The ancient Mayans and ancient Aztecs knew about the amazing healing properties of the cacao (raw chocolate) for thousands of years and now you can, too.
It’s easy to incorporate this delicious, nutrient-rich and complex food into your daily routine. Find cacao beans (or its ground form, raw cacao powder) online or in your local health food store.
Benefits of Raw Cacao
What you get from cacao:
- Highest whole food source of magnesium.
- Raises endorphins.
- Promotes the healthy exchange of neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
- Higher in antioxidants than red wine, green tea and blueberries combined.
- Tastes delicious and satisfying.
Raw Cacao Versus Chocolate Candy Bars
Why not just eat chocolate candy bars to get your cacao? When you eat common, commercial chocolate, the antioxidants are gone due to the way it is processed.
Regular, commercial chocolate also contains many additives such as table sugar, dairy and thickeners. Unlike commercial chocolate, which is commonly found in candy bars throughout the country, raw cacao’s benefits and nutrients are preserved, because the cacao isn’t heated.
Look for raw organic cacao beans, nibs or powder. Avoid the sugary cacao you see in regular markets, go for the real cacao found in health food stores.
A Google search of raw cacao will turn up vendors. Your local health food store or juice bar may have raw cacao too.
Two Yummy Ways to Enjoy Cacao
Ready to try raw cacao at home? Purchase raw cacao powder and add it to a smoothie with a banana and almond milk.
Here’s a simple, cacao pudding that tastes like dessert but doubles as a healthy breakfast or snack:
1 ripe avocado, skin and seed removed
A little bit of coconut milk or almond milk, unsweetened
3-4 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange (+ more as needed)
1 teaspoon orange zest
Himalayan sea salt to taste
A dab of raw honey (optional)
Shredded coconut (for topping, optional)
Mint leaves (for topping, optional)
Raw cacao nibs (for topping, optional)
Blend all ingredients (except toppings) in a blender until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed to incorporate everything. Add more juiced orange and coconut milk as needed for desired consistency. Taste for flavor and adjust accordingly. Top with mint, coconut flakes or raw cacao nibs. Serve at room temp or chill in the refrigerator. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.