The Aztecs and Mayans revered cacao as a gift from the Gods and in 1735, Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, aptly titled the cacao tree Theobroma cacao, which roughly translates to, “food of the gods”. Today, cacao is equally treasured, the word “cacao” now becoming a buzzword amongst the health conscious. People are making their own chocolate, adding the powder to smoothies, and using the butter both in the kitchen and on their skin.
The powder is thought to provide up to twenty times more antioxidant power than blueberries1. It also contains close to three hundred chemical compounds, one being Phenethylamine, of which a considerable amount is present in the brain during attraction1. I use cacao powder in puddings, such as my Valentine’s Day Ice Cream (on the blog on Saturday), in milkshake-style drinks, or simply in hot chocolate. As I am having a break from caffeine, I have been using the butter more frequently than the powder.
Cacao butter is rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats, both of which are ideal for a ketogenic diet. I enjoy the slightly sweet taste, often eating it by itself, though it is as equally delicious when blended into hot drinks. The Aztecs would make xocolatl (‘bitter water’), a chocolate drink, and used the butter which would float to the top as protection from the sun. I often use cacao butter to make hot chocolate, or if you consume caffeine, it can be added to Bulletproof Coffee. I recommend trying Superfoodies Raw Organic Cacao Butter Drops, an ideal replacement for chocolate buttons, and Bulletproof Upgraded Cacao, both of which are tested for mycotoxins.
Combining cacao powder and cacao butter creates dark chocolate. If time is limited, I eat Willie’s Cacao 100% Pure Gold. Not only is it smooth and silky, all of Willie’s chocolate is created using beans sourced directly from farmers, and is processed using antique equipment to ensure that the quality is exceptional2. I choose the Pure Gold as it contains nothing but cacao – it really is the ‘Food of the Gods’!