Organic Raw Cacao/Cocoa Nibs (Peruvian Mood Booster)
About Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are raw pieces of cacao beans that have been prepared by being removed from their husks, roasted and broken into very small pieces. The only thing left for them after that is to be processed into chocolate bars. However, cacao nibs themselves have a high nutritional value than chocolate bars making them preferable. They can be eaten raw as well as made into smoothies. Since they have a very nice flavor they can also be added into baked products such as cakes.
How to make cacao nibs
The process of making cacao nibs involves couple of steps. The process is as follows:
First, the cacao pods are harvested and then sorted where only the ripe ones are picked. The ripe pods are usually orange in color. After harvesting, they are then cut open with a knife carefully ensuring that that the white cottony part is not cut. The beans are put into a bowl and prepared for fermentation. Yeast which is a natural fermenting agent is added to aid in the process of fermentation. They are then stirred and warmed to a slightly high temperature. After warming they are covered and left for about seven to ten days. They should be checked regularly by turning to ensure that even fermenting takes place. After a week or so, they will have fermented so hard that they start producing an alcoholic smell. They are then put on trays and left to dry out in the sun. The duration of exposure depends on the speed at which they dry up. They are roasted by being put in an oven where they produce a very pleasant smell. The beans are then crushed in order to separate them from the husks and later on filtered so that the husks go on one end and the crushed beans on the other. The final product is beautiful smelling and nutritious cacao nibs.
Cacao nibs have a lot of nutritional and health benefits to the consumer. Some of these benefits include
- Act as mood boosters
Many people like cacao nibs for their feel-good properties. Cacao nibs are known to stimulate the brain into releasing neurotransmitters, the messengers in the brain that direct the body on how to act including mood and behavioral changes. Cacao triggers euphoria leading to production of chemicals in the mind that enhance more focus and being alert.
- Helps in muscle and nerve function
Cacao nibs are known to have a high magnesium content. Cacao nibs contain 272 milligrams of magnesium in every 100 grams. Magnesium is a key nutrient in maintaining healthy muscles and steady heart rhythm. It also contains epicatechin which plays an important role in enhancing nerve function and improving muscle structure.
- Acts as an antioxidant
Cacao nibs play an important role in cleansing the body. They act as anti-oxidants by absorbing free radicals and foreign material that cause damage to body organs. They also help to fight oxidative stress which wears down body cells making the body fell weak and tired. In fact, it would be advisable for a smoker to trade cigarettes for cacao.
- Helps in digestion
Cacao nibs contain polyphenol which prevents certain intestinal secretions. This is important since it helps to avoid build up and accumulation of fluid in the small intestines that may lead to diarrhea. It also contains fibers which have a vital role on enhancing a healthy digestive tract and avoiding disorders such as constipation.
How to use
We suggest taking up to 10 grams a day mixed in smoothies, added to foods, yogurts, taken on their own as a crunchy snack or take as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Please also see this delicious Cacao nibs pancake recipe!