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Raw Cacao Powder

Are there any side effects to consuming raw cacao?

No. However, excessive intake of raw cacao nibs can lead to excessive stimulation of the central nervous system, brain and heart due to the presence of theobromine (a mild stimulant) in cacao. This will make us feel hyperactive followed by drowsiness. Theobromine also has a mild diuretic effect. Cocoa is harmful for cats and dogs as they don’t have the enzymes to metabolize theobromine.

Does raw cacao contain caffeine?

No, it does not. Raw cacao contains theobromine (another type of stimulant unique to cacao).

What’s the difference between raw cacao powder and regular/traditional cocoa powder?

Raw cacao powder specifically refers to the least processed form of cocoa powder that has not been subjected to high heat processing – it is made from unroasted cocoa beans (unlike regular cocoa powder which is made from roasted cocoa beans at high temperatures) and has only been lightly fermented to bring out the cocoa flavor, increase nutrient availability and reduce phytic acid content. Organic raw cacao powder, without heat or chemical treatment, has much higher levels of antioxidants (procynanidins, resveratrol, polyphenols, among others) than regular/traditional cocoa powder or processed chocolates. In short, the closer the chocolate is to its original raw state, the better it is for you.

Are there any possible side effects to consuming raw cacao?

No. However, excessive intake of raw cacao powder (around 2 tablespoons or more a day) can lead to excessive stimulation of the central nervous system, brain and heart due to the presence of theobromine (a mild stimulant) in cacao. This will make us feel hyperactive followed by drowsiness. Theobromine has a mild diuretic effect. Cocoa is harmful for cats and dogs as they don’t have the enzymes to metabolize theobromine.

What is the recommended serving of raw cacao powder?

2-3 teaspoons or not more than 1.5 tablespoons. You do not need to consume raw cacao powder on a daily basis to benefit from its nutrients.

Can I add dairy milk to raw cacao powder?

Some research has found that mixing dairy milk with cacao inhibits the absorption of the nutrients like antioxidants. Try adding non-dairy milk substitutes such as coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk or just plain water.

Can I add boiling water to or bake with raw cacao powder?

High temperature will definitely affect some of the raw cacao’s antioxidant properties. To minimize the destruction of antioxidants due to heat, make sure the water added is not boiling hot and is at a comfortable drinking temperature. Baking with raw cacao powder is not recommended due to high heat exposure.

Does raw cacao contains caffeine?

No, it does not. Raw cacao contains theobromine (mentioned above).

What is the difference between Cacao and Cocoa?

Both cacao and cocoa come from the cacao bean of the Theobroma cacao tree. The main difference lies in how the cacao bean is processed after harvesting. In a nutshell, cacao refers to cacao beans that have NOT been roasted at high temperatures, while cocoa comes from cacao that has undergone high temperatures and is usually supplemented with additives to reduce the bitterness.

Is it acidic or ‘heaty’?

Foods like raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder are very low in sugar and very high in minerals; hence, they are considered alkaline foods. ‘Acidic’ foods are usually high in sugar and low in minerals like highly processed foods.

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