It may be the best thing you've ever heard... 'Chocolate' and 'Healthy' in the same sentence.
When I say chocolate I am referring to raw cacao - chocolate in it's natural state.
Here are a few things you need to know before swapping regular cocoa powder for raw cacao powder.
What is a cacao bean?
The original bean from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made. They are small tropical American evergreen tree that bears these seeds, which are contained in large, oval pods that grow on the trunk. The tree is now cultivated mainly in West Africa.
So what is the difference between cocoa and cacao?
Cocoa is the processed form of cacao which often has added solvents and other additives.
Cacao is the powdered form of the cacao bean which makes it perfect for a healthy alternative to cocoa powder.
Benefits of raw cacao:
Raw cacao has 7 times more antioxidants than dark chocolate and 21 times more antioxidants than green tea. Contains magnesium, potassium, protein, iron and calcium!
Other cacao products:
1. Cacao butter
Cacao Butter is the edible natural fat of the chocolate bean, cold pressed to retain its nutritional properties and exquisite natural aroma and flavour. This is used in many recipes especially when making raw chocolate.
2. Cacao nibs
Cacao nibs are the shelled and crushed cacao beans which can be used as an alternative to chocolate chips.
You may be wondering how to eat raw cacao powder/nibs? Add nibs to baked goods or smoothies. Swap regular cocoa in baking to raw cacao powder or smoothies. Try a raw cacao avocado mousse or chia pudding. Try out my Healthy Hot Chocolate recipe!