Cacao is actually a fruit! It comes from a delicious tree fruit, native to South America (Ecuador, Peru). Break open the hard shelled fruit, you'll find large seeds covered in a white flesh. This flesh is the edible fruit. It reminds me of the flesh from a lychee fruit. The seeds are harvested, dried and fermented, then opened to release the beans. These beans are ground into powder (cacao powder) or crushed into Cacao nibs.
How to use: I use cacao powder in place of cocoa because often cocoa has been alkalized through a dutch processing, which may reduce the nutrient benefits. I add cacao powder to smoothies, mix with hot nut mylk for a "hot chocolate", bake with it, or top smoothies and chia pudding with cacao nibs.
Why to use: It's a powerhouse. It's rich in calcium, iron, magnesium and antioxidants. It also addresses depression, stress, blood pressure and heart health. It's a mood booster!
Find Cacao packed into our Mint Chocolate Cookie Mix