NIBS OR POWDER?

If you’re reading this you’ve probably already heard about cacao and its kick a** health benefits. But what is the difference between cacao powder and cacao nibs? Do both have the same health benefits? Do they taste the same? Do you use them differently? Let’s find out. 

Both come from the same plant – Theobroma cacao, a tropical evergreen native to the Americas. The difference lies in how they are prepared.  

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NIBS AND POWDER:

Cacao nibs are simply dried and fermented bits of cacao beans. Pop one in your mouth, the texture and taste are similar to eating a roasted coffee bean.
Powder, on the other hand, is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. This removes the fat, aka the cacao butter, leaving you with a subtle, somewhat bitter, rich tasting powder that you can use like you would use old-school Hershey’s cocoa powder. 
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DIFFERENCE IN HEALTH BENEFITS:

Both are loaded with phytonutrients and live enzymes as well as fiber, iron, and magnesium. Not to mention enough antioxidants to put blueberries out of business. [1] Unlike processed cocoa powder, all raw cacao products retain most of these health benefits. For the most part, you wont be sacrificing the major health benefits of raw cacao whether you choose powder or nibs. But let’s dive in even further…

BUT WHAT ABOUT TASTE?

Whether you buy nibs or powder really depends on which taste you prefer and how you want to incorporate it into your diet. Cacao nibs have a crunchy texture, similar to that of a roasted coffee bean, and a taste similar to it as well. Robust in flavor and slightly bitter, similar to dark-roasted coffee, the nibs look a lot like chocolate chips.

HOW TO USE NIBS vs. POWDER:

Remember we said that raw cacao nibs look a lot like chocolate chips? If you like extra dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs are a perfect swap for you. Use them in chocolate chip cookie recipes, on top of oatmeal or a smoothie bowl, in your trail mix or granola recipe…seriously, go nuts. Nobody is stopping you. 

Unlike powder, nibs also contain all the fat (cacao butter) that would otherwise get pressed out when making the cacao powder, making them a highly functional brain food. [2]

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Raw cacao powder looks just like cocoa powder, but with the health benefits still intact. Unlike the old-school cocoa powder we used to use that has been processed at very high temperatures, raw cacao powder is processed a bit differently. To make raw cacao powder, you’d grind the whole cacao beans (just like you would for nibs), but this time you extract out the fat, or the cacao butter, during the cold-press process. There’s no extreme heat and minimal processing, which means that even though we’ve taken the fat out, the wide variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants are still intact. 

When using the powder form, this superfood can be used anywhere you’d add cocoa powder. Brownies, cakes, hot chocolate, smoothies, healthy chocolate syrups and sauces, or enjoy cacao powder in a warm morning drink to replace your coffee. 

SO WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU PICK? 

Whether you end up loving nibs or powder, you’ll still be reaping the incredible benefits of raw cacao. Try out both and let us know which one is your favorite!

SOURCES: 

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