Is Your Chocolate Real? Cacao vs Cocoa: What You Need To Know…

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Cacao Vs Cocoa
Image – EatLocalGrown (with permission)

A growing number of studies show that chocolate, especially antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, has health benefits that put it squarely on the latest list of superfoods. This sounds fantastic because chocolate is so delicious. But, are you actually eating real chocolate? The disappointing answer is most likely not.

You ought to know that the numerous scientific studies that boast of chocolate’s amazing health benefits are not referring to your average store-bought chocolate bar, they are referring to the cacao content – which should ideally be as high as possible.

What Is The Difference Between Cocoa And Cacao?

Cocoa is processed cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures, whereas cacao is simply pure, raw cacao beans. Cacao requires minimal processing and preserves all the antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients, while roasting at high temperatures destroys them in cocoa.

Even the top quality cocoa brands, such as Rapunzel 100% Pure Organic Cocoa Powder – while being an excellent product, are roasted.

Commercial chocolate is often worse: During the chocolate manufacturing process, cocoa butter is often mixed with other vegetable oils to make it “go further”. This is a cheaper way of producing chocolate but the problem is the final product is something less than “real chocolate”. Many brands also contain high sugar levels or high fructose corn syrup and use soy lecithin as an emulsifier.

The easiest way to tell whether you are getting cacao or cocoa? Look for the word RAW on the packaging! And then check the rest of the ingredients.

How To Make Your Own Raw Chocolate!

The good news is you can easily make your own “super chocolate” with only 3 super healthy ingredients… Cacao, coconut oil and honey!

You can also add pure (food grade) peppermint essential oil, coconut flakes, hazelnuts or whatever other healthy ingredients you are in the mood for.

You might also save a lot of money this way. A pound weight of raw cacao is around $10. If you make your own, you’ll be amazed at how much more you can make for the same money as the “fancy” raw chocolate brands that you might see for example in Whole Foods Market. Not that we have anything against these products… we just think they are way overpriced.


1/2 cup cacao powder

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (make sure it is melted).

4-6 tablespoons raw honey (depending on how sweet you like your chocolates)


1. In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients. You want to incorporate all ingredients really well. You can whisk by hand or using a hand blender.

2. Put the mixture into fun molds (I used the egg chocolate mold and a heart chocolate mold. You can also use a chocolate bar mold. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour.

3. Enjoy!

Tip: Store your chocolates in the freezer and take them out a few minutes before serving. They taste amazing! With this recipe I made 30 mini chocolates. You can use maple syrup and swap coconut oil for cacao butter(creamier version) as well. I am also going to try incorporating other flavors like vanilla extract, pinch of salt, berries, and chopped nuts. So many flavor combinations!

Check out this awesome Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder (tons of 5 star reviews!) on Amazon.

Article with permission from Rick D

Further Reading:

Cacao – Full Herbal Report

7 Astonishing Reasons Why Eating Chocolate Is Good for You

How To Make Your Own Amazing Organic Raw Chocolates

15 Weird But Amazing Uses For Chocolate

How To Make Sugar-Free Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars

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By Mike Westerdal CPT

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