Cacao nibs are essentially broken up pieces of the cocoa bean also known as cacao beans. Their chocolate flavor comes from the cocoa bean itself, and they are packed with nutrients and other components that are beneficial to health.
Given the extreme amount of nutrients and antioxidants found in cacao nibs, they contain anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and heart health properties to name a few. Cacao nibs are very versatile and can be easily incorporated into many of your favorite sweet or savory recipes.
Cacao nibs do have a deep, bitter chocolate flavor making them a much healthier option for chocolate lovers.
Cacao nibs can be used as part of a healthy diet given their high nutrient content. You can incorporate them into recipes calling for chocolate, but you will need to adjust the sugar content due to their bitter flavor.
Unlike the chocolate you typically find in candy or cookies, cacao nibs are chocolate in its almost purest form. It is bitter because it has no added sugars or additives to make it sweet like the chocolate you’re used to consuming.
Cacao beans are cultivated from the cacao tree. After they are harvested, the beans are dried, fermented, and cracked to make the cacao nibs.
When stored in a cool, dry place, cacao nibs will last up to two years unopened. If opened, they will last in the same environment for up to 3 months. Roasted cacao nibs will go stale faster than if you buy them raw.
Cacao nibs can get moldy if they are exposed to any type of moisture. It is recommended that you store them in a cool, dry place and not in the refrigerator or freezer where moisture can develop.
Despite its many health benefits, cacao nibs do contain a high amount of calories and fat. As with any food, it’s best to consume them in moderation to avoid weight gain or excessive calories.
Cacao nibs look like small, broken up pieces of a chocolate bar but without the sugar or additives.
Cacao nibs are considered beneficial to health as they contain a good source of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. They are also high in plant compounds making them high in antioxidants that boost cancer-fighting properties along with anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Cacao nibs have many of the same ingredients as the dark chocolate you find in stores, but it is not the same thing. It also contains many of the same health benefits but without sugar or other additives commonly found in store-bought chocolate.
Yes, cacao nibs do contain cocoa butter. It is a naturally occurring ingredient that exists in the cacao bean and remains within the nibs during processing. Cocoa butter is also the same thing as cacao butter.
Yes, naturally processed cacao nibs are free of all milk and dairy products. The only time you will see dairy ingredients in cacao nibs is if they are added by the manufacturer. Always check product labels if you have an allergy or food sensitivity.
Since cacao nibs are minimally processed and come directly from the cacao bean, they are naturally vegan. No animal or dairy products are used during the process but always check a product’s nutrition label to ensure it doesn’t contain any unwanted ingredients.
Yes, you can use cacao nibs in your favorite baked goods recipes in place of dark chocolate chips. Depending on the recipe, you may need to adjust the sugar content to compensate for the naturally bitter taste of cacao nibs.
Cacao nibs will not melt in their natural state. Since they are part of the actual cacao bean, you can’t melt them. If you need to melt them down to incorporate into your favorite recipe, you will need to grind them down into a powder.
Yes, cacao nibs can be ground down into a powder using a wet blender or melanger. This device will liquefy the nibs and turn them into chocolate liquor, which is the basis for what we know as chocolate. You can also use a blender or food processor; however, the consistency will be more like a paste than powder.
Cacao nibs and cacao powder both come from the cacao bean. The main difference between them is more about their form and consistency. Determining which of the two is better will mainly depend on what you are using the product for. If you’re are looking to replace cocoa powder, cacao powder makes for an excellent substitute. If you’re looking for a healthier chocolate chip option, you can use cacao nibs instead. For either option, you may need to adjust for the natural bitter flavor from cacao nibs or powder.
Yes, cacao nibs are safe to eat as they are derived naturally from the cacao bean, which is the same as the cocoa bean. Cacao nibs contain multiple antioxidants and a variety of health-boosting ingredients that make them a great addition to a healthy diet.
Cacao nibs are naturally free of gluten or any other wheat products. Since they are broken up pieces of the cacao bean, they do not contain gluten. However, always check the ingredient label to ensure no other gluten-containing ingredients have been added to the product if you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
Cacao nibs are naturally free of sugar or other artificial sweeteners. They do have a trace of sugar that is a natural component of their overall ingredients. Always check the ingredient labels as some manufacturers add sugar to combat the natural bitterness of cacao nibs.
Do Cacao Nibs Contain Caffeine?
Cacao nibs do contain approximately 12 mg of caffeine per 1 tablespoon. In comparison, an average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains approximately 95 mg.
It is not recommended that cacao nibs be refrigerated or frozen as it can cause moisture build-up, which can lead to potential mold or mildew. Store them in a cool, dry place to help maintain freshness and longer shelf life.
Since cacao nibs have no added sugar and are naturally low in carbohydrates, minimally processed cacao products like raw cacao nibs are considered to be keto-friendly. If you’re on a strict diet or need to eliminate specific foods from your diet, always read the ingredient label to ensure the product is acceptable for your needs.
Some cacao nibs are processed and sold raw while some are roasted prior to packaging. You will need to check the product packaging or description to determine how the cacao nibs you’re purchasing are processed. Most health experts state that raw cacao nibs are a healthier option as the heat from roasting them can diminish some of their nutritious properties.
Since cacao nibs are minimally processed and typically don’t contain artificial ingredients, they are considered paleo-friendly. Make sure to check the ingredient label to ensure that nothing has been added that goes against the paleo diet’s guidelines.
Cacao nibs undergo a mandatory process called fermentation. This process prevents the cacao beans from germination. It essentially “kills” the bean, and it is essential for developing their full chocolate flavor.
Unprocessed, natural cacao nibs are not alkaline. When the cacao bean is processed to become cocoa powder, an alkalized solution is added to reduce its acidity. It’s also essential to note that when this happens, the cocoa’s antioxidant levels are reduced.
Even though cacao nibs are processed from the cacao bean, it is essentially a seed. If you’re on the autoimmune protocol (AIP), you will need to take this fact into account. Seeds are generally not allowed on AIP so it might be best to check with your doctor or consume it in very small amounts to track how your body reacts to it.
Depending on the recipe or use for the cacao nibs, you may or may not be able to substitute them appropriately with another ingredient. You will need to adjust for the bitter taste of cacao nibs if replacing them with a sweeter alternative like chocolate chips. Due to this consideration, most people will substitute them with chocolate liquor or unsweetened baker’s chocolate.
Given its natural health benefits, the side effects of cacao nibs are minimal for most people. One main concern is the amount of caffeine naturally found in cacao. The amount of caffeine in cacao nibs is considerably less than an 8-ounce cup of coffee. Other side effect concerns can include allergic skin reactions, headaches, and a wide range of digestive issues.
Any form of cacao or chocolate can be dangerous for dogs, cats, and other household pets. Cacao nibs and any other ingredients derived from cacao or cocoa should not be fed to animals.
Cacao nibs contain a massive amount of antioxidants making it a food that can help protect against various forms of cancer. Some studies have shown that high amounts of theobromine, which is a natural substance found in cacao, can cause harmful effects. However, it’s important to note that to consume that level of theobromine is nearly impossible even if you were to consume cacao products all day long.
Although cacao nibs are a natural and safe product to consume, some people may find the natural chemicals found in cacao can trigger the possibility of migraine headaches.
Cacao nibs naturally contain flavonoids that are known to protect the heart and cardiovascular system. Flavonoids have been found to thin the blood, prevent clots and heart disease, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure in some people.
Chocolate in its many forms has often been accused of causing acne for many years. However, many studies now show that cacao in its natural form does not cause acne or skin blemishes. It’s now thought that the sugars and milk products often added to cacao is the culprit for causing acne. Since cacao nibs are almost a pure form of chocolate and don’t contain those additives, it is unlikely that they cause acne.