Indulging in the guilty pleasure of chocolate often leaves us feeling a tad guilty. We all know the sugar, fat, and calorie overload are not doing us any favors. However, fear not, my fellow chocolate enthusiasts, for there is a glimmer of hope in this cacao-filled darkness. Brace yourselves; natural cocoa powder is here to save the day and may just be considered a health superfood hero! In case you’re wondering, “cacao” powder comes from the whole seed of the cacao fruit. It is unaltered, while natural “cocoa” powder is the result of roasting the seeds (also known as cocoa nibs) and then grinding and pressing them.
Cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa. Both can benefit your health, but it’s best to stick to either the raw version, cacao, or a chocolate product that has a high chocolate liquor content. Raw cacao can take some getting used to. It tastes a little different than cocoa products and can be slightly bitter.
Believe it or not, cocoa has been discovered to possess the power to boost our artery function. Yes, you heard that right, cocoa comes to the rescue with its fantastic ability to improve our cardiovascular health. In fact, it has been found to outshine even the trendy açaí berries in this regard. Move over, açaí, cocoa is taking the spotlight now!
Now, before you rush to sprinkle cocoa powder on every food item in your pantry, it’s important to note that not all cocoa is created equal.The key here is to opt for unprocessed, undutched cocoa. Why, you ask? Well, my curious comrades, it’s because the magic of cocoa lies in its flavonols. These mighty compounds are responsible for cocoa’s bitter taste, and unfortunately, some sneaky manufacturers try to strip cocoa of its bitterness by processing it with alkali. But hey, bitterness is not always a bad thing, right? In fact, when it comes to cocoa, bitter actually seems to be better!
So, my health-conscious friends, let’s embrace the power of cocoa and incorporate it into our lives in clever ways. How about blending it into a delicious smoothie or sprinkling it over a bowl of comforting oatmeal? With the right choice of unprocessed cocoa, you can make these tasty treats not only satisfying to your taste buds but also health-promoting. Who knew a sinful indulgence like cocoa could be transformed into a guilt-free, no-sugar delight?
So, next time you need a little pick-me-up, reach for that jar of unprocessed, undutched cocoa and let it work its magic. Remember, when life gives you cocoa, make it bittersweet and nourishing!
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