Note that cacao nibs can be used in any recipe that calls for cocoa nibs!
Cacao nibs are pieces of cocoa bean.
Cacao is unroasted (as opposed to cocoa).
Tastes like cocoa, but more intense here in its raw form.
Can be used in confectionery, desserts, trail mixes and in baking.
These cacao nibs are raw. Raw cacao beans are hard to come by, because they are usually roasted. Cacao is actually quite a nutritious plant, being high in antioxidants and minerals. Research has shown that cocoa can induce feelings of well-being (which is pretty obvious really). Raw cacao is the purest form of cocoa - no sugar, and not even roasted (as most cocoa powder is).
These cacao nibs are still crunchy just like roasted cocoa nibs - just that they are dried without using excessive heat, and so retain more of the flavour and nutrients. The terms are confusing, but "cacao" tends to refer to the raw product, and "cocoa" to the roasted, but there are no strict definitions and, for all intents and purposes, they are the same thing.
You can eat these cacao nibs just on their own. They have an unusual bitter nutty taste - not entirely unlike cocoa powder, but recognisably different - largely due to the texture. You can also sprinkle cacao nibs into your muesli in the morning, in order to get your chocolate fix!
You can use these raw cacao nibs in any recipe that calls for cacao nibs or cocoa nibs - note that cacao nibs and cocoa nibs are essentially the same thing, but that cacao is not roasted.
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