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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Benefits of Cacao!

I always used to get Cocoa & Cacao mixed up, but after hearing the great benefits of consuming Cacao...i can fully identify one from another! 

Cacao(pronounced Ka-Cow) is grown on the Cacao Tree, which botanical name is Theobroma Cacao. Cacao grows on the Trees in Pods. These pods can be varied in colour due to cross pollination & their shape can differ also. In the stages of ripening, the Pods can turn Red/Orange/ Yellow... which is normal.

Pods have to be harvested by hand and do not fall off of the Trees. The Cacao comes from inside of these Pods.There is approximately around 30-40 Cacao beans in each Pod!!! These Trees only thrive in humid forest environments. These are mostly in North America and Europe. These Beans are the dried fatty seed of the Theobroma Cacao. They are the basis of you guessed it....CHOCOLATE! 

Raw Cacao contains some great Vitamins and Minerals including-
-Vitamin B1,B2,B3,B4,B5,B9 & E
These Nutrients have a range of Health Benefits to your body. 

Recently i have been using Raw Cacao in a lot of my Baking & home cooking. Cacao has a wide variety of health benefits. Let me start off with Antioxidants. Antioxidants are Chemicals which lower/prevent Cell Damage! They also help protect your bodies immune system..for example- if you have a Cold, Antioxidants help your body to fight off infection! 
The essential vitamins and minerals found in cacao can support a healthy heart, as it can lower blood pressure,lower cholesterol,and reduce a build up of plaque on the arteries. So this is amazing. Something that tastes so delicious can be so beneficial to health.
It is also said to improve your memory, boost immunity and help to reduce fat.It can boost serotonin in the brain to help you feel good.Cacao also helps with fatigue and as it is a good source of magnesium it also helps protect against the effects of osteoporosis.It is said to reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes.It also helps to strengthen hair,nails,tooth enamel and can help your liver and pancreas as it has a good source of sulphur.
Some scientists have found that cacao may also protect against some forms of skin cancer.It can also be used as an appetite suppressant.
What more can this amazing superfood do.
Raw cacao contains nearly four times the amount of antioxidants as processed dark chocolate does.

How to use Cacao!
You can use cacao in the form of powder, cacao nibs which are chopped cacao beans or the beans themselves.
The powder or nibs can be used in healthy snack bars,truffles,granola,breakfast cereals. or desserts for example mousse, cheesecake, chocolate brownies, cakes etc.
Some recipe suggestions 
You can use the powder in smoothies, juice drinks, make a milky cacao drink.

Here are a few of my recipes where i have used Cacao-

My Berry Nice Smoothie-

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More Reviews of Vegan Products coming very Soon... :)

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