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Raw Food for One
by The Wanted

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  • Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  The Wanted     13 y     17,951       6 Messages Shown       Blog: Raw Food for One
    I wasn't really planning to review a comparison between cacao powder and cacao nibs. I had been excited and happy when cacao powder first came out and never really looked back. I had a shadow of a doubt but never dwelled on it. Until today.

    I've been enjoying a cacao drink nearly daily lately and was almost out of cacao powder. Went to the nearby health food co-op, and they were OUT of the cacao powder. They had the Navitas organic "Cacao Power," though. In other words, they had raw organic cacao NIBS but no powder. The nibs are a little bit cheaper than the powder though the same weight.

    I really wanted my chocolate today, and I DO have an awesome and big and heavy 9-inch-diameter Thai granite mortar and pestle, so I thought what the heck, I used nibs before and used (a different, i.e., not as good) mortar and pestle and I can do it again. When home, put a tablespoon or two of the nibs in the mortar and pestle and plundered it down to something you might call a powder in very little time. As I was concocting my drink, I first put in the blender the cacao powder I still had left from before -- and then threw in the newly pulverized raw cacao.

    I was astonished to see the difference in color of the two! They were both the same brand, both "raw," both organic and supposedly the only difference was that one bag was the nibs and the other bag was the powder. However, seeing the two sit in the bowl side by side, I was astonished to note the vast difference in color of the two! While my freshly pulverized nibs were a deep and dark, rich brown the cacao powder was so light as to be 3 to 5 (or more) shades lighter than the newly powdered cacao nibs.

    I don't know what method is used to make the powder, but I'm convinced just by seeing the color difference that the powder is more processed than I want. I am very happy to have run out of cacao powder when the store was out of the powder too or it could have been years before I would have come to this same conclusion.

    If I still had a lot of cacao powder I would still eat it, sure. I just would switch to the nibs when re-ordering.

    Oh. This reminds me of the first (and only) song I ever wrote, when I was about 10 years old and learning rudimentary bits of Spanish language in school. Sorry I don't know how to convey the tune that goes with it, other than to say it is a Mexican tune. Note: chocolate is pronounced choe-koe-LAH-tay in Spanish (choe and koe rhyming with Joe). Or at least, that is what our Spanish teacher said, and that is how it is pronounced in this song:

    "Aiye, yie-yie-yie,
    Oh choe-koe-LAH-tay
    es un amigo mia
    Oh voy contarle!"

    That's the whole song, which I never forgot. I did however forget what some of the words meant over the years. According to at least one bilingual friend, the song says,

    "Aiye, yie-yie-yie
    Oh chocolate [or Oh cacao]
    is a friend of mine
    I sing about it!"

    Well, that does pretty much sum up the sentiment anyhow, eh? (smile)

    Cheers,
    Michele

    P.S. For those without a good mortar and pestle, another way to get something approaching a powder from the cacao nibs is to use an electric coffee grinder -- that two-armed kind that spins.
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    • Re: Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  ren     13 y     3,954
      Grinding cacao is like grinding coffee beans. Once you grind them, you've exposed them to air and dissipating the oils in the cacao that make it so good. Plus they can go rancid faster. I'm down to the bottom of a bag of navitas myself and don't plan on buying powdered cacao again. I've had this bag from...last year! LOL I go through a bag of cacao in about six months to a year. Glad to see you posting again Deradune!
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      • Re: Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  The Wanted     13 y     3,290
        VERY good point, Ren. This way the cacao is MUCH fresher!

        In fact, I have been wondering if I even might want to get the whole cacao beans rather than just the nibs for that reason. The main thing holding me back is the somewhat hard-to-peel outer layer on the cacao beans. Do you have any thoughts about that?

        Thanks for the welcome. I really never thought I would return to a raw lifestyle. It's good to be back -- and hopefully I can make my blog here better than ever.
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        • Re: Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  ren     13 y     3,402
          I've never peeled a cacao bean. Personally I don't think it matters. I'm not picky that way. I like a little cacao in coffee. It's like mocha. I'm returning to the raw lifestyle but in a different way cuz I'm doing the raw meat and hopefully dairy too. Doing the raw meat thing for a month and see how I feel.
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          • Re: Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  The Wanted     13 y     3,602

            I HAVE peeled cacao beans and unless there is a secret to doing it a better way, it's a major pain in the neck and not worth it unless you are "killing time"...!

            Can't remember the details anymore but heard David "Avocado" Wolfe say something in an interview the other day that convinced me that that peels are just as good for me as the bean, so I'll all good about that now. The whole beans cost more, so I'll have to wait a few minutes to get those. I really like the Sunfood Nutrition brand and think their products are generally worth the extra dollars.

            I only dipped my toe in raw meats and just couldn't get into it. Be sure it's always organic and good luck with it. I can't remember all the things to be concerned about with raw meats since I didn't decide to go that route. If and when I do eat meat, it's at least mostly cooked, but I would love to be totally meat-free one day.

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    • Re: Cacao Nibs Versus Cacao Powder   by  warriorone     8 y     1,854
      Hi there,
      I'm going to take the cacao powder for my cough.
      I read the theobromine in the cacao powder has been studied to cause people to stop coughing.

      I'm going to do 2 tbsp per 16 oz of boiling water.

      My question is this, what benefits have you noticed in your body with chocolate powder, I know you grind your own nibs now, (great info, thanks for sharing)
      What have you noticed in your body that you will attribute to chocolate powder.
      And do you know anything about rancidity?

      When is it rancid?

      I'm pretty sure the one I'm using is indeed rancid, it's over a year old, but it's raw.
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