No Artificials No Insulin Boosters No Stevia/Sugar Alcohol No Fruit
I'd like ways to hack my tastebuds
so far I know Coconut Flour/Oil and Cinnamon work well
what else is out there that's Food that canimpact that strong unsweetened cocoa flavor?
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As I understand it, the actual problem is that the "taste" of sweet causes insulin to be secreted in anticipation of sugar. So, what you are asking is actually impossible. You want your cocoa to taste sweet without tasting sweet, i.e. you want your cocoa to taste sweet without any insulin to be secreted. (For the record - I DO TOO!! So I am in total sympathy.) For the record, coconut and cinnamon are both reasonably carby, (depending of course on your definition of "carby") so they could also cause a secretion of insulin as well.
The latest research indicates that all sweeteners cause this insulin secretion. I wish it were otherwise, but it appears that if you insist that your food taste sweet, you must accept what comes with it....a secretion of insulin.
If this is not true, I'd sure like to hear about it!
This is a hard question -- one heck of a good stumper.
To make sure I'm reading it right, you're trying to sweeten cocoa powder without any of the standard "easy answers." Fruit (specifically berries) was my first thought, but you 86'ed the notion of using fruit.
Pieter is right when he mentions fat -- whereas fat isn't normally sweet, it's got that "smooth" characteristic that would downplay the lack of sweetness of your primary ingredient.
My one thought from personal experimentation would be bacon fat. HOWEVER: I don't know in what context you're using cocoa powder. Normally in my work, we'd dissolve cocoa powder into something else (i.e. cocoa into simple sugar syrup for a chocolate sorbet) -- or we'd dust chocolate truffles with a mix of cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar.
How are you looking to use the cocoa powder? My only thought so far is that you'd be using it to accent something else, versus having it be the accented ingredient.
I find that fat usually helps to make it tastier, kind of sweeter, but not really sweeter. If you know what I mean ;-). Favourites are butter and coconut oil. Full fat (greek) yoghurt is also quite ok.
crushed mint leaves? Cinnamon is a given, I combine them frequently. With mint. I'll be checking back to see what others say for sure!
Try vanilla. Take it from the pros. Take a look at the ingredients of one of Green and Black's 85% cacao bars. This is by far the sweetest tasting bar I've found with that high of cocoa content.
Licorice root/powerder makes things sweeter. I think it could go nicely with chocolate, in the right amount.
My chocolate fix is easy:
in a bullet blender cup half filled with Ice 6-7 cubes 1/2 Cup lite Coconut Milk 2 Tablespoons Coca Powder 1 banana 10 filbert/hazelnuts (optional) but I like the nutty flavor it gives, reminds me of Frangelico liquor.
Blend til thick and creamy.
Try cardamom - it's a fragrant spice traditionally used in baking and also in many indian (sweet and savoury) dishes. It's a got a warm, aromatic flavour, with a slight eukalyptus component. Goes great with coffee as well, incidentally.
Also, you mentioned coconut oil/flour - in case you haven't tried, there is also creamed coconut (i.e. very concentrated dessicated coconut) which has a lot of natural sweetness, and the combination with cocoa powder is beyond amazing.
For what it's worth, I've found the 99% chocolate bars from Cost Plus World Imports to be quite tasty without any hint of overt sweetness, and at that percentage they have a truly minimal amount of sugar and a maximum amount of the "good stuff". A half-bar is something like 14g of sugar, of which half is fiber (presumably from the cocoa nibs themselves, which add a bit of crunchiness). I don't know how they make this bar so satisfying, since I've actually tried nibbling at 100% baking chocolate bars and -- no surprise -- they're basically inedible.
First off, it appears you're trying to concoct non-paleo foods from paleo foods. You'll be much happier if you stop these Franken-disasters.
That said, if you're trying to make something sweet with cocoa powder, you need to start with something that has its OWN sweetener already - fruit.
For smoothies, try banana, avocado, cocoa powder, and some ice/water. You can also skip the ice/water part and just make a pudding.
The only place you should be getting "sweet" is from fruit. There is nothing else natural. I have no idea why you stipulated "no fruit" but you want to make something sweet without fruit - that's no longer paleo
A word about carob...it is a leguminose so it isn't paleo.
Coconut sugar. Not palm sugar. Coconut sugar has a low glycimic index and is full of nutrients. It's not refiend like most stevia and other sweeteners. It's sap collected from the blossoms of the coconut tree. This is then boiled down to make a dry product which can come in a block or granular form. It's one of the most sustainable sweetners not to mention very environmentally friendly. It's slow releasing so you wont get that weird sugar high. It's used 1:1 to granular cane sugar so its super easy to use as a replacement in recipes calling for cane sugar. It has a nice mellow caramel aroma and taste. Might not technically be paleo but its the only sweetener i feel comfortable using.
I sometimes use cocoa powder to make little cupcakes in coffee cups. Ingredients are mashed banana, coconut or almond butter, egg and cocoa. 2 minutes in the microwave. Two cupcakes. (I make this as a treat to try to show my non-paleo boyfriend that paleo food can be a fun treat sometimes, too.) It tastes sweeter if I put a square of super dark chocolate in the middle of the cupcake. Something about the melted fat maybe. Not knowing what you are doing with your cocoa powder, perhaps you just need to add fat.
Maybe this is off topic, but your question made me think of carob, have you considered it in place of chocolate?
I searched the archives and saw that a week ago, Dee wrote this in response to another question:
I like carob- for me it tastes like sweet light chocolate. I think advantages are that it contains no stimulants, so can drink at night, and that it is sweet without adding sugar, plus it won't kill your dog and is a decent substitute for those allergic or sensitive to chocolate. I mix it with milk or cream and drink it like hot chocolate. I don't add anything else.
Could be a good option if you don't find a way to sweeten cocoa w/o fruit.