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Cacao nibs are simply chocolate in its purest form, before anything else is added… and I mean ANYTHING. These are not the type of chocolates that you just popped straight into you mouth, unless you like very very bitter dark chocolate.
They are dried and fermented bits of cacao beans. The texture is similar to that of roasted coffee beans, if you are a coffee connoisseur. They have a deep chocolate flavor which can be described as slightly bitter (understatement according to my taste buds anyway) and nutty.
Think of them as natures, all natural unsweetened chocolate chip. They add great crunch to recipes and unlike their processed chocolate chip counterpart, they packed with powerful nutrients, antioxidants and natural mood lifters.
They are great when they are incorporated into recipes that offer up some sweetness. This will help balance the bitter notes. Add them to cookie and bar recipes, throw a tablespoon into your smoothie or if brave enough, eat them straight out of your hand. Unlike M&M’s…. they won’t melt in your hand or pocket. :)
Neurotransmitters are little mailmen that run around in our bodies like little messengers. They tell our bodies how to act, and that includes mood. Cacao stimulates the brain to release particular neurotransmitters that can trigger emotions, such as euphoria. That’s why some people say chocolate is better than sex! If you are sensitive to caffeine, foody-beware… raw cacao powder contains caffeine, so eat with caution.
With that being said they are a great source of iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production. And what food wouldn’t be considered a superfood if it wasn’t rich in Antioxidants? They are important for our health because they absorb the free radicals that cause damage in the body.