Cacao vs. Cocoa
Cacao is a food product derived from cacao beans - the seed of the cacao tree. You can now purchase cacao powder, cacao butter, dark chocolate and cacao nibs even from your local supermarket.
Many recipes are now using cacao over cocoa and are they the same thing?
Cacao is made from cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. Cocoa is made from roasting the beans at high temperatures which reduces the nutritional benefits of the beans.
Cacao contains antioxidants, protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids and essential fatty acids. These in turn support blood pressure, lipids and inflammation by enhancing nitric oxide bioavailability and improving mitochondrial structure and function.
How to incorporate into your diet?
We would not recommend daily consumption of cacao and cacao based products, however if you are craving something sweet, cacao can give additional health benefits while curbing your sweet craving, making it the ideal occasional food.
Try and substitute your cocoa products for cacao - try finding chocolate with cacao, using cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips in your baking, mix a tablespoon of cacao powder into your smoothie or chia pudding or adding to your protein ball mix.