I’ve been hearing a lot about raw cacao and recently bought some. Taken straight, I find it horrible! Chewy and bitter, so gross. I did find some good recipes online that actually make it taste good, but there is quite a lot of controversy about its health benefits, and some claim it is toxic.
From the research I’ve done, it seems to be a good source of antioxidants and magnesium, though nothing that you can’t get in other foods. It has some caffeine and can improve your energy level and mood, but people who have overused it report heart palpitations and arrhythmia. I suspect that like any supplement, it is not a miracle food, but it does have health benefits if eaten in moderation as part of a healthy whole-foods diet. That said, here’s a good low-calorie cacao smoothie I whipped up today. The cacao bits didn’t totally dissolve in my blender, but it was still delicious. I felt good after drinking it following a great sweat at my favorite vinyasa yoga class this morning. Think I’ll start making it for breakfast or a mid-morning snack a couple of days a week.
Blend well in a blender or vita-mix:
1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk: coconut, rice, hemp, etc.)
several drops of stevia
1-2 T of any good protein powder
dash of cinnamon
1 T raw cacao nibs
4-5 ice cubes