While it looks like the packaged chocolate powder you buy in the baking aisle of the supermarket, what I’m referring to here is the raw grounded stuff you get from cocoa beans. It’s what gives chocolate it’s flavour – like vanilla bean for vanilla ice-cream or the spices that make curry powder.
When you buy chocolate, for example, the darker the chocolate the more cocao and less sugar it contains. That’s why chocolate with 70% cocoa or more will taste more intense (or bitter) than milk chocolate. Many commercial cacao powders are the same. They’re not pure cacao. They often contain sugar, emulsifiers and other additives. Raw cacao can be found in most health food stores.
Like all plant foods, the cocoa or cacao bean contains a number of health-promoting compounds known as phytochemicals. The phytochemicals that have generated the most interest are the polyphenols, especially flavonols, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health – they can keep arteries elastic and lower blood pressure, which can decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Cacao is also packed with antioxidants and many essential minerals, including magnesium, iron, manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and phosphorus.
Now, to the recipes. These are my absolute favourite ways to use cacao and all of these images can be found on my Instagram account (which I should warn you does have loads of pics of food!).
This is heaven in a bowl. It’s also a never-fail recipe courtesy of The Farm, San Benito, in the Philippines. I’ve run their recipes before, but I thought to share my absolute fave in time for Easter. Like most of the recipes on this blog, it’s wheat-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and 100% delicious – just as rich, decadent and creamy as the store-bought kind. Yep, even ice-cream lovers won’t be able to tell it’s not really ice-cream! Bonus: it’s super healthy as it’s rich in healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants and magnesium.
This one is best served chilled and topped with strawberries, crushed nuts and shredded coconut. People are always surprised this recipe is made from avocados.
This is my take on the ‘Sweet Omelette’ recipe by The Holistic Ingredient. I just added a tablespoon of raw cacao powder into the mix and then served it with bananas and nuts. Yummo!
Seriously, what better way to start the day than a chocolate milkshake that’s actually good for you?
These guys taste just like the store-bought, sugar-laden bars without the refined sugar, milk solids, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, emulsifiers and other additives!
I hope you enjoy them!