Chocolate facts for chocolate lovers
So what is the difference between cacao and cocoa?
Cacao refers to the RAW form of chocolate, including the tree and bean. So when you see cacao nibs or cacao powder or say 70% cocao on a chocolate bar, this is the bean in its raw state—uncooked, additive free, and unprocessed. The rawest, healthiest form of chocolate you can possibly get. It contains loads of antioxidants, because it's raw and pure. Its also a good source of fiber, magnesium, essential fatty acids, iron, copper, zinc, sulfur, and calcium.
When the cacao beans have been roasted and processed, we get cocoa. Cocoa powder has been roasted, ground, and sometimes mixed with a sweetener and cocoa butter.
Milk chocolate bars are usually made from cocoa powder (powdered cocoa mass with some cocoa butter extracted) BUT they are then mixed with refined sugars, butter, lard or hydrogenated vegetable oils, milk products, and various other bad ingredients.
Change your regular chocolate to at least a 80% cocoa or cacao chocolate bar for a healthier snack but make sure you check the ingredients! Not all dark chocolate is good, check the cacao content and that its not been processed with alkali! (alkalized or dutch-process cocoa is chemically processed to reduce the acidity and harshness of natural cocoa. In doing so, alkalizing alters the flavor of the cocoa and darkens the color, making it appear to be more chocolatey)
The best would be organic and fair-trade, brands to look out for are lindt, green and blacks and pasha but there are many more! Just check the label for ingredients.
CHOCOLATE CAN BE HEALTHY!
(The pancakes in th photo are sold at The Skinny Kitchen, in Ibiza, back open in April 2015)