Anyone curious about my favourite chocolatey superfood – cacao – would probably wonder how it differs from cocoa.
I recently undertook a “chocolate-making course” at Rococo’s flagship store in Knightsbridge, where I discovered the whole process. Cocoa comes from the cacao bean. The beans are a natural antioxidant that have been proven to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, neutralise free radicals, improve digestion, and enhance physical and mental well-being. The seeds are extracted from the raw cacao pods, and they undergo a natural fermentation and drying process that takes up to two weeks. The cacao retains all of its nutrients and is used for raw cacao powder or cacao nibs.
However, to make cocoa, the raw cacao beans are roasted and combined with sugars and fats. The levels of antioxidants are reduced by the heat during the roasting process, which minimises the health benefits.
So if you are looking for a healthier, raw and more natural choice, go for cacao!
Here are a few of my favourite cacao-based recipes: