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Cacao: Nutrition, Benefits and Healthy Recipes

Cacao: Nutrition and Health Benefits

Almost everyone loves chocolate. They’re delicious and chock full of healthy plant compounds and antioxidants to boot. However, not all chocolates are made equally, some of them may contain too much sugar while others are heavily processed. Fortunately, there are chocolates that are made out of the minimally-processed raw cacao which gives us more reasons to love this tasty treat.

Cacao vs Cocoa

Before anything else let’s clear things up first, cacao and cocoa are not the same. However, only a fine line differentiates cacao and cocoa. Both of them come from the cacao fruit. This fruit is filled with cacao beans. These beans that are taken directly from the fruit have a white-fleshy casing. This white casing has a flavourful and fruity taste. Traditionally, people would suck the white casing dry and spit out the beans but now producers choose to ferment the white casing. After fermentation, the cacao beans are then sundried. Once the beans are dry, the outer shell is removed and the crumbly cacao nibs are what’s left. What you do with the cacao nibs is what differentiates cacao vs cocoa. If you grind the cacao nibs, you’ll get cacao powder. It is possible to make chocolate from cacao by using a stone grinder. However, if you roast the cacao nibs, you’ll get cocoa powder. It is also possible to make chocolate from cocoa powder just by adding some oils like coconut oil.

Knowing that cacao was not exposed to heat, it is superior to cocoa in the sense that beneficial plant compounds that are sensitive to heat would remain intact. Nevertheless, cocoa still packs a lot of plant compounds but not as much as raw cacao.

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Wellness Impact Editor
Wellness Impact Editor

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