Raw cacao powder is different from cocoa powder. Cacao and cocoa have the same origin, the processing and the end product makes the difference in their names and their nutrition value. After cold pressing unroasted cacao beans we get raw cacao powder and cacao butter. Cold pressing (below 50oC) process keeps the enzymes, vitamins and minerals contained in raw cacao powder in most bioavailable form. Whereas, ‘cocoa’ is raw cacao beans that has been roasted at high temperatures. Roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value. Since roasting cacao beans enhances the chocolate flavor so, almost all commercial chocolates are made using cocoa powder.
Raw cacao powder is known to have highest antioxidant content among foods discovered till date. It has high amount of magnesium, a relaxation mineral which is deficient in most foods these days. It also is an ideal plant based iron source for vegans. Cacao powder is not only good at guarding us from many chronic degenerative diseases, but also provide many anti-depressant and anti-aging health benefits.
Raw cacao powder can be taken in forms of hot or cold beverages, and also can be used in deserts, cakes and chocolates.