The Benefits Of Cacao Powder & How To Get In
Like most fads, the term “health food” or “superfood” has somewhat gotten out of hand. It seems any real, wholesome food now comes with the catchphrase when really, all real & unprocessed food is good for you. But if you follow along my blog, you’ll know that there are a few ingredients I always gravitate towards- and raw cacao powder is one of them (especially for desserts, check out these Healthy Almond Chocolate Butter Cups!)
Along with pure maple syrup, raw cacao powder is probably one of my most go-to ingredients (with Organic Traditions being my favorite source!). Ihis is because, when combined, these two ingredients create a deliciously tasty and unprocessed chocolate flavor.
Since I am a chocolate fiend (chocolate macadamia balls anyone?) I pretty much use cacao powder in everything.
Fun fact: did you know you can GROW your own chocolate tree? I want to try this so badly. I’d be in heaven 🙂
On top of being a delicious source of chocolate, the benefits of cacao powder are insane and plentiful!
Because cacao powder isn’t roasted (like cocoa powder) it still contains many of its living enzymes and health properties. Below are just a few of the awesome benefits of this raw chocolate powder.
Extremely High Antioxidant Content
Most of us know that antioxidants are “good for you”. They improve your heart health, lower disease risk and can help protect you from some form of cancers.
But here’s the best part: cacao powder has 40 times the antioxidant content than blueberries. This is insane and an unbelievable perk of consuming chocolate in one of its purest forms!
Cacao Powder Is One Of The Highest Sources Of Plant Based Iron
Iron is a key component for our bodies metabolism. It’s a necessity to carry out certain enzymatic reactions and we need both sources of iron to complete those functions.
While the iron in cacao powder is non-heme, if paired with a food high in Vitamin C you’ll absorb as much as possible.
More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk
We’ve been bombarded with the “fact” that we need milk to get our calcium.. but we don’t. In fact, there’s lots of calcium in non dairy sources (leafy greens, almonds etc) and that’s another one of the benefits of cacao powder- it contains a lot of calcium! Which means making your own homemade healthy chocolate is a life staple 😀
Cacao Helps Elevate Your Mood
There’s a reason females want chocolate when upset.. or sad.. or angry.. or on a Tuesday 😛 Okay I eat chocolate any time. But seriously, cacao powder has been shown to boost your mood and work in similar ways to an anti=depressant. One of the benefits of cacao powder is that it literally helps make you happy 😀 If that’s not a win I don’t know what is!
[clickToTweet tweet=”There’s lots of calcium in non dairy sources and cacao powder is one of them.. and a potent one at that! ” quote=”There’s lots of calcium in non dairy sources and cacao powder is one of them.. and a potent one at that! “]
Full Of Magnesium
Need a little pick me up? Grab some cacao powder and whip up a hot chocolate! Cacao powder is full of magnesium which helps protect against osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and fight fatigue.
Truly, cacao powder is one of a kind. That said, if you’re used to creamy milk “chocolate” you may be in for shock. Cacao powder isn’t pumped full of sugar making the taste a bit more similar to dark chocolate and sometimes (when you’re not used to it) a bit bitter. I personally find that when mixed with maple syrup it tastes utterly delicious, but experiment and find out what you love (bananas, honey, maple syrup, dates and stevia all give a great chocolate taste!)
So now that you’ve fallen in love with cacao powder and plan on making this utterly healthy switch in your pantry… what the hell are you going to do with it?
Bananas, cacao powder and dates make an insanely delicious smoothie, smoothie bowl or ice cream. This is easily one of my go-to ways to have a chocolate fix (this chocolate cherry smoothie is an awesome one)!
Whip up some chocolate energy or protein balls to snack on during busy days! These chocolate coconut energy balls are a favorite for both my kiddos!
If you need a healthy chocolate topping for protein bars, desserts or to lick off your spoon- use cacao powder!
Melt together coconut oil, cacao powder and maple sryup/honey/stevia for a tasty topping to absolutely anything.
Don’t forget to pin these awesome benefits of cacao powder!
Have I convinced you yet? If you haven’t jumped into the cacao craze I hope I’ve given you reason to start! The benefits of cacao powder are endless and it not only does it transform into a decadent chocolate that can be added to smoothies and desserts but it’s healthy too!