When I first heard of cacao, I had no idea what it was. I finally learned about cacao when I went on a tour of Anthony Thomas Candy Factory last summer. Cacao is the dried seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae), which are most commonly used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter. Also called cacao bean, and cocoa bean. There are many health benefits of cacao.
From the Navitas Naturals website:
Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. In addition, cacao is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, contains an impressively high iron content, and also possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities.
Navitas Naturals cacao beans are hand selected for quality, partially fermented to alleviate bitterness, and processed at low temperatures for maximum nutrient retention. Once extracted from the pod-like fruit, purified water is then used to cleanse the beans where they are peeled and partially ground to form small pieces or “nibs.” Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs contain 100% pure cacao that is certified organic, kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and raw.
I was initially drawn to cacao out of my love for chocolate. When I happened upon Cacao Nibs made by Navitas Naturals, I knew I had to give them a try. Not only do they pack a nutritional punch, but they are naturally gluten-free. I was a little shocked upon first taste. I think I thought they would be much sweeter. However, since there is no added sugar, there is nothing to sweeten them up. Now i just adore the cacao nibs and keep finding new ways to eat them. They have a unique flavor & texture.
Some of the ways I have been using my Cacao Nibs are:
- Topping for my Greek yogurt
- Topping for my ice cream
- Topping for my oatmeal
- Topping for my almond butter & fruit spread
- Flavoring in my coffee
- Added into homemade gluten-free granola bars
They would also be great as a topping for cheesecake or creme brulee.
Here are the nutritional stats per serving of cacao nibs: serving size -1 oz, calories 130, fat, 12 grams, fiber 9 grams, protein 4 grams. One serving also provides 6% of your iron & 2% of your calcium.
Have you tried cacao nibs? What do you think?