If you’ve heard of cacao, you’ll already know all about its amazing health benefits. But do you get the same benefits whether you buy cacao nibs or cacao powder?
Packed with antioxidants, iron and magnesium, cacao doesn’t just taste great – it’s incredibly good for you too. Cacao is also hugely versatile.
The superfood can be used in all kinds of dishes, making it easy to incorporate cacao into your everyday life. So, what exactly is the difference between cacao nibs and powder?
The health benefits of cacao
Whether you choose cacao nibs or cacao powder, you’ll still be enjoying all the incredible benefits of this superfood. Unlike processed chocolate, cacao products have undergone minimal processing.
This means they retain many of the antioxidants, phytonutrients and live enzymes that are contained within the cocoa bean.
As a result, cacao has been shown to offer a number of potential health benefits, including improved mood, an iron and magnesium boost, and better heart health.
Cacao nibs or cacao powder – which should I buy?
Whether you choose to buy cacao nibs or powder depends entirely on how you plan to incorporate the superfood into your daily life.
Both products have subtly different flavours, textures and uses.
Cacao nibs are the least processed of the two products. These crunchy nibs are simply fermented cacao beans that have been cut up into edible pieces. While they look a lot like chocolate chips, cacao nibs have been minimally processed, meaning they contain the same amount of fat, fibre and nutrients that the cacao bean does.
Cacao powder looks just like cocoa powder. This fine, rich powder is created by grinding whole cocoa beans and extracting the cocoa butter. Unlike regular cocoa powder that is processed at high temperatures, cacao powder is ground under temperatures of no more than 40°C. This means that while it has a delicious chocolatey taste, it still offers a whole host of minerals, nutrients and antioxidants.
Using cacao nibs and powder
Both forms of this superfood can both be used in a huge variety of sweet treats and savoury snacks. However, they’re not interchangeable. Here are some of the best uses for these two cacao products.
Cacao powder can be swapped for cocoa powder in all sorts of recipes. As it’s already been ground, it’s easy to blend this handy powder into your favourite smoothies, hot chocolate recipes and healthy bakes. You can even add a teaspoon to hearty stews for extra richness.
Cacao nibs, on the other hand, offer far more crunch. These intense morsels might not be as sweet as regular chocolate chips, but they can be a great alternative in recipes like healthy biscuits, brownies or flapjacks. Or for an instant energy boost in the morning, sprinkle a handful on your acai bowl along with some superfood maca.
Whether you choose cacao nibs or cacao powder, you’ll still be enjoying all the incredible health benefits of raw cacao. Just remember to look out for certified organic products to ensure you’re enjoying cacao of the highest quality.