“An apron is just a cape on backwards.”
Yesterday’s recipe listed cacao instead of cocoa. I’m sure some of you immediately went to spellcheck or Google or some other god of the Internet. Time for a food lesson!
Many people have heard about the health benefits of chocolate and happily repeated these benefits whenever they were caught stuffing M&Ms or mini chocolate bars into their mouths, feeling oh so vindicated. They were fooling themselves.
So let’s look at cacao and cocoa. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa. Rumor has it that cacao has more antioxidants and magnesium than any other food. I love rumors!
Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. This changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value. Lowering, but not completely destroying. Still good for you.
Note well – research shows that dairy inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from raw cacao. If you’re going to add cacao to a drink or recipe, use non-dairy liquids such as almond milk. Still yummy, and still filled with wonderful benefits.
The health benefits of these wonderful foods, if used without sugar or dairy, are numerous and inspiring. Do a little research. Then do a little experimenting in your kitchen.
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.