If you’re looking for the best cacao nibs products to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Cacao Nibs Products Guide.
Top 10 Cacao Nibs Products
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|#1||Viva Labs Raw Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#2||Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#3||Healthworks Certified Organic Raw Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#4||Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Organic Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#5||TruVibe 100% Organic Raw Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#6||Joyfuel Raw Organic Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#7||Divine Organics Raw Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#8||Imlak’esh Organics Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#9||Ojio Raw Organic Cacao Nibs||More Info|
|#10||Kazu Organic Cacao Nibs||More Info|
Cacao nibs are not to be confused with cocoa. Cacao, or Theobroma cacao, is the real deal when it comes to chocolate. Raw cacao is the base for which chocolate products are made. It is considered a superfood containing healthful phytonutrients and flavanoids. Cacao nibs are a terrific addition to your diet if you want to provide some extra nutrition. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and how to use cacao.
What Are Cacao Nibs?
Cacao was first introduced as a cultivated food in the ancient Mexican Olmec civilization, dating back approximately 3,000 years. Cacao was often used to make a beverage that was served at wedding ceremonies and other celebrations. It was said to be the food of the gods.
The Theobroma Cacao tree produces fruit known as cacao pods. Each pod contains seeds or beans that can be extracted to make a butter that is then used to make chocolate, when mixed with sugar, and to make creams that are used topically. Cacao nibs are the beans that have been separated from their husks and broken or chopped up into smaller pieces. The nibs are the purest form of what we know as chocolate. However, these are bitter, not sweet.
As with any food or nutritional supplement, there are different schools of thought as to the effectiveness and safety of a specific product. Here are some of the reported side effects.
- Cacao is relatively high in calories and fat. It should be eaten in small amounts for this reason.
- Raw cacao is stimulating, just like caffeinated coffee. This can cause your heart to race, your kidneys to be aggravated, and your bowels to work a little harder if too much is consumed.
- Some feel cacao has the potential to be highly addictive. This may be due to the adrenal stimulation and the neurotransmitter releasing action that is accompanied by feelings of euphoria.
- In extremely high doses, cacao may cause anxiety, hallucinations, and nightmares. This might be due to the stimulating effects and possible sleep disturbances if consumed at night.
- Long-term consumption of raw cacao may lead to episodes of paranoia. This has been reported but there are no in-depth studies to back up the reports.
- Daily intake of cacao may cause a toxic buildup in the bloodstream and digestive organs. This is possible with overconsumption of several foods and supplements.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Taking Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are consumed as a food not as a supplement. Cacao can be found raw in either nib form or powdered. Cacao nibs are sometimes toasted to reduce some of the bitter flavor. At its purest, cacao is consumed in raw nib form. There is a bit of a debate over whether “raw” cacao is actually 100% raw.
The nibs have a crunchy texture with a slightly bitter taste and hints of chocolate. They are the purest form of chocolate without any of the sweetness that you would find in something like chocolate chips. You might find the taste takes some getting used to. If you already love super dark chocolate you will probably enjoy the nibs.
The best way to consume and enjoy cacao nibs is to add them to your favorite dishes. They play well with both sweet and savory ingredients.
- Bake the nibs in cookies
- Toast them in with a batch of homemade granola
- Sprinkle nibs on your morning oats
- Add to yogurt
- Use them in smoothies
- Eat nibs raw as a snack
- Stir a spoonful into hot coffee
- Grind them and use as a crust on game meats
- Add to salads for a little crunch
- Cook them into spiced dishes like curries and tagines
What to Look for in a Good Cacao Nib Product
Cacao nibs are not as easy to find as you would think. They just haven’t become a popular item on grocery store shelves yet. They are well stocked in health and natural food stores and available at online retailers. The nibs are used by some of the best chefs in culinary preparations, sometimes being sourced directly for the producers in Central and South America.
When looking for a good cacao nib product try to find one that is non-GMO, organically grown, and sustainably harvested. The ingredient list should be limited to “raw cacao nibs”. There shouldn’t be any artificial additives or preservatives.
The Wrap Up
Cacao is chocolate in its purest form. It is high in antioxidants, minerals, dietary fiber, and stimulating chemical compounds. Unlike cocoa, cacao is raw, or very lightly heated, and does not contain additives or sugars. It is a healthier way to consume chocolate.