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What is raw cacao? How to use raw cacao

Where to find it, what it looks like, and how to use it.

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What is raw cacao? How to use raw cacao Raw cacao and cacao pod photo courtesy of Yasuhide Fumoto / Getty Images

Wondering about raw cacao or raw chocolate? Find out what it is, and how to use raw cacao in the variety of forms it comes in. From raw cacao powder to nibs and butter, learn the best uses for raw cacao products.

Thanks to the modern day raw health movement, raw cacao (also known as raw chocolate!) can be found in various forms in any health food store and most certainly all over the internet. But what is raw cacao and how can you best enjoy raw chocolate?

Types of raw cacao

Raw cacao (raw chocolate) can be found in several different forms. It makes frequent appearances as raw cacao nibs, as well as finely ground raw cacao powder, and many varieties of raw food bars and cookies. You can even find cacao butter in its raw form these days. The raw cacao nibs are best used as a supplement in raw chocolate smoothies or other raw food desserts where they will be blended up; the whole nibs are very hard to bite down on. Use raw cacao powder for desserts and beverages or whenever you need a less gritty consistency. The cacao butter can be melted down a bit in a dehydrator or in a warm oven with the door open (to keep it below 115°F) and then used for making raw bars and other raw food desserts that would be solid at room temperature. See also: Shopping for raw cacao

 

Is raw cacao actually healthy? What is the nutritional value of raw cacao?

Yes! And, no, not really. Like many raw food products, raw cacao gets a lot of hype for it's magical nutritive properties. But can you trust the hype? Find out more about the nutritional value of raw cacao, including the calories, protein and fat.

Cooking with raw cacao

Looking for some raw cacao recipes? Here's a few to try:
  • Raw chocolate shake
  • More raw cacao recipes

    Where does raw chocolate come from?

    Can't get enough chocolate in your tummy? Why not feed your brain a bit too. Learn a bit about the ancestry and socio-cultural history of this amazingly versatile favorite food. See:A brief history of cacao

    Learn more about raw cacao and cooking with raw chocolate

    To learn more about raw cacao and to try out dozens of raw chocolate recipes, including drinks, desserts, healthy snacks and more raw chocolate recipes - even raw chocolate ice cream - pick up a copy of Naked Chocolate, by David Wolfe.

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