Revered by ancient cultures, Cacao — aka "raw chocolate" — is a treasure-trove of antioxidants and mood-boosting phytochemicals. To make this stimulating, nutritious raw cacao powder, we cold-press artisinal organic cacao beans, removing the fatty cacao butter while retaining all of cacao's vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. No sugar and zero additives!
This pure cacao powder is perfect in any recipe: smoothies, hot chocolate, brownies, cookies, cakes, and raw desserts!
• Smooth, buttery cacao powder
• Possibly one of the world’s most powerful health foods, incredibly rich in antioxidants.
• Mood-Boosting, energizing alternative to coffee.
• Easy to use in healthy chocolate recipes
• Incredible Nutritional Profile: 87,800 ORAC score per 100 grams.
• Rich in Mental-Sharpeners: Magnesium and Epicatechin
• Source of Natural Mood-Boosters: Theobromine and Anandamide
• Top source of magnesium and sulfur.
• Healthy fat content around 22%
Usage Notes : This fine-milled, nutrient-rich, RAW Cacao powder is perfect in smoothies, hot chocolates, raw desserts and fudges, and manufactured products like energy bars and artisan RAW chocolates.
The Essential Living Foods Difference
When we first pioneered RAW chocolate 10 years ago, our primary concern was microbial purity. Traditionally, since the cacao destined for chocolate production is cooked and heavily processed, fresh cacao beans were fermented in the open jungle, with little concern for purity. For this reason, when we pioneered RAW cacao, we had to develop pristine fermentation techniques and facilities. The explosive popularity of RAW cacao led to many copycats selling cacao that was contaminated with mold, yeast, and bacteria. As always, we use careful processing and lab testing to guarantee that our cacao is 100% free of pathogens like E. coli, staph, and salmonella.
This product comes from an heirloom strain of Cacao, Ecuador's Arriba Nacional. Ecuador has a rich history of producing excellent chocolate and this variety is used by high-end chocolate makers like Dagoba, Terra Nostra and others. Cacao beans from freshly split pods are fermented under control at 40°C / 104°F and then washed in potable water before being solar-dried. The beans are machine "cracked" into nibs, and the papery skins are separated from the nibs simply by fan power. The nibs are then fed into a hydraulic press that squeezes them, pressing out the buttery golden oil. After pressing the butter from the nibs, the concentrated cake left behind is low in fat (about 22%), but not as low as other powders. The cacao cake is then cold-milled to a powder and then fine sieved for use as cacao powder. Never contaminated by clarifying chemicals or solvents,it retains high levels of nutrients and antioxidants. Prior to final packing, every lot of cacao is tested at an independent lab for a full microbial analysis. These results are always available for interested customers.
Contents & Benefits
You've heard about the amazing health benefits of dark chocolate. Study after study is revealing that chocolate is an incredible source of very specific antioxidants that support human health in everything from cardiovascular function to brain function and longevity. It's also loaded with vital minerals, healthy fats, and mood-boosting phytochemicals.
Since it is processed much less, RAW cacao has even more antioxidants than regular dark chocolate. Considering the fact that cacao powder is a pure, concentrated form of cacao, with the cacao butter removed, and you can see why 100 grams of this cacao scores incredibly high on the ORAC scale of antioxidant potency. Cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined!
What kind of antioxidants? Cacao contains polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins. The health benefits of these antioxidants are well-studied and range from increasing blood flow to the brain (enhancing brain health and protecting against stroke) to inhibiting cholesterol plaque buildup in the arteries, to fighting unfriendly bacteria in the digestive system, to fighting the free-radicals produced by everything from smoking to intense exercise.
Epicatechin: Cacao's antioxidants do more than just protect your cells from free-radicals. Epicatechin (an antioxidant also found, in lesser quantities, in green tea) actually seems to activate the cardiovascular system. Especially when combined with exercise, epicatechin seems to trigger the body to form new capillaries that feed muscles and brain tissue while also increasing production of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouse. This is all in addition to working to neutralize the free- radicals that build up in the body from chemical stressors such as exercise, smoking, or the effects of emotional stress. Epicatechin and other antioxidants in cacao are suspected to be the primary factor in the unusual health of the Kuna people of Panama, who drink 6 cups of fresh local cacao every day...and live well into old age with far fewer cases of stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.
In addition to its functional antioxidants, cacao provides crucial minerals for healthy brain, bones, joints, blood, and more—particularly magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper.
Magnesium: Cacao may be the richest food source of magnesium on earth.
Iron: Just one ounce of cacao supplies three times the US RDA of iron.
Zinc: Zinc is vital to a healthy immune systemand is also a central building block in hundreds of enzymes throughout the body.
Manganese: Central to building bone, cartilage, and connective tissue, manganese also helps iron to oxygenate the blood.
Copper: Not only is it antimicrobial, copper is also important to digestion and our body's lymph system.
Sulfur: Cacao is rich in sulfur, which builds strong nails, hair and shiny skin.
In addition to these vital nutrients, cacao also supplies a variety of mood-boosting phytochemicals that make it perfect for everything from increasing energy levels to improving overall sense of well- being.
Theobromine: Cacao contains about 1% theobromine by weight. Theobromine is also found in tea, and is similar to caffeine, but much smoother, increasing vasodilation throughout the cardiovascular system. This, in combination with the effects of epicatechin, can contribute to everything from increased endurance to a greater sense of health or energy. In the actual cacao bean, theobromine plays a role as an anti-bacterial shield.
Tryptophan: This essential amino acid is the precursor to the important neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. Since tryptophan often breaks down when heated, RAW cacao is likely a much better source of tryptophan.
Anandamide: "Ananda" means bliss, and anandamide is the body's own bliss molecule, responsible for the infamous "runner's high" (not, in fact, endorphins). Not only does cacao contain anandamide, it also contains an enzyme inhibitor that slows the breakdown of anandamide, keeping it flowing through body and brain for much longer, increasing endurance and feelings of well-being.
Phenethylamine: Commonly known as the "love drug," Phenethylamine (PEA) is one of many chemicals associated with feelings of love, excitement, focus and attention (perhaps explaining the connection of chocolate and romance).