Superfood Sunday: Hearty Cacao Slow Cooker Chili
This Hearty Cacao Chili is perfect as the temperatures drop and we find ourselves wanting a filling, delicious warm meal that will nourish mind body and soul!
'We are what we eat, eats...'
I eat grass fed beef once or twice a week - I love the iron rich, energy boost it gives me when I eat it in small qualities. However I always ensure it is grass fed for optimum nutritional value. The nutritional value of grass fed beef is completely different from grain fed beef, grain fed meat can have only up to a quarter of Vitamin E of grass fed, one eighth of beta-carotene and only one third of omega 3 fatty acids.
The fat profile of grass fed versus grain fed beef is one of the most important nutritional constituents: when we eat a diet too high in Omega 6's and too low in Omega 3's it can cause inflammation in the body. The typical western diet can be 11:1 to 30:1 in favour of the pro-inflammatory Omega 6, so anything we can do to help balance this ration is extremely favourable to our health. Beef from cows that eat grass as opposed to those who are fed grain has an Omega 3 content enhanced by 60 percent.
Grass fed beef is more expensive than grain fed (you can buy it from Trader Joes and Whole Foods), so thinking quality rather than quantity when it comes to beef is super important. One of the things I love about this chili recipe is that the amount of veggies equal the amount of meat, so not only are you getting an extra nutritional boost from them, you are also making the meat stretch a lot further than if you were to eat it on its own.
A lot of good chili recipes call for dark chocolate (yum), but in this recipe I switch it out for its superfood cousin, cacao. Cacao has a higher amount of antioxidants than any other food known to man, is rich in the essential nutrient magnesium (needed for over 300 processes in the body), and helps raise our feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Talk about a win win win!
Chili is perfect for Meal Prep Sunday as it keeps really well in both the fridge or the freezer, and the longer you keep it the more the flavor deepens. Using the slow cooker means you can make it on a Sunday evening, leave to cook overnight and have meals for the rest of the week (we have even been know to have it for breakfast on a Monday morning)...
Hearty Cacao Chili
(this recipe makes a lot of chili - you can halve the ingredients if you need a smaller amount)
- 2lbs grass fed ground beef
- 2 cans organic chopped tomatoes (ensure cans are BPA free)
- 1 cup Bare Bones Broth (chicken or beef)
- 2 teaspoons organic tomato puree
- 1 white onion
- 3 large zucchini
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon grass fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
Melt butter/ghee/oil in a pan. Dice onion, zucchini and red pepper, and saute in the oil until slightly soft. Place in the slow cooker.
In the same pan brown the beef, draining off any excess fat before placing in the slow cooker.
Add all of the other ingredients to the slow cooker, stir really well and leave to cook for 4 hours on high, or overnight for 7-8 hours.
Before serving tear up some fresh leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard) and stir through warm chili so the leaves wilt a little.
If you like this recipe you will love the recipes contained in my 28 Day Low Carb Boot Camp!