When you want to have chocolate in its natural possible form, turn to cacao nibs! What exactly are these bite-sized offerings?
Cacao, or Theobroma cacao, is the actual source of original, natural chocolate. It comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree, but what most of us think that chocolate contains no cacao at all — which means it does not contain its beneficial and healthful, nutrient-packed phytochemicals that our bodies need.
Cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been processed very minimally, to make them edible without losing any of the flavour and nutrition that the actual bean offers. The ancient Aztecs have used these in their diet, for wellness, and it was also popularly used as currency! The bean is harvested and fermented, then dried and cleaned, and finally roasted and removed from its shell.
Benefits of Cacao Nibs
- Packed Full of Fiber
- Tons of Antioxidants
- Lots of Magnesium
- Potassium Galore
- Pumping Iron
- Mood Enhancer!
So what exactly are the benefits of cacao nibs? For starters, all chocolate, even dark, have additives like sugar, milk solids, soy, and so on. Cacao nibs eliminate all of this and offer the benefits of the bean, sans the additives! They are rich in protein and fibre, one of the few plant sources to pack it in. They also have antioxidants – around 40 times more than what blueberries offer! The antioxidants are basically heart-healthy flavonoids, which help overall cardiovascular health and balance the blood pressure. They also boost immunity. Cacao nibs are also rich in iron and magnesium, and contain more calcium than cow’s milk. So all in all, they’re perfect to reach for.
The ideal way to consume these nibs is raw, by themselves. However, if this is too much for your taste buds, you can add them in your morning cereal, blend them in a smoothie, use them as a topping for fruit salads, and so on.