit cookers, or prepare it over direct fire. I personally love to use for myself the gas cooker MSR Pocket Rocket or the Trangia 25-2 Ultralight usable as spirit or gasburner) or the Robens Firewood Wood Stove.
For a bigger group a Petromax Dutch Oven with 3,5 liters, for preparing it over the fire, is a great choice.
You can add some spices to the Raw Cacao mix, like cinnamon, chili, kardamom, kurkuma or ginger. If the Raw Cacao is too bitter at first, use some organic datesirup or honey to make it more tasteful. I recommend to keep it as unsweetened as possile.
Every body enjoys a different dose of Raw Cacao. If the amount of Raw Cacao tastes too strong for you, find the right dose which your body enjoys. It is about enjoying it with pleasure, not “having to get it down”. If you feel after preparation that it is too strong, add some plain warmish water or organic plant based milk. If it is too soft, re-warm the mix with some additional Raw Cacao.
We recommend you to not eat something heavy 2-4 hours before drinking the Raw Cacao, so it can unfold ist full potential within you, as well to not drink coffee or alcohol before consuming Raw Cacao.
How does a Raw Cacao Ceremony proceed?
We can create a Cacao Ceremony for ourselves or with a group of people. There is nothing that can be done “wrong”. Ask youself: how can I celebrate myself, the gift of mother nature and if conducted in a group, our togetherness, best today?” Create your ceremony around that loving intention.
Pour the heated Raw Cacao into your favourite cup. I love to use the Kupilka 21 Cup. Bring some loving intention, like for example “I am good enough as I am”, “I am taking every step in life with grace”, “I am safe and supported” into the cacao. You can then just hold the cup with your two hands in front of your heart and speak or think the words into the cup. Doing this with a loving smile, will feel even greater.
You can also write down on a piece of paper, what you currenlty would like to let go of in your life as well as what you would like to invite more, and ask the gift of nature, the Raw Cacao, to support you with this. Our intentions are new directions we create, seeds we sow, towards what we really want in life. Every thought, every word, every action we take, has an impact. The more we repeat them, the more they become our reality.
Slowly start tasting the Raw Cacao and consciously consume as much as feels good for you. You can listen to some music at the side, light some candles, sing a song, gaze around in nature or just be still with yourself. Enjoy the moment. Maybe you even feel like dancing, journaling or talking with nature during your time with the Raw Cacao.
What will you feel during a Raw Cacao Ceremony?
This is very individual. Many people feel a blissful feeling with a lot of warmth and width in their heart. It often creates as well a very connected and protected feeling, like being cuddled in a nice and warm blanket. Some people also feel more energized and alive, wanting to move their body.
The best is, if you are open for everythinig to come, and just welcome and explore what shows up.
What to eat after a Raw Cacao Ceremony?
The body prefers to have some light foods and plain water or tea after drinking the Raw Cacao. You can prepare in advance some fresh fruit, dates or nuts to taste of after drinking the Raw Cacao. Give your body some fresh foods and light food after treating it with the food of the gods. Treat yourself like a god(dess).
Where can I buy Raw Cacao & why shall I use the one Bushcraftshop offers?
The Spirit of Cacao is based in the Netherlands. Jera, from whom I personally purchased Raw Cacao from already since 2020, explored the magic around Raw Cacao in Middle America several years ago himself. He consciously chooses the different sorts of cacao, which we offer via Bushcraftshop. They themselves also offer at their great natural Campside Langoed Ottermeer ceremonies to join.
Which one to choose? I recommend to intuitively feel which one is right for you. They all have a bit of a different taste. If you like testing different ones, I recommend the Tasting Set with 3 types of Raw Cacao.
You do not want to try & explore Raw Cacao alone?
We love to support and guide you as well through your experience with Raw Cacao. Sia, who is offering Raw Cacao Ceremonies since 2019 and being part of the Bushcraftshop Team, is offering regularly Ceremonies Online or on Events via Bushcraftshop in and outside the Netherlands, by which you can get to know Raw Cacao more and explore as well as enjoy yourself with it and connect with other great people.
With your first purchase of Raw Cacao via Bushcraftshop, you can join the upcoming Raw Cacao Ceremony for free.
More questions? Just reach out to [email protected]
Love, Sia – Team Bushcraftshop