All About Cacao


Post previously published on, and in collaboration, with E+Rose Wellness Cafe. Edited for reposting purposes.

Cacao, often confused with cocoa, is a nutrient dense “superfood” that gives chocolate its health halo. So what’s the difference between cocao, cacoa, and chocolate?

The cacao tree produces seeds/beans which can be 1. Cold pressed and turned into cacao powder 2. Roasted and turned into cacoa 3. Ground into a paste-like substance which results in the chocolate we see on store shelves.

Pure cacao is packed with magnesium, calcium, iron, antioxidants and flavonoids that may be helpful in heart health as well as energy levels and mood. It’s these nutritional qualities that give chocolate its reputation as a healthier sweet treat. But [there’s always a but!], further investigation is required! The percentage you see on a chocolate bar indicates how much of that product is actually pure cacao [read: more nutrient dense] and not fillers/added sugar — so the higher the percentage the better.

Now for the powder…which should you use, cacao or cocoa? Cacao powder gives off a rich chocolatey taste with more bang for your buck than cocoa powder because of the nutrients named above. It can be used in place of cocoa in nearly every recipe. I add it to smoothies, DIY lattes, baked good, energy bites and bars. Find cacao at E & Rose Wellness Cafe in their bowls [Sobro!], Toast [Banana!], Smoothies [Dark Magic, Bulletproof!] as well as Hu Kitchen’s Chocolate Bars and Hunks.

Are you a chocoholic? How do you get your fix?! Try using cacao powder in my Chocolatey Cacao Hummus [below], Go-To Smoothie Bowl, Chocolate Tahini Bliss Bites, or Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Bites.