Why is my pantry well-stocked with chocolate AND cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder deserves it’s own space in your pantry, too! First, it is absolutely packed with nutritional goodness. Second, cocoa is an incredibly fun and flexible ingredient to cook with!
Beware! You may think cocoa (and chocolate) may be bad for you. When heaps of added sugar and fat are added, cocoa becomes a bad choice! [sc:bold-p text=”Here’s why I am cookoo for cocoa – the pure, unsweetened kind!” ]
[sc:purple text=”5 Fun Facts About cocoa:” ]
- What is the difference between cacao and cocoa? Cacao is the bean! Cocoa is the product that is made from it.
- The first hints of cocoa consumption date back to 1600 BC.
- The Aztecs used cocoa to create a form of “hot chocolate” or as they called it “xocolatl” which means bitter water.
- Over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa.
- Cocoa is thought be an aphrodisiac.
[sc:purple text=”5 Benefits of eating cocoa:” ]
- Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
- The nutritional goodness in cocoa is mostly due to flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants. Remember antioxidants help to prevent damage to our cells!
- Cocoa has been found to decrease the bad cholesterol or LDL and increase the good cholesterol HDL in our bodies. Cholesterol is linked to heart disease.
- Research has shown that cocoa may reduce diabetes risk by decreasing the bodies resistance to the hormone insulin.
- Cocoa may help decrease blood pressure and improve blood vessels through improved endothelial function and reduction of platelets.
[sc:purple text=”How to buy cocoa & how to store cocoa:” ]
- I buy 100% unprocessed organic cocoa. If that is unavailable buy 100% pure, unsweetened cocoa.
- I buy my cocoa at Whole Foods or I have also bought cocoa online.
- Best kept it in a clean, dry mason jar.
[sc:purple text=”How to use raw cocoa in recipes:” ]
Make your own savory hot chocolate:
Ingredients: (makes 4 delicious cups!)
4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
4 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (adds zest!)
4 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pot and warm over medium to medium-high heat. Stir constantly. Pour into cups and serve.
Try this Cohen family favorite:
Peanut butter-chocolate energy bars
1 jar natural chunky peanut butter
8 oz honey
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup almond pulp or finely ground walnuts
11/2-2 cups quick oats (add until proper texture)
1/2 cup 100% natural hemp protein powder
1/4 cup pure cocoa
Directions: Combine ingredients and spread out in 9×13 glass pan, refrigerate and cut into squares
I place mine in a freezer container and pull out when I am craving a sweet treat!
-see our other blog post for the recipe.
Add it to your smoothie!
Eat it or drink it, but definitely enjoy it!