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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > February 2017 > RAW CACAO


Chocolate in its purest form, raw cacao may be just the thing to satisfy those cravings


CACAO IS THE RAW UNPROCESSED BEAN of the Theobroma tree. Cold-pressed and unroasted, it’s ground into powder or chopped into small pieces called nibs. Use raw cacao powder as a cocoa replacement, but use a little less as the flavour is more intense. Unlike cocoa and chocolate, cacao isn’t sweetened, so for desserts blend it with naturally sweet ingredients such as bananas, dates and dried fruit, or use a little unrefined sweetener. Stirring a tablespoon of cacao into casseroles and chilli con carne at the end of cooking will add depth of flavour.

Cacao nibs, meanwhile, are great for nibbling (in moderation!), and livening up porridge, muesli or yogurt. Use them as you would chocolate chips in baking, and try sprinkling a few over salads, instead of nuts. Rich in magnesium, which contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue, cacao nibs are also great for antioxidant flavonoids, linked with normal blood pressure.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Our experts explain how you can eat more and still lose weight, investigate the good gut diet that helps beat the bloat, and tell you how to follow a healthy vegan diet – or just steal the bits you like. Plus, our dietitian explores the benefits of protein powders, and we serve up a nutritious spread of tried, tasted and easy recipes for you to cook throughout the month. All this and more in February’s Healthy Food Guide.