Mayan Cacao Powder: A Super Food
As I just made a batch of homemade cookies the other day, I thought I’d share with you a ‘not-so-well-known’ item we have in our stock. Pure organic cacao is an ingredient we have been using for several years. For those of you that don’t know, organic cacao is considered a Mayan super-food.
In ancient Mayan culture cacao was revered as the drink of the gods. Only the elite of Mayan society could afford to drink it as the seeds were used as currency. Only rich people can afford to drink their money. Colonists discovered the cacao drink and brought it back to Europe where it became a fashionable drink among the high society. In the present cacao is sold worldwide as the main ingredient in chocolate and hot cocoa powder, but the Mayan still prepare it and drink it the way their ancestors used to.
We began using organic cacao powder to obtain the full power of the antioxidants it contains. What’s the difference between cacao (pronounced “cah-cow”) and the cocoa powder I can buy in the grocery store?
The Cacao Tree (Theobroma cacao) produces pods (the fruit) about the size of a football, in which the cacao beans are found. Cocoa is always heat processed (which destroys antioxidants), while Cacao is ‘cold’ processed and is a raw organic product that has more (much more) antioxidants and nutrients.
This is what Navitas Naturals has to say about their Cacao Powder, which is what we use.
Navitas Naturals cacao beans are hand-selected for quality, partially fermented to alleviate bitterness, and processed at low temperatures for maximum nutrient retention. Once extracted from the pod-like fruit, purified water is used to cleanse the beans. The whole beans are peeled and cold-pressed to form a paste, the bean’s oil is extracted, and our nutrient-dense cacao powder is formed. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder contains 100% pure cacao powder that is certified organic, kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and raw.
I use this cacao powder when I am baking and we also have great shakes using this powder. Because of the high antioxidants, I also consider this organic cacao powder to be part of our overall good health plan, just like we’re using more ‘high ORAC value‘ spices in our foods. I will tell you that cacao powder from Navitas is not cheap, but our health is worth the price. If you are trying to eat foods as ‘organic’ as possible with the least amount of processing and the highest amount of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, this is the way to go when it comes to chocolate!