Last weekend, I journeyed home to Colorado to spend Memorial Day with friends and family. I enjoyed a workout at my old gym, FRCF, caught a carnival in Stapleton where I saw this guy:

 and consumed lots of grilled meats. 
My mom lives up in Boulder, which is a town that is always interested in the latest healthy habits, foods, exercise, etc…  I saw kombucha at every turn, watched uber fit people running the annual Bolder Boulder, and found time for some meditation in my mom’s garden with this serene fellow:

We walked down to Pearl Street for a iced Americano with a shot of something called, Cholaca. My mom assured me I needed to try it immediately. The coffee came in a stemless wine glass and had this amazing chocolatey taste, but it wasn’t sweetened at all.

It was amazing. Unfortunately, it is only available in Colorado, so I started searching for similar product close to me. I can’t find liquid cacao, but I did see a plethora of new cacao products. Sunfoods now has bagged cacao butter, cacao nibs, cacao powder, and something called tempered cacao paste. 

What is Cacao?

Cacao is the dried, partly fermented fatty seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae) that are used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter —called also cacao bean, cocoa bean.
Since it is a raw product, it is less processed and retains more of its nutrients. Cacao, unlike chocolate, does not contain any sugar, so you get all the health benefits of this seed without any spikes in blood sugar or any of the other ill effects of ingesting sugar. Cacao is NOT chocolate. Chocolate has added sweeteners. 

Is cacao something you should add into your diet?

  • Cacao has that chocolatey flavor without any added sugar. 
  • It is high in antioxidants, higher than other fruits, which protect the body from free radical damage
  • A good source of magnesium, a mineral needed for bone health, energy production, blood sugar control, and nervous system balance
  • One ounce of cacao nibs contains 9g of fiber

How do I use cacao?

  • Sprinkle cacao nibs on top of chia seed pudding 
  • Add nibs to your trail mix, or snack on them on their own
  • Add cacao powder to your smoothie
  • We use it in our Pecan Bars
cacao powder
How do you use cacao powder?