Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What is Chocolate?

Theobroma cacao...What or Why is it called that? What has science learned to teach us about Chocolate that has determined it's benefits! Dig into the Chocolate minds with me and let's find out...
Let's start by answering a few of the main questions I have posed first.

  1. Theobroma cacao is the genus name or the Sir name for the tree species we know as Cacao, it means Food of the Gods. Used by Ancient people like the Mayans and Aztec, as a drink...worshiping and more...thankfully someone decided to combine a mixture with sugar! 
  2. Trade was one of my favorite subjects studied in history. What was used for currency is always fun to know, seeing how we use it today. One Cacao could be used to purchase small item, while a larger amount would get you and the family a nice turkey!  
  3. Talk about a multipurpose food, versatile as rice and beans...well it's sort of a bean but actually seeds. Similar to the past now we drink it, eat it, and use it for body wellness! Goes to show good things come in small packages!

To a great extent there is a lot of chemicals that go into the care and keeping of the Cacao trees, but thanks to associations like "Fair Trade" and other organizations that promote farmers being paid fairly and being good stewards. We can have cacao free of chemical pesticides. So we can have the all the benefits, this euphoric inducing treat has to offer..with an honorable mention, that's nothing to sneeze at, being a heart healthy as well as anti-aging treat. One of those rare occasions when you can say eating your veggies is good for you and delicious.

Cocoa verses Cacao: Have you ever eaten cacao nibs, to learn more about their different taste and benefits.  What I have tried...well it's an acquired taste for some but done well it is delicious.

Cocoa isn't Cacao...but Cacao can be processed to become Cocoa thru a heating process(we can talk about next time)...and we all know now how heat can have an affect on certain elements in the any food. Follow the link above to learn more about the 300! compounds in Cacao! 300! The book Cocoa Ice. Have you read it? In the story you may recall the family placed the beans (peas? seeds?) on Banana leaves and covered and stirred them for days in the Sun, until they were ready to make cocoa.

Raw Caco
I loved this chart, because it shows what I've known all along but didn't have the science to sell it...I mean prove it, prove it! 
The information can't be substituted for medical advice but you can be aware and talk to your provider about how cacao can benefit your diet.

Here are a few of the ways I've used Cocoa and will switch with Cacao...definitely click on Mousse below for the recipe and website to have for reference. Follow me on Pinterest (by clicking there on the sidebar) to see what other simple ideas I pinned.

Cacao Powder
*Smoothie: soft tofu blend with coconut milk and honey
*Candy: fudge (I know moderation)
* Mousse: one of the most decadent desserts that's I've loved since childhood!
* Bar.B.Q.  Chipotle (amazing how chocolate loves spicy;)

Cacao Seeds ... Nibs
*Cake decorations
*Candy decorations
*Covered Pretzels in cacao/cocoa sauce!

Here are some books of the Chocolate persuasion...this is one I thought was quite intriguing, while out looking for Book Nooks!

There is a second Edition of this book
I had no idea this was such an old company and they revamped their recipes to accommodate the market for more cacao .


Take note of the chemical make up and formula, that shows why dogs can't eat chocolate. Please be mindful to keep such treats out of their reach. They really don't know any better :)

I hope you enjoyed this food for thought! Until Next time
Follow your Dreams!

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