Blog : cacao

Crazy for Cacao

Crazy for Cacao

As known lovers of chocolate we thought we would give you some insight into the incredible benefits of raw cacao. 

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.

Luz Cacao Cold Pressed Almond Milk

So why do we love cacao so much:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Cacao Almond Milk Frozen Dessert

Choc Almond Paddle Pops

Choc Almond Paddle Pops

Makes 4

Ingredients

½ cup Luz Original Almond Milk

1 tbsp raw cacao

2 tbsp Isowhey Wholefoods Cacao, Maca & Mesquite

1 tbsp coconut butter

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

¼ – ½ cup frozen or fresh avocado

Method

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth consistency.
  2. Fill moulds and then place in freezer for a few hours until frozen.

IMG_4633

Optional: Melt approximately 60g-80g dark chocolate with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour melted chocolate over ice block, working as quickly as you can to prevent the ice cream melting. Then roll in crushed almonds (1/2 cup toasted & chopped).

Cacao Truffles

Cacao Truffles

A delicious and healthy cacao truffle which makes the perfect not – so – naughty treat at this time of year!

balls

Ingredients

1/3 cup purple skinned sweet potato puree (see step 1)

15 pitted Medjool dates

1 1/2 cups walnuts

1/2 cup raw cacao

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

 

Method

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees celcius (or very hot) and bake the sweet potato for 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool and then scoop out flesh from the skin (discard skin). Puree flesh in food processor (Mash can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator).

2. Chop 1/4 cup of walnuts roughly and set aside. In food processor grind remaining walnuts until fine, then add dates and mashed sweet potato. Blend until mixture sticks together.

3. Add raw cacao, chia seeds and cinnamon and blend until incorporated. Add coconut oil (optional).

4. Remove from food processor and fold in chopped walnuts evenly.

5. Roll teaspoon sized amounts into balls and roll in almonds.

6. Place on tray and refrigerate until set (1 hour +). Enjoy as you please!

balls2

Tips

–        try other coatings to mix it up – chopped goji berries, cacao powder

–        to make the truffles that extra bit special dab them with gold leaf (see below)

 balls3