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About Raw (Organic) Chocolate...
Raw Cacao (Chocolate)
All chocolate is made from Cacao Beans (also known as Cocoa Beans). Cacao is chocolate! All the antioxidant value, mineral benefits, neurotransmitter rejuvenating properties, and overall health-giving qualities of chocolate are found in raw Cacao Beans! It has been consumed as food medicine in America and South America for thousands and thousands of year. It was revered and called the "Food of the Gods". Not all cacao beans are the same though.
Watch this video to learn about the origin and process involved in obtaining possibly the best cacao in the world.
Summary of Our Cacao Powder's Nutritional Goodness:
1. It's a super-antioxidant food, with antioxidant level that is:
20 x higher than red wine
30 x higher than green tea
50 x higher than blueberries
5 x higher than average goji
(these figures relate to the antioxidant level of the Sunfood raw cacao powder we carry)
See end of the article for ORAC scores for the Top 10 Antioxidants Foods
2. It has the highest source of magnesium (#1 deficiency in America) which is important for maintaining heart health, for relaxation, for healthy elimination, for uptake of Calcium etc
3. It has the highest source of chromium which helps to maintain blood sugar
4. It is a great source of iron, zinc and many trace minerals missing in modern diet
It is energizing and makes us "happy" because it contains:
Anandamide: Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical) is an endorphin that the human body naturally produces after exercise. Anandamide has only been found in one plant — Cacao. Anandamide is known as "The Bliss Chemical" because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies' ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that, when we eat cacao, natural anandamide and/or cacao anandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good longer.
Theobromine: Cacao usually contains about 1% theobromine. Theobromine is an effective anti-bacterial substance and kills streptococci mutans (the primary organism that causes cavities). Theobromine is a chemical relative of caffeine but is not a nervous system stimulant. Theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system making the heart’s job easier. This is one of the major reasons why cacao is an important part of a heart healthy diet.
Does Cacao Contain Caffeine?
Contrary to popular opinion, cacao is a poor source of caffeine. A typical sample of cacao nibs or cacao beans will yield anywhere from zero caffeine to 1,000 parts per million of caffeine (less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in coffee).
In February 2008, Dr. Gabriel Cousens discovered in clinical tests on healthy people that Cacao does not elevate blood sugar in the same way as a caffeine containing food or beverage. In fact, Dr. Cousens’ found that cacao has less of an effect on blood sugar than nearly any other food.
What Forms Do Raw Cacao come in?
We like the powder form, the nibs, the whole beans and the cacao butter!
What Makes our Raw Cacao products (by Sunfood Nutrition) Superior?
Watch this video
• Raw, Organic: Our Cacao products are 100% raw and certified organic
• Aromica Variety: Our beans come from the most prized strain of Cacao in Ecuador known as Aromica (due to its outstanding aroma). Aromica is a distinct fourth variety of Cacao (the other three include: forestero, trinitario, and criollo).
• Low Microbe Count: Because of the exceptional quality and standards under which Sunfood Nutrition’s Cacao Beans are processed, any foreign microbe/bacteria activity is virtually nonexistent on the skin and inner nib. This is an extraordinary feat considering that cacao beans come from a moist and juicy fruit grown in the hot jungle. No other cacao bean sources can claim our level of safety.
• Pleasant, Tasty: The unique process used in drying the Cacao Nibs and Beans retains the purity, fine aroma, fairly uniform large size, purplish-brown color, easy peeling (of the beans), and the nutritional impact that nature intended.
• High Flavor, No Roasting: Because of the quality of the bean and of our processing, you get to enjoy a rich, raw chocolate flavor and aroma without roasting.
• Low Acidity: Our Cacao Beans have extremely low acid levels. Many other varieties have much higher levels of acidity.
• No to Low Fermentation: Cacao is the seed of a fruit. Once the fruit is opened the fruit pulp surrounding each Cacao Bean eventually begins to ferment. This allows microbes to grow on the skin of the Cacao Bean and adversely alters the flavor of the raw Cacao Beans. We avoid this as much as possible and remove the fruit before drying the Cacao Beans.
A recent study showed that only one out of 500 people who thought they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive. Allergies to chocolate are quite rare. It is typically the case that the person is in fact allergic to milk and dairy products. Some people can be allergic to cooked and processed chocolate but are not allergic to Cacao.
How is our Raw Cacao Powder made?
The raw cacao powder we like is created by cold-pressing carefully selected Raw Cacao Beans into a cake separating the oil from the protein and fiber. The remaining dry 'cake-like' material is then cold-ground, fine-milled and sifted so that only the finest, most bio-available raw Cacao particles filter through into the finished product. The temperature is never allowed to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit and is usually 104 degrees F (most other cocoa powders are exposed to temperatures as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit!). A high-accuracy thermometer monitors the process. This low temperature process keeps delicate vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants intact, allowing for maximum digestion and absorption.
It is processed in a state-of-the-art facility in Ecuador. The highest quality-amber glass bottle available on the market is used for the packaging in order to protect the cacao powder from light.
How To Enjoy Raw Cacao Powder:
Add cacao powder to all your favorite smoothies, elixirs, teas, coffee mixes, protein drinks, desserts or anything else you can think of. Just one or two spoonfuls can transform any recipe into a healthy chocolate treat. It goes with anything. It even goes great on top of fresh fruit!
Click here for our next Raw Chocolate Event
How To Enjoy Cacao Nibs:
- Add to coconut-based or fruit-based smoothies to enhance the flavor and add chewiness like how you can add cashew or almond to your smoothies
- Add agave nectar or honey or another sweetening agent to the raw cacao nibs and chew!
- Eating them straight like you eat nuts, a tablespoon at a time. Combine with goji berries or blueberries for an anitoxidant treat. Add cashew and make an ideal air travel snack.
- Add cacao nibs to raw ice creams for the best chocolate chips in the world.
- Create a raw chocolate bar! Blend the following raw ingredients together: cacao nibs, agave nectar, carob powder, maca, coconut oil, and cashews. Can also blend in dried goji berries and dried figs for additional sweetness and nutritional benefits. Pour into a mold and freeze. Eat cold and experience the truth about the food of the gods!
Refrigeration or storage in a cool, dry place (out of direct sunlight) is recommended, yet not required.
Raw Chocolates Make Great Gifts - whether it's the truffles or a home made raw chocolate cake...
Click here for Raw Chocolate Truffles
Click here for our new article on raw chocolates
How To Get Some? How much? Contact us today!
ORAC scores for the Top 10 Antioxidants Foods (per 100 grams)
1) Raw cocoa powder* 95,500
2) Raw cacao nibs* 62,100
3) Roasted cocoa powder 26,000
4) Organic Goji Berries* 25,300
5) Acai Berries* 18,500
6) Dark Chocolate 13,120
7) Milk Chocolate 6,740
8) Prunes 5,770
9) Raisins 2,830
10) Blueberries 2,400
Source: US department of Agriculture/Journal of American Chemical Society
*Brunswick Laboratories MA, USA