It’s tough eating healthy sometimes, isn’t it? If it’s healthy for you, it’s not likely to be tasty for the untrained tongue. If it’s healthy and tasty, it’s likely to be expensive and out of your budget (think quinoa). It’s a wonderful thing that cacao exists then because, yes, it hits the perfect trifecta.
Before we dive into the nutrition, let’s address the most obvious thing first. Yes, cacao looks and sounds a lot like cocoa, and for good reason. They are both derived from the same plant and are very similar in properties except for the way they’re made. Unlike raw cacao, which is treated at temperatures lower than 40*C, cocoa is subject to temperatures exceeding 150*C, and in some cases, pH-changing conditions. The harshness of the heat in cocoa production destabilizes the integrity of the nutrients and essentially destroys the nutritional value found in raw cacao. As a result, cacao has a much higher nutritional value than cocoa.
So what’s so great about cacao? Here are a few of the health benefits:
Cacao powder is also reasonably affordable, as far as healthy foods go. A 2-Lb bag of raw cacao powder on Ebay sells for $24.99, which can last you at least a month assuming regular consumption.
Image Source: Isabelle Rozenbaum & Frederic Cirou
The benefits that cacao provides indeed make it worthwhile to give this healthy “chocolate” a sincere try. Of course, as with everything, it’s safe to consume in moderation. Definitely don’t go cuckoo for these cacao puffs, as excess consumption may put strain on your body, specifically your liver and adrenal glands.
Other than that, you can definitely count on raw cacao to be your guilt-free chocolate fix.
Feature Image Source: … co + coa = chocolate by Darlyn Meyer