The difference between cacao and cocoa is not just a change in spelling! Although both are derived from the same source (the seeds or nuts of the cacao tree), cocoa and cacao possess different qualities based on their treatment and how they are created, making each a unique snack or addition to your latest smoothie recipe. Read on to learn the differences between raw cacao and raw cocoa.
Raw cacao powder is created by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. This process removes oil but preserves the enzymes and nutritional value of the beans. Cacao has a rich flavour and has been linked to a number of health benefits. It has an incredibly high antioxidant content, which can protect the body from oxidative stress. It’s a great source of dietary fibre, promoting digestive health and feelings of satiation and fullness. It has also been linked to healthy ageing and healthy immunity.
Raw cocoa powder takes on a different process than cacao. Raw cocoa powder is created by roasting raw cacao at higher temperatures, which changes the molecular structure. However, this does not mean that cocoa powder isn’t nutritious! It still contains antioxidants to fight oxidative stress as well as flavonoids that can support heart health. It also has over 300 compounds that can offer natural mood support, and is lower in calories than raw cacao. Just make sure to opt for raw cocoa, as many cocoa powders on the market today are mixes with added sugars and chemicals.
Raw cacao and raw cocoa are both excellent choices if you’re looking to add an extra kick to a smoothie or baking recipe, or simply want to tackle your chocolate craving! In terms of overall nutrition, cacao has higher antioxidant content, but cocoa is still a strong contender. It all depends on your goals and preferences.