Since giving up sugar for lent, I’ve been experimenting with different tastes and flavours, and there’s one thing I’m hooked on – cacao nibs. Taken from the raw seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree, cacao nibs are one of the world’s most powerful superfoods in one tiny package.
What’s so good about them? Firstly, they’re brimming with antioxidants, and actually have a higher antioxidant content than Kale. Secondly, they are a natural mood-boosting food thanks to their high concentration of magnesium and andamide, the bliss chemical that gives us that europhic feeling after exercise. But what’s really interesting about cacao is the presence of phenylethylamine (PEA), the chemical we produce in our brains when we’re in love, as it is the only plant food known to contain this chemical. So, you can expect to feel uplifted and stimulated after eating them.
While cacao nibs are the starting point for chocolate bars, by this point they have been processed beyond recognition and are a lot less sweet than you may expect, in fact, they can taste quite bitter when eaten in their raw state. Try sprinkling them in your porridge, Greek yoghurt, in smoothies or eaten alone and I assure you, you’ll soon be hooked. They could also be used in baking in place of chocolate chips.
The word cacao means ‘food of the gods’ and in terms of nutritional benefits, that definitely seems to be true! Give them a try…
Do you like Cacao nibs?