Cacao Nibs: Healthier than Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is something almost every desert is made up of. It is often called as the food for the Gods and rightly so as it is rich, sweet and delicious. However, the food is not without its side effects including the high sugar content found in dark chocolate. The alternative is surprisingly the precursor of dark chocolate: Cacao nibs.

What is Cacao Nib?

Cocoa tree or Cacao tree is the tree which gives us chocolate. But the tree does not give out dark chocolate bars and chips. It only gives us cocoa beans which need to be processed and refined before the beans are converted into the dark chocolate that we all adore. This process is ingrained with the addition of sugar into the mixture which constitutes the unhealthy content of dark chocolate.

Cocoa nibs, on the other hand, retain the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa beans. They do not require a large number of processing steps to be formed, and they are highly salubrious as compared to dark chocolate chips and bars.

They retain the properties that make them more effective than the ultimate green tea in its antioxidant content, and they are still tasty. Unlike cocoa beans, cocoa nibs can be eaten and they are delicious to consume. Also, these nibs are often used in recipes as a substitute for dark chocolate.

How is Cacao Nib Made?

  • The cocoa pods are cracked and then allowed to ferment for seven days
  • They are also made to dry under the sun
  • These beans are shipped to coffee makers
  • Each company has its own formula for different cocoa beans, and eventually we arrive at roasting the beans.
  • The husk that is obtained after cracking open the cocoa beans is cacao nibs.

Although this may seem like too many steps, the process is simpler in comparison to the manufacturing of dark chocolate. There are multiple steps like roasting and processing to be completed, before one can obtain either the dark chocolate powder or dark chocolate bars.

What to Do With Cacao Nibs?

They are tasty and have a nutty flavour which is different from dark chocolate because there is no sugar mixed with cocoa nibs. Also, the nibs are consumable and can be eaten or added to different dishes as a garnish or as an ingredient.

Regardless of how it tastes, cocoa nibs cannot be added to hot milk and enjoyed in a cocoa milkshake. The nibs do not melt so there is no point trying. One can however smash and make the cacao nibs into fine cacao powder which can fulfil the same tasks with ease.

If one is buying cocoa nibs, then avoid buying nibs which have the word “Dutch” or one which has alkalis as an ingredient in them as they completely change the constituents and are not as healthy as cocoa.

How Can Cocoa Nibs Help?

Cocoa nibs have essential natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. They improve the mood of the person by increasing the levels of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin in the body. Studies have shown that they can boost memory and life-span as well.

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