All chocoholics hold on tight because we are about to discover the superfood of the century - raw cacao. Raw cacao is the rawest and purest version of chocolate and it is super good for you. Raw cacao is full of vitamins and antioxidants and makes those warm chocolate drinks in autumn fell just so much nicer. It’s a win-win situation – you get your mind off work and day to day stress while your body gets all the nutrients it deserves. Want to know more about this superfood? Keep on reading!
Why raw cacao?
Why raw cacao and not berries or fruits? Why raw cacao instead of white or milk chocolate? What’s so special about raw cacao?
Well, raw cacao contains high amounts of antioxidants which fight off radical damage in the body such as cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and many more. It's also rich in vitamins and minerals (especially in iron, magnesium, vitamin B, copper, and potassium) which help our bodies function properly without getting sick or catching any kind of infections.
If raw cacao is contained daily it fights inflammation, boosts your mood, supports brain health and reduces blood pressure and the possibility of blood clots. Cacao also helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, helps maintain a healthy circulatory system and is a natural antidepressant.
What’s the difference between raw cacao and cocoa?
Yes, yes, I know – cacao-cocoa, tomato-tomato – who really cares, that’s the same thing... It turns out that no! While they seem pretty similar to each other they are almost completely different.
Cacao is like the father and cocoa is the rebellious teen son. Cacao is the amazing healthy superfood which has loads of healthy nutrients that your body needs. Cocoa, on the other hand, is the processed version of cacao.
Cocoa is heat refined and almost totally stripped of nutrients. It also often contains sugar, milk, different kinds of fats, hydrogenated oils and artificial colors and even flavors. With all the added extras to cocoa, it may also cause weight gain. As I said – the line between cacao and cocoa is thin, but with the crossing of the line comes so many unwanted components.
- Cacao contains caffeine and can act as a stimulant much like coffee.
- Cacao trees can live as long as 200 years but only produce for about 25 years.
- Raw cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries.
- Is the second highest plant-based source of Iron.
- Has more Calcium than cow’s milk.
- It is a natural anti-depressant. Cacao contains Serotonin, Tryptophan, Theobromine, and Phenylethylamine - 4 chemicals who are proven to be natural mood boosters.
How to use raw cacao and where can I find it?
Raw cacao comes in different shapes and forms. You can find cacao powder, cacao chocolate nibs, chocolate chips and chocolate bars (preferably that are at least 70% cacao). Raw cacao truly is a superfood in the sense that you can add it to anything and everything. Cacao powder is usually added to smoothies, smoothie bowls, pancake mixes and anywhere that your heart desires.
Cacao nibs, chips, and chocolates are amazing snacks. These versions of cacao can be found pretty much everywhere especially in health food markets or specialised stores. Remember to ask the seller for cacao and not cocoa because I can assure you that it is in fact ten times easier to find cocoa and not cacao.
If it’s your first time trying out cacao then let me warn you – it is a bit bitter but don’t be worried because when mixed with foods, it complements them, and you can’t feel the bitterness.
Our selection of cacao rich foods
Since we (your best friends when it comes to a long, healthy life) know how busy you are in your everyday life, we wanted to help you. For that reason, we have created not only tasty cacao protein bars and cacao brownie bars but also healthy and delicious protein bliss ball recipe. The healthy bars and bliss balls are not only great snacks while running from a meeting to another one but are also really tasty and healthy and for sure will make you feel full until lunch or dinner. If you want to check out the vegan and gluten-free protein bliss ball recipe – click here!
Photo credit: Linda Vesate
So did this delicious superfood which is full of healthy nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants made you want to go to the nearest store and search for it? Because it certainly did it for me. After all, chocolate is one of life’s best pleasures and now you know all about it. If I see a bar of chocolate that contains raw cacao you best believe I will take it and I hope you do so as well!