Raw cacao, raw cacao nibs.. It seems like everyone is talking about raw cacao these days but what’s really the difference between cocoa powder and the raw version and is it worth the extra money?
In order to fully understand the difference we’ll start from the beginning. Cacao is made from the raw, unprocessed bean from the Theobroma tree. The beans can be found in a cacao pod which are later cracked open. The beans can be cold-pressed into cacao nibs (which are absolutely delicious in chocolate chips or daily musli), ground to powder or formed into raw chocolate. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao which is why some people say cacao is good for our bodies.
However, if the beans are heated over 42°C it will not remain raw cacao. Once the beans are roasted and grounded it becomes cocoa powder which is what we often can purchase in the grocery store. Note that a small amount of sugar is added often added to the cocoa powder to counter the cocoa’s bitter taste.
Raw unprocessed cacao, retains a higher level of flavonoids which help to prevent blood clots and keep the blood pressure normal. It is also a great source of vitamins, minerals and natural carbohydrate. In short, it is a magnificent source of nutrients.
So how can we use the raw cacao powder? You can basically use the powder the same ways as cocoa (when baking, in smoothies, hot drinks etc) but it will leave you with a more intense flavor, this way you don’t have to use the same amount of cacao and it will last longer!
If you are a dare devil and like to experiment in the kitchen, try adding a pinch of raw cacao in a casserole or sauce to a meat dish.
* Feel free to use either raw cacao or cocoa powder in all our recipes.
By: Linnéa Nilsson