Mention cacao (i.e. raw cacao) and I will give you a big smile. I really like the pure dark flavor of cacao and love to add cacao powder to a thick creamy almond milk smoothie. Or to sprinkle cacao nibs or cacao paste over smoothie bowls or just dip a banana chunk in them. Or why not make a special cake with cacao butter?
There is a lot you can make with cacao, but what really are the differences when it comes to the various products?
Beans, powder, paste, butter, nibs!
Cacao in many forms – what are they?
By the way the anglicized form of cacao is – cocoa.
The Cacao Bean
is the bean itself that you remove from the pod in the cacao fruit. Raw cacao beans you buy in their whole, original unprocessed form, i.e. – unroasted. They are very nutritional and contain valuable antioxidants and many other minerals and nutrients – a pure superfood in its natural form.
sometimes known as nature’s chocolate chips, are tiny pieces of cacao beans, still untreated, which have bean crushed or broken into smaller pieces so they are easier to chew and enjoy.
is produced by grinding and pressing, cold-pressing whole cacao beans to a paste or liquid (called cacao liqueur). This is then dried and becomes a whole “cake” which is called cacao paste. You can buy the paste as whole “cakes” or broken into smaller pieces.
is the actual fat, a clear liquid, which is naturally extracted when you press the cacao paste. It solidifies to a somewhat soft yellow-white butter.
is made from what is left of the cacao paste/liquid, when the fat, the cacao butter has been removed.
Here you will find the recipe for Orange Choco Fudgies, as on the picture above.
Also a yummy, creamy hemp-banana-almond-butter-smoothie, Banana-Kush-Smoothie, which tastes the best with cacao flavor (powder) and nibs on top!
Cacao beans contain, among other things, theobromine, a bitter alkaloid, which is toxic to many animals, like cats and dogs. In contrast to humans, who can breake this substance down, the animals are missing a certain enzyme.
Do you like raw cacao and do you make any goodies yourself?