• Raw Cacao v's Cocoa - What is the difference?

    Raw Cacao v's Cocoa - What is the difference?

    They look the same and smell the same, so why are they different? Well, it is fair to say there is a difference in taste, nutritional content and cost. We give you the quick run down on the differences to help you make an informed decision when satisfying your sweet craving.

    Lets get a few things straight first, cacao is pronounced 'ca-cow', and cacao and cocoa in their rawest form are exactly the same bean (technically a seed), the difference between the two begins in the processing.
    Raw cacao is a very bitter form of chocolate, and therefore very different from the bars of chocolate you are used to buying.
    The health giving benefits of chocolate that you are used to hearing about in the media normally relates to this form of chocolate, not the type you buy in the form of chocolates bars from the shops.

    Benefits include:

    - Antioxidant effects.
    - Boosts mood and cognitive performance
    - Lowers blood pressure and increases blood vessel flexibility
    - Protects your heart
    - Regulates insulin levels - helps regulate glucose production.


    Although the word cocoa comes from the Spanish word cacao, the names are not used to describe the same end product.

    - The production is very similar, however cocoa undergoes a higher temperature process. It may be surprising to note that despite the higher temperatures, cocoa manages to retain some of the antioxidants, while still offering benefits for cardiovascular health, stress reduction and skin health.

    - Cocoa is the term used to refer to the heated form of cacao, and is often found in the shops as cocoa powder and has a tendency to be used as drinking chocolate or for baking.

    - Cocoa may seem inferior to raw cacao, but it is not without its nutritional benefits, providing you shop wisely and choose varieties without added sugars, oils or milk fats.

    - It is less expensive than raw cacao.

    - If choosing cocoa, ensure you purchase a plain cocoa, with nothing added, and preferably a dark cocoa powder.

    Raw Cacao

    - Raw cacao is thought to be the highest source of antioxidants of all foods, with the highest source of magnesium of all foods.

    _ Raw cacao is cold pressed, the process enables the living enzymes to be kept while removing the fat.

    - Raw cacao is less processed than cocoa powder and is considered to be the purest form of chocolate you can consume.

    - Raw cacao nibs are the the cacao nibs cut into fine chunks, they contain all the nutrients that the cacao bean does. They are much like chocolate chips with the added fats and sugars.

    - Interestingly, research shows that dairy inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from raw cacao.

    - Raw cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder, simply because it retains much of the nutrients of the whole bean.

    - Raw cacao is an excellent source of cholesterol-free saturated fats, vitamins, minerals, monounsaturated fats, fiber, natural carbohydrates and protein.

    Cacao butter

    - Cacao butter is the fattiest part of the fruit, it has buttery texture that resembles white chocolate in colour and taste.

    - Cacao butter is removed during production
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Nancy -
      I tried melting cacao nibs once, what a nightmare, they wouldn't melt at all. I gave up in the end.
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