For the last few years, I’ve been taking a deep dive into researching how herbal aphrodisiacs can support healthy sexuality and help us live more vital and joyful lives. In fact, I have a new book coming out this spring on that very topic. One of the herbs I highlight in the book is cacao. As a chocolate lover, it was fun to learn more about the cacao plant and how it works in my body to increase pleasure. When we eat chocolate (like these chocolate covered strawberries below), we feel energized and uplifted— and this is not only because of its caffeine content…
There are also nourishing minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium in cacao.1 These, in combination with compounds like theobromine and phenylethylamine, all contribute to that rush of good energy. In fact, phenylethylamine is also a naturally occurring compound in the brain: trace amounts of it are released when we are in love and during orgasm.2
One of the ways I conducted research for the book entailed gathering a group of people who experimented with one herbal aphrodisiac each month and shared stories of how these herbs impacted our bodies and our lives.
Cacao was the first herb we played with, and it brought all of us a sense of inspiration, joy, and pleasure right away. There was a quality of indulgence and delight in our cacao experiments. We tried various cacao drinks, truffles, mousse tortes, and chocolate body drizzles. Playing with these recipes opened our hearts and aroused our senses.
Sensuous Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Feeling inspired to indulge in herbal aphrodisiacs with us? Here’s an easy recipe for homemade chocolate covered strawberries that you can get started with right away!
- 1 cup cacao butter
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 Strawberries (or so)
- Cacao nibs & salt for decoration (optional)
- Place strawberries in the freezer while you complete the next couple steps.
- In a double boiler, melt cacao butter slowly.
- When melted completely, add honey & vanilla, and whisk until evenly combined.
- Pour 2–3 tablespoons out into a small pot, and set aside for later.
- Now add cacao powder and coconut oil to the double boiler. Remove from heat and stir until melted and combined.
- Let cool in the double boiler, off the heat for 5–10 minutes, so the cacao can thicken.
- Pull strawberries from the freezer and dip them one at a time into the thick melted chocolate.
- Place neatly on a flat surface (plate or board) and return to the freezer. If you like a thin layer of chocolate on your berries, then one dip should be fine, and if you like the chocolate layer to be nice and thick, repeat this process a couple of times— making sure to freeze your berries for about 10 minutes between dipping again so that the previous chocolate layer is nice and hard before adding the next.
- When you have finished layering with dark chocolate, and the berries have returned to the freezer for their final 10 minutes, warm the melted cacao butter that you saved from earlier on the stove, JUST until it is melted again.
- When the cacao butter is melted, it’s time to decorate your chocolate covered strawberries: use a spoon to scoop some of the butter up and drizzle your dipped strawberries with diagonal lines.
- Sprinkle with cacao nibs or salt, or enjoy as they are.
Consider inviting someone you love to joyfully dip the strawberries with you. This process can be a shared sensual experience. Or, simply display the chocolate covered strawberries on a beautiful platter (perhaps sprinkled with rose petals or cacao powder), and in sacred solitude relish the ritual of eating an herbal aphrodisiac treat you have prepared for yourself with such care.
However you choose to enjoy them, these easy chocolate covered strawberries are bound to bring you pleasure and delight.
- Afoakwa, E.O., Quao, J., Takrama, J., Budu, A.S., Saalia, F.K. (2011). Chemical composition and physical quality characteristics of Ghanaian cocoa beans as affected by pulp pre-conditioning and fermentation. Journal of Food Science and Technology 50(6):1097-1105. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0446-5. ↩
- Mars, B. (2002). The Sexual Herbal: Prescriptions for Enhancing Love and Passion. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press. ↩