WHY WE LOVE IT
Cacao is the original chocolate coming from the seeds of the fruit on the cacao trees. Unfortunately, what most of us think of as chocolate contains no actual cacao. Real cacao has a rich and slightly bitter chocolate flavor and cacao nibs can add a nice crunch to your smoothies or desserts. Cacao contains four times as many antioxidants as dark chocolate. These antioxidants can help us stay alert and focused, boost endorphin levels, lower cholesterol and contribute to heart health. To get the health benefits of this superfood, always look for real cacao or cacao nibs to add to your diet.
Cacao also contains theobromine which is a mild stimulant and gives chocolate the reputation of being a good pick-me-up. If you add that to the anandamide present in cacao (molecule responsible for making you feel good) and it’s no wonder that chocolate makes everyone happy!
SELECTION + STORAGE
Cacao is best found at health food stores or online retailers, but could potentially be found at your local grocery store. Either cacao powder or cacao nibs will give you the best health benefits. Just be sure you are buying cacao powder and not cocoa powder. The latter has been heated above 104 degrees; therefore losing much of its nutrient value.
FEAST ON CACAO
While cacao powder and cacao nibs can easily be used in any baking, on top of smoothie bowls or in any dessert, check out some of my favorite recipes to get you started with cacao!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Peanut Butter Cacao Nib Oat Bites
Banana Cacao Recovery Smoothie
Coconut Cacao Nib Breakfast Bars