Cacao as an Antioxidant and Superfood
I have always been fascinated with chocolate, but as a child I know very little about it other than what came in a Nestles container or in a chocolate bar. More recently I did some research, Inspired by a David Wolfe Longevity Now Conference I attended. This is where I found out more about this wonderful superfood. Learning about all the wonderful attributes of Cacao, I recently traveled to Ecuador to see it for myself. I had the opportunity to see the actual tree and taste the fruit in its’ raw form. It was an experience of a lifetime for me as living in Minnesota our exposure to these tropical plants are limited to museums or botanical gardens. So here is what I would like to share about the wonderful cacao.
All chocolate is made from cacao beans. Cacao is the seed or nut of a fruit of a tree. The fruits typically begin as green in color and develop into red, orange, and then into yellow. Cacao was named by a Swedish scientist. He called it Theobroma cacao or “The Food of The God’s”. That is how important he felt this tree was. Cacao is a superfood that contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. It has more than red wine, goji berries, blueberries, acai, and even pomegranates, by weight. Cacao is high in polyphenols, epicatechins and catechins. By eating antioxidant rich foods this will help protect us from age-related health conditions.
Did you know the cacao beans have always has been used for weight loss and have been used as a high energy food? Off course you have to be concerned about what kind of chocolate you are eating and how much of it that you eating. My new favorite is 100% (this defiantly is not for everyone) chocolate. Maybe start with a quality organic bar of 80% and work your way up to 100%. Only allow yourself one square per day or every other day. I find that if you put a square of chocolate between you cheek and gum and slowly suck on it; it suppresses ones appetite. Not sure if this will work for you but for some reason it is very satisfying and appetite suppressing for me. And the best thing is that cacao grows year-round and has no defined growing season.
I designed Cacao Spice Blend so that we could get this antioxidant into our diet as often as possible or maybe just because we love cacao. Find out for yourself by mixing up a batch of this for your morning smoothies. This is great sprinkled into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, Chia Seed Pudding, coffee, hot dandelion tea, or even ice cream.
It is not always easy to find cacao nibs, but sometimes you can find them in finer health food stores or on-line. I particularly like the Navitas Naturals brand, but don’t be afraid to experiment.
Write in the comment section below to let me know how you are using your Cacao Spice Blend and don’t forget to share it out on FACEBOOK, PIN it for you and your friends.
Cacao Spice Blend
1/3 cup Cacao Nibs
2 tablespoons Cacao powder
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon Clove powder
1/2 teaspoon Allspice powder (optional)
Put into a container that has large enough holes to shake the nibs through.
The perfect shaker is a red pepper or parmesan cheese shaker.