The cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, bears large melon size fruits called cacao pods. When the pods are ripe, they are cut from the tree, collected and split open to reveal rows of cacao beans covered in a white pulp. The pulp is removed, the beans are fermented, dried and cleaned before processing into cacao powder.
Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans which are dried and fully fermented seeds of Theobroma cacao by removing the fat or cocoa butter.
It’s nutritious and easy to add to your diet in creative ways.
- Hot/cold cocoa, smoothies, granola
- Puddings like chia breakfast puddings or rice pudding.
- Vegan chocolate mousse: Process avocado, cocoa, almond milk and a sweetener like dates for a thick vegan chocolate mousse.
- Sprinkle over bananas or strawberries.
Health benefits of raw cocoa powder include decreased inflammation, improved heart and brain health, blood sugar and weight control and healthy teeth and skin.
About Raw Cacao Powder
Cacao powder is often labelled a “super-food” and with good reason. The cacao bean has over 300 identifiable compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients. High in magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, beta-carotene and omega 6 fatty acids, cacao powder provides these and other nutrients so that your body performs at its peak levels.
Cacao also contains anandamide, a natural euphoric compound. This means that cacao can act as a mood enhancer and unlike traditional drugs, it is without side effects. Another compound found in cacao beans is tryptophan, a potent natural antidepressant. This means that cacao has two mood enhancing compounds that can help you from feeling blue.
Other benefits of cacao powder include:
1. May aid weight loss due to its chromium content
2. Helps regulate blood sugar levels
3. Has a high content of arginine which is known to have aphrodisiac properties.
4. Helps enhance circulation