Unlike cocoa, raw cacao contains natural antioxidants, nutrients and essential fatty acids. It has the same great taste as cocoa and is used in exactly the same way - it is just better for you!
Raw cacao is more natural than cocoa. Regular cocoa is roasted, then put through a process called "alkalisation" (or "Dutching") which changes its colour, flavour and acidity. We feel that this is unnecessary, and that raw cacao is much more delicious, as well as nutritious!
Here are ten facts that you may not have known about this super powder!
Unlike cocoa, raw cacao powder still retains all of its beneficial nutrients making it an all round healthier product.
In particular, raw cacao contains higher levels of Theobromine, which is known for improving blood circulation.
We love the look of this gluten-free chocolate cake! Check out the full recipe here...
Cacao powder makes a fantastic addition to smoothies. This is one of the easiest ways to introduce cacao powder into your diet! It is a great way to get a chocolate kick without having to resort to naughty chocolate bars too. Check out this chocolate and almond oatmeal smoothie - full recipe here...
Cacao is a very complex foodstuff with more than 300 chemically identifiable compounds. It is said to be significantly richer in antioxidant flavonols than green tea, red wine or acai, and contains protein, fats, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine and riboflavine. Basically it is really good for you.
Cacao seems to be one of the richest sources of magnesium. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during their menstrual cycle. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and combats depression.
Cacao powder can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. And the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate.
The Olmecs, famous for carving colossal stone heads, were the first people known to process and eat cacao beans, which they called kakaw. As did other ancient cultures, the Olmecs drank their cacao. Residue left in a small bowl in 1800 B.C. at Paso de la Amada in southern Chiapas, Mexico, provides the earliest evidence of cacao use known today!
Adding sugar and fat to roasted cocoa powder not only diminishes the true chocolatey taste of cacao it is also devoid of all the nutrients that come with raw cacao powder! Whip up a batch of raw chocolate and we swear you won't look back! Try our raspberry and nuts bars - full recipe here...
That's right - cacao powder really lends itself to savoury dishes as well as sweet! In fact cacao powder is one of the staple ingredients to Mexico's staple sauce 'mole'. We love this walnut, tomato and cacao mole and quinoa tortillas recipe. We promise you won't even miss the meat! Full recipe here...
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