Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Cacao vs. Cocoa

Haley HansenComment

CHOCOLATE. Let's talk about it, yeah?

Before Hungry Haley, my family always bought cocoa powder, mostly because if someone would've suggested cacao powder, we'd have been like, "uhh, what? We just want to make brownies, dude." BUT after much reading and self-educating, I know who the real winner is and which type you should reach for when chocolate baked goods are on the agenda. Shall we? 

Cacao -

  • What it is - the purest, most antioxidant-rich form of chocolate we can buy. It's the raw foundation from which all chocolate products are made. This is the process in my head...
    • Cacao pods give us cacao beans, then those beans are fermented and dried. From here, we can get cacao nibs and cacao powder. 
  • Benefits - click here for more in-depth information from OneGreenPlanet
    • it's raw 
    • it's fermented 
    • it's additive free 
    • it's loaded with antioxidants
  • How to use it: Anywhere and everywhere! Sub cacao powder for cocoa in your favorite brownie, cake, or cookie recipes, mix it with some peanut or almond butter for a chocolatey twist, or add a tablespoon to a banana smoothie for milkshake-like treat. 

Cocoa - 

* At this point, you probably understand that cacao is clearly superior to cocoa, but here's the deal with the latter anyway.

  • What it is - the heated, more processed version of cacao powder. The heating process kills most of the benefits and makes cacao > cocoa. 
  • Benefits - click here for more information from LiveStrong
    • low-calorie
    • some antioxidants
    • about 3 g fiber per tablespoon
    • iron and magnesium 

Always reach for cacao in the baking aisle - the less processing, the more benefits. Craving brownies? Try my chickpea brownies or these paleo ZUCCHINI brownies from MyWholeFoodLife!