Why You Should Never Mistake Cacao for Cocoa
Written by: Kat Gal
I have a confession to make.
I am a chocolate-addict.
You too? High five, sister/brother! Welcome to the club.
Don’t be shy, it’s okay – chocolate is actually VERY good for you!
More and more studies are showing that chocolate has incredible health benefits. They mainly revolve around antioxidant-rich dark chocolate (not milk chocolate candy bars). Chocolate has even made it to the list of superfoods.
Let me clarify – it’s NOT actually chocolate that’s on the list, but cacao, the main ingredient of quality goodness.
Wait a minute. Chocolate, cacao, cocoa…
What Is The DIFFERENCE?
Some chocolates are made from cacao, while others are made from cocoa. Though both cacao and cocoa come from cacao beans, there is an important difference (hint: you want the cacao).
Cacao beans are fantastic. They are one of nature’s most powerful antioxidant foods. The difference between cacao and cocoa is the way they are made from cacao beans.
By cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans, farmers make cacao. To make cocoa, however, they use roasted cacao beans that have been processed at high temperatures. Through this high-heat process of making cocoa, most of the nutrients are actually lost. You therefore end up with a not-so-super brown powder.
In the case of cacao, on the other hand, through cold-pressing, there is very minimal processing involved and all the antioxidants are preserved and remain intact. As a result, a powerful superfood – true cacao – is created.
We made sure to use 100% true cacao in our Organifi Complete Protein powder. That’s one of the reasons it is 100% delicious! Try yours today.
Why You Want Cacao Rather Than Cocoa
Beyond the processing of cocoa, some mainstream and popular chocolate makers that use cocoa also use unhealthy ingredients in their manufacturing process. They mix cocoa butter with vegetable oils to create a cheaper product. Some chocolates even contain high fructose corn syrup and soy lecithin. Nutritional benefits get lost and harmful ingredients take their place; even the taste suffers as a result.
Manufacturers making high-quality chocolate use natural and minimal ingredients, including cacao.
What Chocolate Is Best?
Research has proven that dark chocolate is better for your health than milk chocolate or chocolate candy bars. Dark chocolate is less processed and – due to the high cacao concentration – higher in antioxidants as well.
Cacao is so powerful because it:
- Contains more antioxidants than goji berries, acai and blueberries
- Has lots of minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc and manganese
- Increases the levels of some neurotransmitters, promoting well-being and brain health
- Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduces your risk of stroke
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Boosts your mood
- Protects your nervous system
- Helps prevent cancer
- Improves your vision
- Improves memory loss
Where To Find Cacao Powder And Real Chocolate
You may find cacao powder at your local health food store or order it online. Make sure you check the spelling. Look for organic varieties.
You may find dark chocolate made with cacao at your local health food store, the natural food aisle at your regular supermarket, online, small artisan chocolate shops, or even at small chocolate stands at your farmer’s market.
In any case, be sure to check the ingredients. Make sure they are minimal and natural. Check for the cacao percentage – the higher the percentage, the better it is for your health. Aim for at least 70%. Make sure that it is spelled cacao (not cocoa). And, as always, organic is the best way to go.
To get the best of the best for you health, buy organic raw dark chocolate made with raw cacao. You can also MAKE your own dark chocolate at home from cacao.
Here is a recipe for you to try!
Give this delicious recipe a try and let us know how it goes! Have you ever made your own chocolate? What is your favorite chocolate? Let’s start this chocolate talk… share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Homemade Chocolate Bars
- ½ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup of virgin coconut oil
- 4-6 tbsp of raw honey
- Optional: goji berries, raw cacao nibs, dates, sun-dried fruits, raw nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, whatever fancy and healthy you desire
- Combine coconut oil with the honey.
- Stir, then add the cacao powder.
- Stir until it gets thick.
- Add any extra ingredients (goji berries, cacao nibs etc) you may have, then stir well again.
- Pour into any flat container or chocolate molds.
- Freeze until solid.
- Store in the freezer.
- If you want to make chocolate sauce, you can melt it.
- You can break it into small pieces to use it as chocolate chips or chunks.
Image source: http://almondsandavocados.com/homemade-almond-chocolate-bar/
Love chocolate? Organifi Complete Protein is our very own VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, ORGANIC protein powder that doubles as a multivitamin! It’s creamy and delicious. You can get it in CHOCOLATE or VANILLA. Getting enough daily protein has been shown to help support weight loss, muscle tone, improve immunity and boost energy. Get your bottle here.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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