Chocolate is LIFE. One of my favourite snacks to make is homemade chocolate from scratch. I do this pretty much every other week, and I even recommend it for breakfast. Every time I like to switch it up and use different nut butter fillings, tinctures, powders, and adaptogens depending on how I’m feeling. The taste and quality is inherently superior to mass produced store bought chocolate or processed cocoa that often contains strange toxic fillers, preservatives, colours, and flavours. No, sir.
Enter the humble, homemade peanut butter cup.
How to make salted cacao reishi peanut butter cups:
- You’ll need a muffin tray with 6 cups, lined with unbleached, biodegradable parchment paper cups OR a 6 cup silicone mould, like this one.
- On the stovetop, gently melt down the chocolate ingredients in a saucepan or double boiler (I just use a small saucepan as that’s all I have). Stir or whisk to speed up the melting process. Tempering the chocolate to make it shelf-stable is an extra step that I usually don’t bother with, but you can learn how to do it here. You can learn how to fake a double boiler, here.
- Then you pour a thin bottom layer of chocolate into the cups. Freeze it to harden, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and layer the peanut butter filling on top—a small ball will suffice.
- Finally fill the rest of the cup with a top layer of remaining chocolate to envelop the peanut butter in its goodness. Return it to the freezer to set for another 10-15 minutes, then remove and devour. Yum.
Ingredients for salted cacao reishi peanut butter cups
- Raw cacao powder and cacao nibs. Unlike conventional chocolate and processed cocoa, raw organic cacao is a heart opening, nutrient dense, sacred alchemical gift from the gods, and a highly medicinal whole food from the source that will act as a potent vehicle by dilating your cells to allow for the micronutrients in the other ingredients in this recipe to be delivered to your body. Treat it as such! Cacao is one of the richest sources of bioavailable antioxidant flavanols, and contains important minerals such as potassium and magnesium. It also contains mood elevating chemicals like anandamide (an endogenous lipoprotein that binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain) with potential to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. It is anti-hypertensive, anti-blood clotting, and can enhance mood, peaceful sleep, focus, and concentration levels. Raw cacao is fermented, causing hydrolysis of the phytates to improve mineral bioavailability, and monitored for the entirety of the manufacturing process to ensure the temperature is kept below 118˚F/48˚C at all times. Click here for my favourite brand, Giddy Yoyo.
- Raw local honey – raw, unpasteurized local honey is medicinal, though there are no guarantees about how much actual pollen is in each serving. You can often find the good stuff at your local organic farmers’ market or local online farm delivery service. When honey is raw and local, containing bacteria and wild yeast, you actually ingest microdoses of local pollen, which over time will actually decrease seasonal allergies where you live! Never give raw honey to a child under 1 year old. Some people with severe allergies to pollen may experience negative side effects. You can use medicinal manuka honey or dark maple syrup instead which is full of beneficial minerals, or even monk fruit.
- Natural peanut butter without any added ingredients, toxic sucrose, or industrial seed oils. Click here for my favourite brand, Nuts to You.
- Cacao butter – the raw, cold-pressed vegetable fat of cacao beans. Usually sold as waxy looking chunks that can then be broken up and gently melted in a saucepan on the stovetop. Promotes cardiovascular health, contains healthy fats, anti-inflammatory properties, full of powerful antioxidants and essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, decreases the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, and decreases the harmful type of cholesterol, LDL. Perfect for making fat bombs or for those seeking ketosis! Click here for my favourite brand, Giddy Yoyo.
- Coconut butter is what I like to use in this recipe to help hold the chocolate together, it complements the other flavours nicely and boasts many nutritional benefits as unprocessed coconut always does. It has the type of fat that gets used for burning energy, medium-chain fatty acids, and is great to consume on a regular basis, boosting metabolism and immunity with antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties with its lauric acid protecting against colds and flus, protecting skin, hair and teeth, and may boost beneficial cholesterol. I think you could also use grass fed dairy butter instead, if you prefer. I like the Nutiva or Artisana brands.
- Virgin coconut oil – just as nutritious as coconut butter, except without the fiber! I opt for virgin cold pressed, in a glass jar, and I cook with it constantly.
- Ceylon cinnamon, aka true cinnamon will help balance your blood sugar, helping prevent and reverse diabetes, and add a depth of flavour to the chocolate. The key to happy hormones and sustained energy is through blood sugar regulation.
- Celtic sea salt. I prefer this salt as it contains trace minerals and it also aids absorption of water into your cells allowing for proper hydration when a pinch is added to a glass of water. Iodine can be obtained elsewhere such as in sea vegetables.
- Vanilla bean tincture, powder, or scraped off the actual bean.
- Reishi tincture OR extract, OR reishi spagyric tincture: Surthrival Reishi Tincture, or Superfeast Reishi extract
Reishi: revered adaptogenic medicinal mushroom
Modern herbalists love reishi mushroom (“the mushroom of immortality”) for its powerful adaptogenic qualities as a tonic herb, deeply revered and used as a staple for as long as 3,000 years in Eastern medicine, building health on all levels as part of a holistic approach to a regular self-care practice. It has since become an increasingly popular antidote even Westerners can’t ignore. Western science recognises reishi as a powerful immune herb and as an adaptogen with amphoteric effects on the whole body (normalizing physiological response and adapting while increasing resistance to acute and chronic physical, biological, emotional, chemical and environmental stressors). Perfect for the modern domesticated human.
It’s used to potently fortify and modulate the immune system, reduce stress, support metabolic functions, fight and prevent cancer (often prescribed alongside chemotherapy), detoxify and protect the liver, reduce tumour growth, help with anxiety and depression, tonify jing, qi and shen, help with colds and viruses, restore balance, increase energy, promote longevity and graceful aging, enhance cognitive ability, strengthen the spirit and spiritual perception while helping us tap into what is inherent within us, connect to our inner knowing, calm the mind, and promote peaceful sleep.
Reishi is plant magic.
If you’re new to these potent adaptogens, I recommend you open your experience with tinctures, powders, or spagyrics intuitively. Opt for a wild harvested (ideally di tao sourced) and/or organic reishi, dual extracted from the WHOLE fruiting body grown on sustainably harvested or wild wood (not extracted from its mycelium and not grown on inferior quality grains) to isolate, concentrate, preserve, and optimally deliver the powerful immunomodulating beta-glucans, polysaccharides, adaptogenic terpenes and other biologically active compounds which results in a bioavailable, raw, living, whole-plant extract with all of the therapeutic constituents of the plant intact. This can have tremendous impacts on our lives, as it affects the course of our thoughts and actions, our ability to tap into the flow state, and our overall well-being.
Quality of powders vs. spagyrics vs. tinctures
Reishi and other medicinal mushrooms have hard, fibrous cell walls that need to be properly broken down to release the immune-boosting beta-glucans inside the cell. For this reason, raw mushroom powder or raw mushroom slices will need to be decocted (cooked/simmered) in filtered water for a few hours, but this method does not fully render the medicinal properties bioavailable. A better option would be to find proper extract powders that have been extracted in water and alcohol, then dried and powdered. Look for the word “extract” on the powder’s packaging—this assures you that both beta-glucans and the less water-soluble terpene compounds (with anti-tumour properties) are bioavailable.
My favourite way to consume medicinal mushrooms is through properly dual extracted traditional tinctures or spagyric tinctures made with spring, filtered, or distilled water. Spagyric (spa-jeer-ik) tinctures make the medicinal compounds in the plant even more bioavailable than regular tinctures do, as well as capturing more of the essence of the plant’s esoteric qualities and energetic signature. In a chemistry sense, the mineral salts neutralize the organic acids of the plant and this changes it from oil soluble to water soluble, thus making it more bioavailable and non-toxic.
Clear and brown glass packaging for tinctures unfortunately lets in the entire light spectrum, and light and air can degrade the quality of the extracts over time. Miron ultraviolet glass is ideal for packaging, boasting maximum potency, freshness, taste, energetics, and stability of the herbs’ integrity and that of homeopathic remedies in general (according to “Heilkraft des Sonnenlichts”/“Healing Properties of Sunlight” by Jakob Lorber), protecting your extracts from the complete spectrum of visible light, except violet light. The ancient Egyptians actually stored precious natural items inside violet glass vessels. While sunlight is vital for vibrant life, it accelerates the molecular decaying process of plants after they’ve matured. Miron glass is a natural filter that only allows the sunlight through that protects, enhances, and improves the quality of the herbs. Ultraviolet light (UVA), infrared light (IR) and violet lights are able to pass through, and these lights also have healing properties on the human nervous system. Spend some time in the sun without sunscreen and you’ll know what I mean. In Taoist and Yogic traditions, violet light shows the highest vibration frequency (720 – 770 billion Hz) of all colours, corresponding precisely to that of our central nervous system’s vibrational frequency. Miron glass is the highest quality glass that turns violet when held up to the sun, it’s reusable (hello spice rack) and sleek, and laughs in the face of single-use consumerism 🙂
Spagyrics can be taken in a lesser dose than traditional extracted tinctures and they also increase the duration of activity in the body, though using either a spagyric or regular tincture will suffice for this recipe. Refer to the directions on the vial from the alchemist/herbalist for the daily recommended dose of each plant. The typical recommended dosage of a reishi spagyric is around 5-7 drops daily or as you feel called to, and not to exceed 10-14 drops at once. Less is more! Consistency (while using it on and off over time) is key as the medicinal qualities subtly work their magic over time.
Salted Reishi Cacao Peanut Butter Cups
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp raw local honey melted—vegan friends sub maple syrup
- 1 full dropper reishi tincture or a few drops of reishi spagyric
- 1/8 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract
- 1/3 cup cacao butter melted
- 1/3 cup coconut butter melted
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil melted
- 1 pinch Celtic sea salt
- a few shakes of raw cacao nibs for added crunch (optional)
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- Prepare a 6 cup muffin tin with unbleached, biodegradable muffin cups OR a 6 cup silicone baking mould. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, gently melt the cacao powder, honey, reishi, Ceylon cinnamon, vanilla bean, cacao butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, sea salt, and cacao nibs (if using). Whisk to combine into a smooth syrup as it melts, and ensure it doesn't burn.
- Make the bottom chocolate layer. Using a tablespoon, create a thin layer on the bottom half of the 6 cups with the chocolate. This should only be a thin layer. Place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes the bottom chocolate layer should be hardened. Remove the tray from the freezer, and layer 1 tsp of peanut butter into the center of each cup (more or less as you prefer). Flatten the peanut butter while leaving a bit of empty space near the edges of each cup for the top layer of chocolate to touch the bottom layer and secure the peanut butter.
- Once all 6 cups have peanut butter in them, stir the remaining chocolate. Using a spoon, distribute it evenly among the 6 cups until the chocolate covers the peanut butter. Return the tray to the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and enjoy! Allow them to thaw for a few minutes after they've been in the freezer for a while.
- These cups are best stored in the refrigerator or freezer indefinitely without a problem, as the chocolate isn’t tempered and it’d melt at room temperature. But if you prefer to temper it, go ahead!
- Substitute peanut butter with macadamia nut butter, coconut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter you want! The PB + choc combo is timeless, though.
- Double, triple or quadruple the recipe to make more. You might want to.
- I used a touch of raw local honey, you can also use medicinal manuka honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit sweetener, but you can completely omit it if you prefer no sweetener at all (my tastebuds have evolved to the point where even the plain chocolate with natural peanut butter is sweet enough).
- Optional, but you can infuse good vibrations into your creation by playing some binaural beats or 432 Hz music said to open the heart and release negative energy, or singing or dancing in your kitchen while you’re making it. Why not.
- These make a nutritious, satiating snack or even a quick breakfast that won’t spike your blood sugar. They also go well as an oatmeal or ice cream topping 🙂
- Opt for a wild harvested (ideally di tao sourced) and/or organic bioavailable reishi spagyric or traditional tincture in spring or distilled water without any fillers added, dual extracted from the whole fruiting body (not mycelium) to isolate, concentrate, preserve, and optimally deliver the powerful immunomodulating beta-glucans, polysaccharides, adaptogenic terpenes and other biologically active compounds which results in a raw, living, whole-plant extract with all of the therapeutic constituents of the plant intact.