Cacao, as it is spelled (no it is not a spelling mistake) refers to a dark brown powder produced by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The purpose of cold pressing as we have explained previously in relation to our almond milk is to preserve the nutritional content of the bean and keep the living enzymes intact while removing the cocoa butter. This minimal processing results in a product which maintains a high ORAC ( value, a measure of the amount of antioxidants in foods. In contrast, cocoa which looks exceptionally similar is produced by roasting the raw cacao. This process damages the molecular structure resulting in a decrease in the nutritional value as many of the nutrients are not heat stable. Furthermore, the more commonly known cocoa powder often has sugar, amongst other things added in the manufacturing process.
At Luz Almond we are proud to use cacao, (as in the raw packed with goodness version), in two of our delicious products – our cacao cold pressed almond milk and our slightly more decadent cacao fudge with chocolate pieces frozen dessert.
So why do we love cacao so much:
- Cacao is a rich source of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that protect from ageing and disease. Cacao has a higher ORAC (measure of antioxidant content) score than acai berries, spinach, blueberries, red wine and green tea, giving it one of the highest antioxidant values of all natural foods.
- Cacao is a great source of magnesium which assists the body to process fats and proteins, as well as building strong healthy bones and teeth.
- Cacao also contains two compounds (phenylethylamine and anandamide) thought to act on the brain creating a feeling of euphoria and allowing cacao to act as an aphrodisiac and mood enhancer.
Definitely a few good reasons to give these delicious products a try!