The amazing thing about cacao is it tastes just the same as refined cocoa powder but it’s so much healthier for you – so make the swap and you can still enjoy a huge variety of chocolate-based deliciousness! From breakfast treats to afternoon tea and healthy puds, this versatile ingredient really is an all-rounder for your health to be enjoyed at any time of the day. So we did some digging and got the low-down on exactly what makes cacao such fabulous food for the heart and soul.
What is Cacao?
Cacao is the raw, unrefined part of the bean and a fantastic alternative to the sugary stuff. This bean is then chipped away to form nibs which can then be pressed into paste to form liquor buttons or milled into a powder to form cacao powder
Why do I need it?
It’s full of the good stuff; raw organic beans are cultivated without the use of chemicals and fertilisers, meaning they provide your body with more nutrients than the standard (and processed) cocoa beans. In this form it is an amazing source of magnesium, iron and flavonoids (a mouthful we know) making it a health hero for not only your heart and brain, but your immune system, muscles, bones and even pearly whites. What’s more, cacao is brimming with antioxidants which may help to ward off heart conditions and complications, as well as supporting a healthy blood pressure level.
How can I eat it?
Whether your sweet tooth is craving a chunky brownie, chocolatey-mocha smoothie, frappe or just a good old fashioned mug of hot cocoa – raw cacao can be whizzed up any which way you prefer to create a health treat brimming with goodness rather than guilt.
- It’s full of original goodness – and all those healthful vitamins and minerals that keep you looking and feeling your best. Most of these health heroes are sadly lost in the process of making refined cocoa powder.
- Raw cacao = one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants. These protect our delicate cells from damage and promote cardiovascular and heart health! Lower blood pressure and improved circulation are also touted as health benefits of eating cacao.
- Chocolate makes you happy. It’s true – cacao raises levels of serotonin, which is a known mood-booster and natural anti-depressant. Woohoo!
- It’s a fab source of manganese, magnesium and sulphur. Not only do these build strong nails and promote beautiful, glowing skin, but bone, nerve and thyroid health which enables protein and energy production. So go get ‘em kids.
Try our Raw Brownies recipe for an instant healthy hit of Cacao goodness.