Chocolate in its original form. The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao, literally: food of the gods) and its fruit were considered sacred food in the culture of the Maya and Aztecs and in Mexico, cacao beans were used as currency until the early 20th Century.
Why is raw cacao healthy?
Raw cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants (flavonoids) and magnesium (for muscle relaxation, heart and brain). It is also rich in mood-lifting chemicals (by increasing the serotonin levels and releasing endorphins), and it can have a libido-enhancing effect (neurotransmitter anandamide, dopamine, phenylethylamine – PEA and serotonin).
Cacao contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which slows the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the blood.
The advantage of raw chocolate compared to conventional milk chocolates is that no sugar or dairy products will reduce or even block the positive effect of the cacao.
Raw cacao is fortunately usually only available in organic quality, and often planted in permaculture, along with other fruit trees which will give it a fine aroma.
What is the difference between cacao butter, cacao powder and cacao nibs?
The cold-pressed oil of the cacao bean. It is used to make white chocolate and can also be used as a moisturizing body butter:
Tip – Rub rough spots and dry skin with a piece of cacao butter. The body heat will bring the cacao butter to melt, because cacao butter melts at about 35 degrees Celsius.
CACAO POWDER / COCOA POWDER:
peeled and crushed cacao beans – cacao usually indicating a raw, non-heated powder, whereas cocoa is usually roasted. To be 100% sure, always check the label. Almost all products of raw quality will say so on their label.
peeled and finely chopped cacao beans; they can for example be used as tiny chocolate chips.