Cacao vs. Cocoa (Happily Eat Both!)

My recent post had me pondering the difference between cocoa and cacao.  The question eventually bothered me enough that I opened the cacao and cocoa powders in our pantry.  After a sniff, I determined they smell the same.  With thorough inspection, I found they look the same.  I did not find a difference in taste.  So, what is it that makes one “better” than the other?

The first (and most important) difference is that cocoa powder is roasted in high heat, and cacao powder is cold pressed.  This means, cacao powder keeps most of the beneficial properties of the original cocoa bean.  That is an abundance of magnesium, which does wonders for stress, heart, and kidney health.  It also fights against free radicals with an army of antioxidants waiting for battle.

Goodbye inflammation, and hello beautiful skin!

However, cocoa powder is not that bad for you.  Seriously.  If you are munching on a milky way, or some product with chocolate as a sub-ingredient with a ton of added sugars, than yeah, it’s going to be bad.  The more processed, the worse it will be. When your cocoa powder is purely “cocoa powder” (search the label for ingredients, my friend), you are not in the “oh shit, should I consume this” situation.

Regular cocoa powder still possesses antioxidants, fiber, and even a wee bit of protein.  Consumption still means protection against free radicals and inflammation!  Cool, right?

Do not stress out picking between the two.  If you end up at a grocery store that does not carry cacao, going for the cocoa without added sugars and other weird unpronounceable ingredients is fine.

Cacao is my personal new bestie, but I will not flip out if I end up in a small town, where cocoa powder is the only option at the only grocery store in a twenty mile radius.

How do you like your chocolate? Dark and slightly bitter, or a richly sweet taste?

Shannon

Visit this post for more powerful benefits of cacao!

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