Cocoa vs Cacao – The Great Debate. While both cocoa and cacao are derived from cacao beans, the difference all comes down to the processing of the chocolate.
What is the Difference Between Cocoa vs Cacao?
First, we need to define the differences between cacao vs cacao. Then I want to tell you why we choose raw cacao and the tremendous health benefits. Keep reading to learn all about it — or skip ahead to check out our chocolatey recipes.
What is Cacao?
Cacao is the minimally processed product of cacao beans, resulting in a highly nutrient-dense, rich powder. In order to achieve a high percentage of nutrients, cacao is cold-pressed to remove the cacao butter, and roasted at low temperatures.
Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cocoa powder—making it a food with the highest antioxidant value. It has a whopping 95,000 ORAC value score per 100gms.
What is Cocoa?
Unfortunately, the more commonly available of the cocoa vs cacao is the highly processed form called cocoa. This is what you’ll find in almost all commercially packaged cocoa powder drink mixes and in canisters in the baking aisle.
While is does still maintain some of its original nutrients, it is not nearly as beneficial as its unprocessed counterpart; cacao.
Why We Choose Raw Cacao Powder
Throughout our Clean Cuisine site you’re going find countless recipes using cacao powder and even a few with cacao butter. It’s our preference to use raw cacao powder because we are all about getting the most from the most natural form of food.
Not only is it full of delicious nutrients, cacao powder is loaded with health benefits.
Where to Buy Cacao Powder
Thankfully, most grocers are now carrying organic cacao powder, but the best pricing and of course, free quick delivery comes from Amazon. Toss a bag of this organic cacao powder in your cart and use it as a measure-for-measure swap for classic cocoa powder.
Health Benefits of Cacao:
Packed with flavonoids, raw cacao powder can support several areas of the body. Plus, mixed with coconut sugar for added sweetness, you’re boosting the nutrient level.
Flavonoids are a kind of antioxidant which protect the body from disease and from aging.
- Cacao Powder May Help Reduce a Risk of Diabetes – Flavonoids are smart and perfectly helpful and may help increase the insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Helps to Boost your Immune System with Antioxidants – Cacao Powder has one of the highest antioxidant levels and will support the immune system by staving on diseases and boosting the immune system.
- Naturally Reduce your Inflammation with Raw Cacao Powder – The flavonoids, once again are very helpful with reducing overall inflammation. They may lessen your risk of certain cancers, diabetes, depression and linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improve your Heart by Reducing Disease Risk – Not only does cacao powder contain a plethora of flavonoids, it also is high in potassium. These potassium levels have been known to support the heart and reduce the risk of disease. Again, by lower inflammation and stressors in the body, the cells will also be reduced.
How to Use Raw Cacao
If you’re looking for a way to get more raw cacao powder into your diet, here are a few of our favorite ways to add it into our weekly menu.
#1: Make your Smoothie a Superfood Smoothie
By adding just 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, you can turn any one of our Smoothie Recipes into a Superfood Smoothie. Try this Chocolate Banana Smoothie for a big boost!
#2: Make a Mug of Hot Chocolate — or Rather Hot Cacao
While conventional recipes for homemade hot chocolate are not exactly in alignment with clean eating, this one most definitely is. In addition to being dairy-free, this Recipe for Hot Chocolate has no refined sugar. Sweetness primarily comes from pureed dates along with a touch of pure maple syrup.
#3: Or a Big Tall Glass of Cold Chocolate Milk
Using our homemade nut milk recipes, try adding some cacao and a natural sweetener to nut milk for a big glass of cold chocolate milk. I like to use the Homemade Almond Milk and some maple syrup.
#4: Add Raw Cacao Powder to Chocolatey Desserts
It’s so easy around here to add cacao powder to dessert recipes, because it’s all that we use. But, if you have your own recipe for muffins, biscuits or cakes, just replace it cup-for-cup with the cocoa ingredient — or add a few tablespoons to a recipe to make it chocolatey.
Keep reading to find my favorite recipes for raw cacao powder and my decadent homemade recipe for Chocolate Spread.
Recipes with Cacao Powder or Cacao Bars
Here are my favorite Clean Cuisine recipes with cacao powder or cacao bars chopped into chips:
- No Bake Cookie Oatmeal – It’s true — a delicious blend of chocolate, oats and syrup that truly satisfies for BREAKFAST!
- Chocolate Chip Muffins – Triple chocolate muffins if you add the Chocolate Spread recipe below and of course, a handful of mini chocolate chips.
- Homemade Hot Chocolate – naturally sweetened and will definitely satisfy your chocolate cravings.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips Cookies – as shown. Made without flour, these delicious cookies are quick to make and uses chopped cacao bars.
- Chocolate Cookies Recipe – chocolately and nutty. A perfect combinations.
Recipe for Chocolate Spread
Recipe for chocolate spread is bursting with delicious, rich flavor. Perfect for cupcakes, muffins or by itself.
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 8–12 1x
- To a classic batter bowl, add the maple syrup, pecan butter and cacao powder. Using a hand mixer on low speed, combine together until creamed.
- Add the almond milk, vanilla and sea salt. Combine again.
- If the frosting is too thick, add more almond milk just 1/2 a tablespoon at a time, thoroughly mixing in between.
Keywords: Recipe for Chocolate Spread