Chocolate Chili Rub

Spices are one of the top ways to support the gut microbiome and normal inflammatory levels. This recipes will provide 

Cacao Powder

Raw cacao powder is antioxidant-rich, an excellent source of magnesium, and pairs nicely with the savory ingredients in this recipe.  


Chili peppers contain an active compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin may help prevent heart disease. It may stimulate the cardiovascular system and may lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It also helps prevent clotting and hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis).


Garlic produces a chemical called allicin. It is this active ingredient which helps certain conditions. Some research shows garlic can reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure by as much as 7% or 8%. It also seems to lower blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure. Garlic also seems to reduce hardening of the arteries, which is when arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch and flex with age.


There is insufficient evidence for using onion for heart health, but onion is used for treating heart and blood vessel problems including chest pain and high blood pressure, and for preventing hardening of the arteries.  




Coconut is composed of 90% saturated fat, which is a type of fat we’re told to avoid. However, the type of saturated fat in coconut is not the same as the saturated fat in a steak. The fat in a coconut is medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs), and this fat is metabolized differently. Half of the type of saturated fat found in a coconut is Lauric acid. Lauric acid increases total cholesterol the most of all the fatty acids, but the good news is most of that increase may be in HDL, the healthy cholesterol. Along the same lines, there’s some preliminary evidence suggesting coconut oil intake may be associated with a neutral, if not beneficial, effect on cholesterol levels.  

Chocolate Chili Rub

Makes enough rub for 2 pounds of meat

4 Tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder

2 Tablespoons chili powder (any kind you like, but ancho or chipotle are especially good)

1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar (optional)

Combine all ingredients and rub 2 to 3 teaspoons of the mixture evenly onto chicken, pork, or steak. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cooking.


Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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