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A few weeks ago, I was ordering a few essentials from Amazon, but needed something else to put my amount over $25 to get free shipping because well, I don't enjoy paying for shipping. I'm sure you understand! So, I found raw cacao nibs, knew they were good for me, and thought: "chocolate? yes please!" and added it to my cart. Well, when they came in the mail, I opened up the package and had a brief thought of "I bet these are going to be gross," but I tossed a couple in my mouth anyway and yup, I was right. They aren't good by themselves. But well, neither is cocoa powder, so I knew I needed to give them a chance. But how? I went in search of recipes and asked my friends for recommendations. The number one thing I love to use raw cacao nibs in is Overnight Oatmeal. I don't know where I found the recipe first, but I saw that Mama Goes Bam has it on her blog today! Basically you put oatmeal, milk, Greek yogurt, and any extras in a jar and leave it overnight to have a yummy, healthy, protein packed breakfast in the morning. I added 1 tsp of raw cacao nibs to a recipe for chocolate overnight oatmeal and it was delicious, of course. The cacao nibs provide a crunch and a bit of a dark chocolate flavor. It was perfect. And it's one of those "a little goes a long way" breakfasts because a small jar of this stuff lasts me until lunch time and that really is saying a lot because I'm usually hungry an hour after breakfast!
Benefits of raw cacao:
- full of iron, dietary fiber, calcium, zinc, potassium, and antioxidants
- raises levels of serotonin and acts as an anti-depressant
- can help reduce symptoms of PMS
- stimulates secretion of endorpins (source: Livestrong.com)
- one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium
- reduces appetite
- supports cardiovascular health
- lowers blood pressure
- improves digestion
Other ways to use raw cacao:
- For a sweet, healthy treat, I top plain Greek yogurt with organic chocolate sauce and raw cacao nibs on top. They provide a bold crunch that makes a nice snack!
- Chrystal from Happy Mothering suggests putting raw cacao in granola bars and muffins. Yum!
Recipes containing raw cacao nibs:
- Nibby Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes – The Spiced Life
- Chunky Quadruple Chocolate Cookies – The Spiced Life
- Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot – The Spiced Life
- Cookie Dough Candy Bar – Nouveau Raw
- Zucchini Cacao Cookies – Rawmazing
- Salted Nibby Bittersweet Brownie Cake – The Spiced Life
- Salted Cacao Nib Brittle – The Spiced Life
These recipes use cacao powder, which is raw, unsweetened powder from the cacao bean: (Note that it is different from "cocoa powder.")
- Healthy Cacao Pudding – Sweep Tight
- Raw Fudge Cookies – Nature Moms Blog
- Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies – Nature Moms Blog
- Cacao Dusted Peanut Butter Cookies – Herbal Academy of New England
Thursday 20th of February 2014
So many great recipes, thanks for sharing them! I can't wait to try them out.
Friday 7th of February 2014
Oh these look so delicious! That yogurt dish looks awesome, and I love that zucchini recipe too. I'm wondering what brand is best, though. Thanks for sharing these!
Monday 10th of February 2014
you're welcome! enjoy
Green Moms Network Week in Review
Friday 7th of February 2014
[…] Gena of Life with Captain Fussybuckets has some great tips, suggestions, ad recipes for using raw cacao! […]
Wednesday 5th of February 2014
Very cool! Thanks for including our recipe! The peanut butter cookies are fantastic :)
Sarah @ The Free Range Life
Monday 3rd of February 2014
Thanks for the great list! This would be a much better alternative for my chocolate cravings!