I recently discovered the very interesting difference between Epsom and Magnesium salts and it got me thinking about all the other things I often mistake for being the same, like Spring water & Mineral water (another post I am currently researching) and cocoa & cacao! I'll be honest, I have gone through most of my life not knowing there was any difference, happily munching my way through many chocolate bars expecting to reap those mineral & antioxidant benefits. Unfortunately for me, regular chocolate bars are made from cacoa and while it comes from the same tree as Cacao they are actually very different. Let me explain...
Cacao is raw and unprocessed, Cocoa is roasted!
Raw cacao is made from cold pressing raw cacao beans which removes that beautiful cacao butter leaving behind that pure dark, rich cacao which is full of living enzymes and is super healthy for us.
Cocoa is made by roasting raw cacao and processing it which removes most of that goodness and doesn't leave much nutrition. While the good quality dark chocolate will still provide some antioxidant benefits, raw cacao contains about 360% more.
Why we're obsessed with cacao
One of the most powerful antioxidants in cacao is resveratrol (also found in red wine), which is known to help protect our complexion against free radicals, which are what causes fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing. The other goodies found in raw cacao include protein, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium!
So, how can we reap the benefits of this delicious superfood?
Simply add nibs or powder to your smoothie, muesli, slices, raw desserts and even almond milk. Avoid adding to ice ream or cows milk as the dairy can inhibit the absorption of all those antioxidants, yes turns out that a glass and a half is just a great ad slogan!
You can easily make your own raw chocolate by combining equal amounts of organic coconut oil and raw cacao nibs and melting them in a double boiler with some raw honey. Pour into moulds, sprinkle some sea salt on the top and set in the refrigerator.
We can also apply raw cacao directly to your face and allow all those antioxidants to soak directly into your skin, just like this Cacao Revelation Mask