You’ve probably heard it said before: “Have some dark chocolate, it’s healthy for you!” The good news – this is partially true! Chocolate indeed contains some compounds thought to be beneficial for health. However, chocolate is frequently consumed in the form of a candy bar – and in addition to those potential benefits, chocolate candy delivers quite a bit of sugar. Enter your new best friends: cacao nibs and cacao powder!
Cacao nibs come from cacao beans that have been roasted and then crushed into small chunks. With their unique crunch and delightfully bitter cacao flavor profile, they make an interesting addition to all sorts of staple foods and meals. When added to granola, trail mix, a smoothie, yogurt or your morning oatmeal, nibs provide a recognizable hint of chocolate, but without all the sweetness. They’re also fun to use as healthy sprinkles over dessert items, such as pudding or ice cream. Making homemade energy bars or bites? Swap out the chocolate chips for some cacao nibs. They can even be sprinkled atop a green salad for some added crunch.
Cacao powder is made from finely milled cacao beans, and can blended into many recipes: drinks such as hot chocolate or smoothies, favorite dessert items like pudding or French silk pie, or even a family chili recipe. Try blending chunks of frozen banana with cacao powder and almond milk for a simple, creamy smoothie that’s chock-full of nutrients.
Packed with magnesium, fiber and iron, cacao nibs and powder can be part of a chocolate-y treat you can feel good about.