I eat raw cacao every day. If you spend any time with me, you’ll quickly find out that I love raw cacao and when you find out how good it is for you, you will too! It’s simply a fantastic superfood for your body. I’ve shared seven of the many health benefits that cacao gives your body in this blog.
I personally enjoy eating a wafer or two of 100% raw cacao every day. But there are multiple ways you can easily incorporate raw cacao into your daily routines. Here are six simple ones to start with:
1. Blend into a smoothie
Add 1-2 tbsp of raw cacao powder or cacao nibs to your regular smoothie. It goes fantastic with nut butters or berries. Here is one of my go-to smoothie recipes with cacao.
2. Sprinkle raw cacao nibs on top of smoothies or smoothie bowls for some crunch.
Raw cacao nibs are the peeled and crumbled pieces of whole cacao beans. Some people call them “nature’s chocolate chips.”
3. Add raw cacao nibs to trail mixes for some antioxidant-rich crunch!
Here’s a super simple trail mix recipe that combines two superfoods for an extra protein boost.
4. Whip Up Some Hot (or Cold) Chocolate “Mylk”
Just blend 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder to one cup warmed nut milk or coconut milk. It is better warm it in a small pan on the stove than in the microwave. You have the option to add 1/4 tsp of vanilla or 1-2 tsp of an unprocessed sweetener such as raw honey, yacon syrup, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or stevia.
As a reminder, raw cacao, which is carefully processed at low temperature to preserve the antioxidants and nutrients, is very different from “cocoa.” Cocoa is over-processed at high temperatures that damage cacao’s natural benefits. Hot chocolate blends do not provide the same health benefits as raw cacao powder.
5. Eat a Square of Pure Dark Chocolate
To get the maximum health benefits, you have to eat a brand of chocolate that is minimally processed in its pure, dark form without additives (no corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and artificial colors or flavors). Look for a cacao (or cocoa) content of 70 percent or more (I eat at least a square of 85 to 100% cacao daily), and be sure to watch the portion size. A few thoughtful brands I love with high cacao content are Equal Exchange, Green & Black’s, and Alter Eco. Each brand has a unique flavor profile. I also highly recommend the 100% cacao wafers from Z-Naturals (shown below).
If you’ve really only ever eaten sugar-filled milk chocolate the best way to adjust your taste buds is to keep increasing the cacao content of the chocolate you choose over time. You can go from 60% to 65% to 70% etc. and keep working your way up.
Keep trying different kinds and you’ll uncover one that you love!
6. Grab a Serving of Vegan Chocolate Shakeology!
Vegan chocolate Shakeology includes cacao along with proteins and fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, adaptogen herbs. prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
These are just six simple ways to add more raw cacao to your daily routine. Do you already eat cacao? What are your favorite ways to use it? Share in the comments below.