Cacao! I love saying that word. It reminds me of Pa-POW! Yes, that’s how my brain functions to entertain myself. Whatever makes life fun, right? Cacao is a relatively recent finding of mine and I wanted to spread the word to you chocolate lovers in case you hadn’t heard of it.
I never used to like dark chocolate until I stopped eating so many sweets. Now I love a little bit of dark chocolate here and there to cure my chocolate cravings when they happen. I got a bag of cacao nibs after reading about some of the benefits in a foodie magazine. The nibs are full of antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, and healthy fats. Not to mention they are a Mayan superfood. Pa-POW!
The nibs are actually ground up cocoa beans that are used ultimately to make chocolate. The ones that I got are slightly larger than coarse ground coffee and vegan which makes it a good choice for The Kid’s dairy allergy too. They are slightly bitter like dark chocolate, not sweet like milk chocolate. I’ve been adding cacao to all kinds of things like my morning oatmeal, protein shakes, sprinkled on yogurt, and in homemade granola.
They can also be used anyplace you would use a chocolate chip too like in baked goods. Just be aware that they are crunchier than chips so you may want to use blender when adding them to shakes or you’ll wind up chewing them at the bottom. Since today’s theme is clearly chocolate, I have two chocolate recipes to share. Both recipes are sinfully good for you and help when you need a chocolate fix but don’t want to blow your eating. I also love sprinkling the cacao nibs on top of these creations for an extra chocolately punch.
Chocolate Protein Brownie in a Mug
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Mix the above ingredients in a mug and add a splash of water if necessary to make a batter-like consistency. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until just slightly moist on the top. Makes one brownie. It even pops right out of the mug too.
You can also use any oil of choice if you don’t have coconut oil. I’ve tried it with walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, and canola oil. I’ve also used vanilla protein powder instead of chocolate and suggest a sprinkle of cinnamon on the vanilla flavor. The combinations are endless.
Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
- ¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
- Stevia, to taste
Have fun saying cacao and enjoy the treats. Oooh, and now that I think of it you can try the brownie with the frozen yogurt piled on top!!! Must try that one. Let me know what you think.
PS – I also have a chocolate macaroon recipe that The Kid and I are going to try this weekend. I love coconut and chocolate together. Should I add in almond to the mix? Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.