...cacao. When I suggested that it was far healthier to enjoy raw organic cacao products than a chocolate bar, I was looked at as if I was an alien. I was told that it's not real chocolate. Now I am not one to judge one's comfort zone. However, in this instance my question is: where the bloomin' eck do you think chocolate comes from?! Cacao is raw, unprocessed chocolate. In aid of this, I wanted to give a very quick overview.
Cacao originates from Theobroma Trees (the Cacao Tree). Large brightly coloured pods grow on the trees and inside the pods are cacao beans. To separate the cacao butter, the beans are heated at a low temperature over a few days. The beans are then grounded into cacao powder. Cacao is considered a superfood because of its antioxidants and superior nutritional qualities.
Chocolate as we see it in the shop is cacao that is roasted thus becoming cocoa. Heating the cacao at high temperatures means that it loses its nutritional value. It is then mixed with refined sugars, milk and additives to make "chocolate".
Honestly, I used to be a complete chocolate monster. So when I first tried cacao, I didn't like it. It contains zero sugar and is subsequently quite bitter to taste. At that time, I had only just started easing refined sugars out of my diet, so it was quite a shock. I was actually quite gutted as I had only gone and bought a 1kg bag of the stuff. After experimenting with natural sugars, I don't like cacao, I love it! So here's an example of what you can do with it for brekkie.
You will need:
- Soya yoghurt (I use Sojade. You could use Greek yoghurt).
- Raw organic cacao powder
- Maple syrup (organic if possible)
- Refined sugar free granola (keep on the look out for Breakfast by Bella Granola - coming soon)
- 6 - 8 strawberries
- In a bowl mix:
- 6 dessert spoons of soya yoghurt;
- 1 tsp of raw organic cacao; and
- 1 tsp of maple syrup
- Layer the bottom of your jar with refined sugar free granola.
- Cut strawberries in half and decorate the middle edge of your jar as shown in the picture.
- Pour your cacao yoghurt on top of the granola (in between the strawberries)
- Sprinkle with chia seeds