How Handmade Chocolate is Made (Part 1) – The Renegade Health Show Episode #415

Monday Oct 12 | BY |
| Comments (52)

I know what you’re thinking…

Why would Kevin and Annmarie do a show on chocolate?!?

Honestly, I wouldn’t until we met Jeff Botticelli.

When we ran into Jeff and we saw the artistry of what he was making, we knew he had transcended the “chocolate craze” and was actually producing something made with skill, artisanship and love.

What he makes at ChocolaTree in Sedona, AZ are amazing treats… they’re premier gourmet treats, not something sugary that you stuff in your mouth one after another. 🙂

You’ve got to see how easy he makes this look and how special these really are…

(And yes, I tried one… but that was all I needed for the next 6 months!)

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What is your favorite treat?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Joni says:

    My favorite treat by far is raw chocolate, but since I’ve been reading so many unfavorable things about it have given it up. I would love to know the real truth about raw cacao.

  2. Cindy says:

    I want some of this dude’s chocolate!! I am still a sweet’s feind!

  3. Elena says:

    WoW! What a lovely raw food alchemist. I resonated with his deep connection to the plant he is working with and can sense the love and reverence he has for cocoa and for the magical chocolate he is making. Thanks so much for sharing this! I had never heard of him, only of Sacred Chocolate.

    I have to say, raw chocolate is one of my favorite treats, too.

  4. Heyward says:

    It’s cool hearing his story”…used to make chocolate for the David Wolfe’s staff”…cool to hear someone worked for someone else I respect and then went off their own.

    My favorite treat is a tablespoon of E3Live mixed with Sacred Chocolate’s “immuno mushroom.” Something about stem cells…dave said “something something stem cell production” when you mix blue green algae with medicinal mushrooms.

  5. Mary says:

    Wow – Jeffrey Bottecelli! What a great guest.
    Please give us correct spelling of his name. I really liked his philosphy about Bees and being grateful as they bless & help create everything we eat. Thanks for the show, can’t wait to get some Sedona Chocolate-Chocola Tree! Actually, right now Chocolate is my favorite – had an amazing chocolate drink at Au Lac Vegetarian restaurant in Fountain Valley, CA. last week – INCREDIBLE! All natural. I felt Great all day.

  6. Jefrey Botticelli says:

    ~ You can find a heavy & Light sides to all thing in this world. For the truth is within and for you to find in all things. Every thing on our planet has a purpose, nothing is here by accident… Cacao has had an amazing purpose for a long time. Here to be enjoyed in small amounts and held sacred. Less is more, cacao reminds us of non-judgement, bringing harmony with our hart and mind,to listen to what we put into our body and connect with it…Everything we put into our body has a message. Its ok to listen to others and not get caught up in the whirl wind. Indulgence in anything has serious outcome. Cacao eaten in large amounts can have affects on us that we are not emotionally ready for. The difference between medicine and poison is dosage all native peoples on our planet have known this, it seems we have forgot. Cacao should be used respectfully and medicinally. Apply this to life and you shall be gifted the truth in all.

    illuminations in Love… j~

  7. simon says:

    Wow, this guy is amazing… I love the way he talks with words but also with his hands. 🙂

    My favourite treat is Juliano’s Cashew Gelato mmmmmhhhh, heaven!

  8. Wow, how kewl! Where do I find his chocolate. What’s really neat is I have horses and I trim there feet myself and allow them to be barefoot and natural. 🙂

  9. alice says:

    My favorite treat is watching hot raw food guys!
    Thank you!

  10. Ahntara says:

    My fav treat is raw cacao. I save it for special occasions. Wish I could get some of this guy’s stuff. I also LUV seeing AnnMarie on the show. AM you’re a STAR!

  11. Linda says:

    Can Jeff’s chocolate be purchased via the mail?

  12. Kaye says:

    I looooovvveee cutting a nice soft medjool date into about 6 tiny pieces and topping each tiny little piece with a tiny bit of raw crunchy peanut butter, very satisfying treat!! If I’m being really outta control, I will mix a couple of dates, some raw peanut butter, raw honey, and rolled oats together and eat with a spoon~~ Heavenly!!

  13. Sherry says:

    My favorite treat is Goji berries.

    I am quitting sweets while I am getting off my sugar addiction.:)

    Does any one know how long it takes to break a addition to sugar?

  14. LuAnn Agustin says:

    My favorite treat is and always has been chocolate. Now, raw cacao treats occasionally. mmm… I hope there is more of today’s show as I want to see the finished creations!

    To #42 10/9/09 B&E,

    I make my favorite Onion Bread recipe for the pizza crust but omit the onions and add chopped (pre-soaked) sun dried tomatoes & Italian seasonings. Then top with nut cheese and whatever toppings I have on hand (sliced cherry tomatoes, diced onions, diced red peppers, sliced mushrooms, julienned zucchini, Parma © (parmesan cheese replacement) etc.)

    2 large yellow onions, sliced fine
    1 c flax seed, ground
    1 c sunflower seeds, ground, raw
    1/4 c nama shoyu or tamari
    1/4 c olive oil, organic, cold pressed, virgin
    1/4 c water, pure

    Combine all ingredients. Mix well, either by hand or using an electric mixer. Spread batter out to approximately 1/4 inch thickness, into a large square shape. Place on TEFLEX sheet on a dehydrator tray and close door. Set at 105 degrees F. After 24 hours, take bread out. Flip over onto mesh sheet and remove TEFLEX. Score into desired shapes. Return to dehydrator and bake at 100 degrees for 12 more hours. Break into pieces and serve.

    2 t fresh lemon juice
    2 cloves of garlic
    1/4 small red bell pepper
    1 T tamari

    Then add/blend:
    1 cup raw/soaked/drained cashews

    and to #62 10/9/09 Susan Bessette

    Tastes like my mom’s homemade apple pie only better for you!

    1 c raw walnuts (soaked & dehydrated)
    9 Medjool dates (pitted)
    2 Granny Smith apples
    2 Fuji apples
    3 TB raw agave nectar
    1 1/4 c raw pecans (soaked & dehydrated)
    1 t Vanilla extract
    1/2 t Celtic Sea Salt
    1 t cinnamon (ground)
    1/2 c Organic raisins
    1 t Fresh lemon juice
    1 TB flaxseed (ground)
    1/4 c raw honey
    1 c chopped nuts

    1. Crust: Process the following ingredients using the “S” blade of your food processor; then pat into a 9″ pie plate: 1 1/4 C Pecans, 5 Medjool Dates, 3 Tbs Agave, 1 C Walnuts, 1/4 tsp Sea Salt & 1 tsp Vanilla
    2. Filling: 2 Granny Smith & 2 Fuji Apples, 4 Medjool Dates, 1/4 tsp Sea Salt, 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 C Raisins, 1 Tbs Ground Flaxseed, 1/4 c Raw Honey, 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 – 1 Cup Chopped Nuts. Peel one green apple and one sweet apple. Use the “S” blade to process the apples and dates into small chunks. Transfer into another bowl and add the ground flax, salt, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice, and raisins. Stir well. Coursely chop the last two apples. Add to mixture, stir and pour into crust. Top with chopped nuts. Refrigerate.

    and to #75 10/9/09 Boyana Zietlow

    (Omit the nuts. I used to be allergic to walnuts among other food items such as melons, peppers, etc. but since going raw I can now eat them. I think I was actually allergic to the pesticides used on non-organic nuts, fruits and veggies)

    Sweet Potato Casserole

    1  1/2 cups pecans or walnuts, soaked overnight, drain
    4 cups peeled/chopped RAW sweet potatoes
    1/2  cup water
    1/2  cup dates, soaked for about 20 minutes
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2  tsp salt
    1/4  cup honey or agave or preferred sweetener

    Put potatoes, 1/2  cup nuts, dates, cinnamon and vanilla in
    food processor and puree until very smooth.

    Pour into a casserole dish.

    In another bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup nuts, salt and honey
    and sprinkle over the potato mixture.  It tastes best
    at room temperature but still good out of the fridge.


  15. Heidy says:

    barhi dates straight up. Coconut date roles. and anything raw and chocolate. I’ve been making similar chocolate treats for myself and friends (fresh hot chilies with sea salt make a great raw chocolate treat), so great to hear him talk about his journey. Thanks guys!

  16. Bill says:

    My most favourite treat is raw chocolate for sure! As a Raw Food business owner, I am privileged to have two friends who make Raw Chocolate, which we get to taste test quite regularly…YUM!

    We sold them in our store over the winter months and it was so hard to stop ourselves from eating it all the time…LOL 🙂

    I will have to pass this link on to them to take a look as it is awesome to see the love that this guy puts into the chocolate! 🙂

  17. Jasmine says:

    this is a really intriguing webisode. Looking forward to the next one as always.

  18. Leam says:

    I loved his passion for what he creates and respect for the products he uses to create. I would love to see the next steps in the process to the end result. I can appreciate how it’s made, but I don’t really care for chocolate.

    My favorite, rare treat is halvah. Maybe once a year I’ll enjoy a piece. A little goes a long way – it is so satisfying.

  19. What a great show. Jeff is such an inspiration with the unity he feels with everything. I’ll also second the enjoyment of handsome raw men being real treats!

    My favorite treat is cacao balls. My latest recipe experimentation for them is as follows. Raw cacao nibs, carob powder, lucuma powder, raw honey, coconut oil, hemp seeds and goji berries. Yummy !

  20. gerry says:

    Favorite treat? Mmmmm, yummy… caoao of course. So good to see C.T. up close and personal, love it. If you see iris about; she IS the Cacoa Queen, tell her I said aloha from OH.

  21. Nancy Zare says:

    I too have been to the raw chocolate factory in Sedona about 3 years ago. This segment reminded me of that visit: intense smell, delicious morsels. I was vegan, not raw at the time, and so didn’t fully appreciate the experience. I’m delighted to get re-acquainted. Unquestionably, chocolate is my favorite treat. I made a delicious batch of fudge or brownies (depends on your perspective) from:
    16 medjool dates
    cacoa powder
    coconut oil
    raw honey
    which I blended in the VitaMix as best I could. It was heavy and thick, so I also did it by hand.

    Last I added chopped walnut pieces. I spread it out in a small glass pan and cut into bite-sized treats. Yum-yum!

  22. Angela says:

    Someone on this blog has an interesting idea about being allergic to the pestisides in some fruit/vegies. I could agree with that. Anywhoo, Jeff was very interesting. I thought his adventure into creating various chocolates was very creative and insiring! I would love to see the rest of how he makes his chocolate, all the way to the mold to shape it, to the finished product. One of my favorite treats is: Alond Milk smoothie=
    -My quick almond milk: 7 TB raw almond butter, 6-7 cups of water, 1 ts vanilla extract, 1/4 ts salt=makes 7 cups.
    Take 1 cup of this milk, add a frozen banana, 1 TB coconut butter and 2 dates! SO Yummy!! Its a little rich, so nice to have once in a while. Sometimes I will add a good quality cocoa powder or a TB of raw cocoa nibs.

  23. Jense Anjali says:

    My favorite treat is witnessing a true artisan like Jeff Botticelli at work. When he shared that he used to work with horses as a farrier, I was not surprised at all. I could see it. Jeff’s workspace is impeccable … every action he takes is impeccable … he transfers something that has nothing to do with cacao. Or better stated, is way more than to do with cacao. And it would be an honor to sample his creations!

    A truly quality video! Thank you for introducing us to Jeff. Wow!

  24. Andi says:

    As a pastry chef, went I went to raw foods this past Spring, chocolate was the FIRST thing I went too! I totally overdid it, but that’s another story LOL…
    Taming chocolate is no easy thing. Jeff is right, it tends to have a mind of it’s own and it takes time to get to know how it “feels right”. But working with it has been so great and I love seeing people simply melt when they take a bite!
    My favorite treat is chocolates made with cinnamon. The Mayans developed this specialty and it is something my soul craves!!

  25. Debbie Gordon says:

    My favorite treat is Raw Halvah!!! YUM!!!! Simple… mix tahini with honey. OMG SOOOOOO GOOD!!

  26. My favorite treats are sun dried figs. They just make me so happy.

    I’d love to taste this guys chocolate though. I just love seeing the passion and love he puts into it.

  27. Cambrea says:

    When I am desperate for a quick chocolate treat, I make chocolate mint “truffles”–throw a handful of nuts into a coffee grinder (walnuts, almonds, cashews), process until just before it turns to butter, add a small spoonful of honey and mash it to a paste. Then add 1 tsp approx of cacao powder and 1/2 drop of peppermint essential oil. (Potent stuff–less than a little goes farther than you think!) Stir/smash it all together with the back of a spoon.

  28. Sophia says:

    Wow! He is so poetic and passionate about his work. It was very neat to hear about his experiences. Thanks!!

  29. christine says:

    almond mylk w banana, cinnamon and honey is my comfort food these days.

  30. Colleen says:

    Great show! It’s such a joy to watch people like Jeff who are so passionately in harmony with their life mission. My favourite treat is 1 tbsp raw cacao stirred in a drink with reishi/chaga tea base, 1 tbsp raw honey, 1/8 tsp cayanne pepper, 1/2 tsp Merlin’s Herbal Magic Elixir, 1 tbsp goji Berries, fresh mint leaves. Looking forward to seeing Part 2 of the video!

  31. Quinny says:

    My favorite treat was always chocolate, now is raw cacao, of course. I have to try really hard to control myself not to eat too much.

    I love this show, and it’s also interesting to know that he had worked for David Wolfe. Can’t wait to see the finish product.

    It would be great to learn how to make raw aged hard cheeses too! Same addictive stuffs!!!

  32. natalya says:

    Do you have a final episode for this making chocolate scene? I’d like to see the result of that process.

  33. jackie says:

    Chocolate, cacao, whatever, and halvah. Would love to try his chocolate…waiting for part 2.

  34. Marijana says:

    Great show! It was great pleasure for me to see that Jeff uses same ingredients as I do when I make my homemade raw chocolate. But he has taken process on whole new level. 😉

    My favorite sweets change as my body changes: sometimes it is just fresh banana, sometimes is banana chips, sometimes it is chocolate, and sometimes seductive cake…. You get the picture. My present new favorite is raw nutella – spread made from hazelnuts and fine oils – cacao and coco, and, well, lets keep something secret for the Inner Circle.

  35. fleurdelaurier says:

    hi kevin,

    i love raw choclate with agave nectar,it is so good…
    now i answered you a question,could you please answer???thanks
    is it true that wholegrains cause intestinal distress and mucus???it is what dr walker and matt monarch say,what about you???

  36. yummy :) says:

    what is beyond fair trade?
    i really wanna know i import raw cacao to greece and i really want to be on top of the fair trade process as it is soooo important ….
    where does he get the most fair trade cacao?

  37. believer says:

    Question on honey …
    since we need to thank and respect the bees cause they nurture the whole world
    how do balance that with eating honey and bee pollen ,dont we disturb and harm them ?
    i love honey so i really want to find a fair solution for bees and people 🙂

  38. Beth says:

    What a great episode!
    I can’t wait to see the next part.

    My favourite treat used to be dark chocolate. Now it is raw cacao in many forms. I’m just eating a raw cacao pudding at the moment (bananas, raw cacao, and a tiny little bit of honey).

  39. Tiff says:

    I’m not sure what my treats are now since my diet is changing so fast. I’m afraid to eat chocolate though, since I was so addicted. Before June I was eating from 1000-2000 calories a day of chocolate, like the Organic Newman O’s, the chocolate ones. I would eat the whole package in one day. That’s why I finally just gave it all up cold turkey and started my health journey. I’m still afraid if I tried one of Jeff B’s chocolates I would eat like 200 more in one sitting. It’s hard, with the cold weather starting, I’m starting to pine for sweets again for some reason.

    So for me treats are that I still eat some processed foods, like bread, tortilla chips, garden burger, etc.

  40. Tiff says:

    Sherry #12—It took me about a month. To break the habit, and then another month on top of that to sortof detox, since the cutting out sugar caused me to lose 25 pounds. It’s great because not only does the addiction go away, but in time the new habit is formed and it’s just not a part of the daily routine any more.

  41. Kali Lilla says:

    Thanks for the great vid! 🙂

    I’m not really clear on how the cacao paste/mass is made and what’s in it. Is is it pure whole fermented cacao beans mashed into a paste (under 115F I presume)and cooled into blocks. Then they melt the blocks in the kitchen?

    I thought raw chocolate started with all raw whole cacao beans or nibs?

  42. jes says:

    cacao. It’s my favorite food. It brightens and strengthens my life, plus the taste is unmatched.

  43. LJW says:

    You know I enjoyed the demonstration and all but I couldn’t believe he was making food for the public and that the Sedona Health Department is in to him working in a public foods kitchen without gloves on.

    I mean come on. I’m David Wolfe’s cousin, for real, and maybe plastic gloves are too synthetic for the chef but I kept waiting for him to put his gloves on. That was extremely disturbing.

    Om shanti.

  44. Ineke says:

    My favorite treat: chocolate for sure!!! It doesn’t have to be raw or vegan but it has to be good quality. So far the European ones (Belgian)are by far the best!! However, no matter how good it is, chocolate should be a treat and not more than that. I could not eat this every day like some of the raw folks.

    On an occasion I make a chocolate mousse with avocado and it is DIVINE !!!

  45. What a great show.
    My favorite treat is hard to narrow down!

    There is nothing like a really really ripe honeydew melon! When it actually tastes like honey! oh, heaven, heaven! I could eat them all day!

    Late Summer/early fall:
    Figs!! Same thing, perfectly ripe when they melt in your mouth

    Cherimoya and pau pau are two other fruits that are heavenly…they are like custard, smooth and creamy.

    And…dates with a bit of tahini and a sprinkle of coconut! Yum! But I have to be careful with these!

    I make a killer Raspberry Coconut Cream Pie!

    Banana ice cream is hard to beat too!

    The thing is, raw desserts are hard to beat, period. Whether it is ripe fruit or a fancy raw dessert, it always beats a processed sugary store bought treat!

    As you can see I have a sweet tooth. 🙂

  46. Jill says:

    Dark chocolate definitely!

  47. suzanne says:

    Hi guys. Just thought of a great ? for readers as well as yourself. As you travel in your motorhome (as we have) it is sometimes difficult to find organic greens for our smoothies. Do you buy regular greens in that case? And any tips on how to store organic greens in frig if you are lucky enough to find organic? My husband and I will be in our RV for up to a year and trying to figure out as well, where am I going to put my VitaMix, food processor, juicer, and small dehydrator.

  48. Thomas says:

    I saw this article concerning granite counter tops, like the one he is spreading the chocolate all over.

    Suzanne, who are “on the road”:
    This place has a searchable map for finding organic produce in the USA:


  49. Debra says:

    Jeff is an absolute doll – go Italians!

    My fave treat is so simple – a spoonful of coconut butter, a spoonful of cacao powder and a bit of agave. mix together and it’s so yum…I will never eat commercial chocolate again.

  50. Sharon says:

    My biggest treat at the moment is raw cheese. I’ve been a chocoholic my entire life. I’ve actually eaten over an entire kilo in one day in a contest with my uncle when I was a teen. Major addict! When I did a watermelon cleanse–10 days just watermelon–I lost my addiction to chocolate. I occasionally put a spoon of cacao in with some frozen strawberries but I’m no longer craving it. My favorite movie is still Chocolat though. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a wonderful movie on many different levels, not just the awesome chocolate parts!

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