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Cocoa and Cacao: What's the Difference?

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Ever wondered what the difference is between cacao and cocoa? Us too! Most us have grown up with cocoa (hello hot chocolate, cakes and chocolate bars...), so if you’re confused you’re certainly not alone!

Cacao is made by cold-pressing the cacao bean, and is the purest form of chocolate we can get. Cold pressing cacao beans removes the fat (cacao butter), but without removing the nutrients and antioxidants. You’ll find cacao in raw chocolate, and also as cacao nibs and powder. Cocoa is the processed version of cacao, commonly sweetened and used in chocolate bars, cocoa powder and hot chocolate.

 

Cocoa and Cacao: What’s the Difference:

 

Cacao

  • Thought by many to be a superfood - packed with healthy antioxidants and trace minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
  • Cacao is thought to release a brain chemical (seratonin) with mood-boosting properties! It can also help reduce cravings for sweet foods (including chocolate).
  • Raw cacao is thought to contain higher levels of antioxidants than other superfoods such as blueberries and goji berries.
  • Because pure cacao is unprocessed with nothing added, it doesn’t taste sweet and can sometimes taste a little bitter

 

Cocoa

  • Cocoa has gone through a high temperature roasting process which reduces the number of healthy enzymes. Good quality cocoa still contains some antioxidants and nutrients, though the amount of sugar added to cocoa can diminish its healthy properties.
  • Unless you actively look for raw chocolate, the vast majority of chocolate we buy is made using cocoa, not cacao.

 

If you’re looking for a healthier treat, consider swapping your usual chocolate bar for raw chocolate for a natural antioxidant boost. You could also try making hot chocolate with raw cacao powder and a natural sweetener such as agave or maple syrup, rather than hot chocolate powder.

  #Inspiration   #cacao   #hot chocolate   #nutrients   #antioxidants   #Ingredients   #cocoa   #chocolate   #superfood   #seratonin   #sweet treats

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