Cacao is a favorite among the superfoods and has recently been in the spotlight. Cacao is traditionally grown in Mexico, South America, and Central America and has been used for thousands of years because of its startling health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, Cacao is also high in magnesium, protein, monounsaturated fats, iron, vitamins, and natural carbohydrates, all of which are essential nutrients for the healthy functioning of the body.
Cacao Vs. Cocoa
Cacao and cocoa both come from cacao beans which are the fruit from the Theobroma Cacao tree, however, they are not identical products, although they are often confused. Cacao and cocoa are processed in a different way with the cacao producing the purest chocolate that is available today. Cacao has a very rich flavor and texture, retaining its nutrients because it is processed at a low temperature with fewer additives such as dry milk, and sugar as you will find with cocoa based products. Cocoa powder is low cost compared to cacao and it is much easier to find.
Ways to Enjoy Cacao
There are many ways to enjoy cacao. The cacao powder can be used in many popular baking recipes, which means you can add more nutritional values in cookies, cakes, and brownies. You can also add cacao to drinks and all varieties of foods that you wish to endow with a chocolate flavor. You can add it to shakes, coffee, smoothies, and hot chocolate. Mexican mole, which is a savory chocolate sauce that accompanies poultry dishes, is a great example of how cacao can be used alternatively.
The Many Forms of Cacao
There are many ways to enjoy the benefits with cacao. The cacao powder is wonderful, very healthy, and a delicious additive to all foods. On the market today, cacao nibs are very popular. The cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been diced and cut up into smaller portions, which resembles chocolate chips, but the cacao nibs are not enhanced with sugar and fat. The nibs are packed with nutrients, fiber, and healthy fat that can be used as a paste if you heat the cacao nibs slowly. As the cacao nibs melts, then poured into a bark they are a delicious dark chocolate candy bar without all the additives, calories, and sugars, that can be added to many of the favorite desserts or just eat the bark alone for a healthy snack.
The next time you need a delicious superfood that is nutritious try the cacao as a superfood to keep your diet on board.