Want an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Then look no further than cacao. In its raw fermented form, this healthy form of chocolate is the ultimate superfood. Whether you enjoy cacao powder or nibs, this minimally processed ingredient is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and packed with some incredible health benefits.
With a bitter, nutty and subtly chocolatey taste, cacao might take you by surprise a first. But trust us, it’s utterly addictive. Whether you sprinkle cacao nibs over an acai bowl or use cacao powder in a warming hot chocolate, you’ll soon find yourself adding this tasty ingredient to all kinds of sweet and savory dishes. But to give you that first shot of inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to incorporate cacao into your daily routine.
Blend Cacao Powder Into a Smoothie
What better way to start your day than with a healthy chocolate hit? Just add one tbsp of raw cacao powder to your regular smoothie for a drink that’s packed full of antioxidants. One of our favorites is the Mocha Maca smoothie – here’s the recipe:
• 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
• 2 bananas
• 1 tbsp nut butter
• 2 tsp maca powder
• 1 cup ice
• 1 cup water
Simply whizz together in a blender for an intense and creamy breakfast smoothie – perfect for a post-workout pick-me-up.
Sprinkle Cacao Nibs on an Acai Bowl
Acai bowls are the ultimate plant-based breakfast. Packed with antioxidant-rich acai fruit, these bliss bowls are creamy, fruity and utterly delicious. And even better, they’re the perfect vehicle for crunchy cacao nibs.
Adorn your acai bowl with a sprinkling of crushed cacao nibs for some added texture and nutrition. Or for an extra chocolate hit, try adding a spoonful of cacao powder to your acai blend.
Add Cacao Nibs to Your Trail Mix
With a subtle chocolate taste and satisfying crunch, cacao nibs make a great addition to a trail mix. Combine with juicy raisins, tart cranberries, creamy macadamia nuts and sweet coconut for a delicious contrast of textures and flavors in every handful.
Cozy Up with Some Hot Chocolate
What’s better on a cold day than a warming cup of hot chocolate? Make it with superfood cacao, and you have yourself the perfect guilt-free winter warmer. Just be careful not to heat the cacao powder too much to preserve as many of its nutrients and antioxidants as possible.
• 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder
• 2 tablespoons of date syrup
• 1 cup of dairy-free milk (almond works well here)
• 1 teaspoon of almond butter
• A pinch of cinnamon
Simply heat all the ingredients in a saucepan, making sure to keep stirring. Just before it reaches boiling point take the pan off the heat.
Add Extra Depth to Savory Dishes
Unlike sweet milk chocolate, cacao isn’t limited to dessert. Thanks to its earthy and nutty taste, this superfood adds richness and depth to all sorts of savory dishes too. Whether it’s a sauce or a spicy chilli, a teaspoon of cacao powder can add that extra little something. So get experimenting!