Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. The process keeps intact the enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Therefore, raw cacao maintains its high nutritional profile making it a superfood loaded with substances considered important for health. Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder has been roasted and processed resulting in a reduced enzymes content and lower nutritional value.
We don’t know much about how the ancient civilizations of the Americas used cacao, but it was certainly treasured by them for medicinal purposes.
Nowadays we know that raw cacao is very high in antioxidant flavonoids (naturally occurring plant pigments), sulfur and magnesium, that might contribute – if eaten in moderation – to increased energy levels, mood improvement, glowing skin and increased cognitive abilities. The essential fatty acids found in it are also thought to help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
Try these delicious and healthy recipes with raw cacao: