What is cacao powder?
Cacao powder comes from cacao beans, the seed pods of the cacao tree. The beans are harvested, dried & pressed to remove the fatty outer layer (which can be made into cacao butter) and what’s left is then milled to make cacao powder. Cacao is also available in nibs, often used as a topping for smoothie bowls or smoothie.
Difference between cacao & cocoa
Both come from cacao bean but there is a big difference between them. Cacao is made by milling the beans at low temperatures, while cocoa at very high temperature, cacao tends to retain more nutrients including antioxidants & natural flavour, while cocoa may be more processed and may also be combined with sugar and other additives.
When cacao is roasted to be made into something like chocolate, some of the antioxidants and nutrients are lost. If sugars are added, it changes the nutritional value. Now you know the difference between cacao and cocoa and next time make sure to check the labels & look out for hidden sugars before purchasing.
How is cacao powder beneficial for you?
Cacao contains a full pack of flavonoids, which can help build your immune system and has heart health benefits too! Raw cacao powder also contains natural mood stimulants, including anandamide, which helps to lift up your mood, amino acid and arginine to relax your blood vessels.
Raw cacao powder has nearly 4 times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate, in fact, of all the natural foods in the world, also a good source of magnesium, which is important to your nervous system.
Delicious and healthy ways to use cacao powder!
It might not be as sweet as cocoa but the health benefits worth the switch worthwhile. You can balance the bitter taste by mixing with berries which gives a natural sweetness, or try some other ways like:
Cacao drinks, cacao desserts, cacao snacks, all of them are healthy if you are using the raw cacao powder!