Eating chocolate is generally considered a bad habit that contributes to weight gain and other problems. However, that’s largely due to the added sugar whereas dark chocolate, which is more bitter, is actually thought to be good for you. This also applies to cacao nibs, which result from the chocolate making process and have no sugar added.
Cacao Nibs — the Healthy Alternative for Chocolate Lovers
Chocolate making involves a process called winnowing to remove the outer shell of the cocoa beans, then roasting the beans, grinding into powder and adding sugar. In fact, the first three operations can be performed in any sequence and sugar need not be added to preserve the chocolate’s naturally bitter taste. Cacao nibs go through the same process but without the addition of sugar, are not ground into powder and may or may not be roasted.
Why Cacao Nibs from Australia are Good for You
Cacao nibs are rich in nutrients and are useful sources of potassium, magnesium and iron, the latter in particular helping to reduce fatigue. They’re also high in fibre and, having a rich flavour, are a tasty treat that will encourage you to eat them.
The nibs contain greater quantities of antioxidants than dark chocolate and are therefore good for you. However, if the nibs are roasted to reduce their bitterness and make them more palatable for some people, the antioxidants and natural acids can also be reduced.
There are many claims about the healthy properties of cacao nibs and, although many of these aren’t scientifically proven, they are a completely natural product and the presence of antioxidants and nutrients is acknowledged. They were believed to be health-enhancing by both the Mayans and Aztecs.
Cacao nibs contain caffeine, although not in the same quantities as in strong coffee, and so give a stimulating effect. The cocoa butter they contain is thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease while other ingredients have anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting properties or can help counter insomnia and nervous excitement.
How to Use Cacao Nibs
If you buy cacao nibs for the first time, you may be uncertain how to consume them. They are milder than very bitter chocolate but may have too strong a taste for some.
To test them out, it may be best to add them to brownies in place of chocolate or to sprinkle them on ice cream. They can be eaten on their own as a snack, especially if covered in chocolate.
They have a unique flavour that’s both crunchy and tender at the same time and have been compared to macadamia or cashew nuts. The presence of cocoa butter gives them a certain creaminess and has mouth cooling properties. Once you become accustomed to them, you can add them in greater quantities to baked goods, smoothies and other dessert dishes as a crunchy topping.
Due to a somewhat sweet and sour flavour, they are also ideal to add to savoury dishes such as a crusty coating for steak or chops. The list of uses is almost endless and it really depends on how adventurous you want to be.
They’re increasingly sold in mainstream as well as health food shops, and you can buy cacao nibs online from us. They’re healthy, great tasting and somewhat different so give them a try. We also sell a wide variety of Plant Protein and Hemp Seeds.