How to cook with cocoa nibs

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Cacao nibs or cocoa nibs are shards of cocoa bean most often associated with the chocolate-making process — though more and more they are being used as an ingredient in their own right.

The primal ingredient has pure and bitter cacao flavours, meaning that they work in both sweet and savoury dishes. It’s the nibs’ texture which is particularly distinctive though. The shards have a lot of bite. They’re harder than most nuts, almost like crystallised sugar —certainly more comparable to a Brazil nut rather than a softer almond or pecan.

Cacao nibs are created as part of the chocolate-making process. The cacao beans are roasted and then ‘cracked’ — separating the husks from the nibs. A technique called ‘winnowing’ blows the husks away, removing 25% of the original weight, and leaving the cocoa nibs behind.

At this point, the nibs are most commonly ground into a chocolate liquor, and then mixed with milk, sugar and emulsifier to make chocolate. But more often than ever,

cocoa powder

ING-cocoa-powder-2_sql
what is it?

When it comes to delivering deep, dark chocolate flavor, plain old cocoa powder is hard to beat. Made of finely ground partially defatted cocoa solids, it comes in two styles: natural (simply labeled unsweetened cocoa powder) and Dutch-processed (or alkalized), which has been treated with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Both taste bitter out of the box, but natural cocoa, which is lighter in color, has a fruitier, more acidic chocolate flavor, while Dutched cocoa, is mellower, with an almost nutty flavor.

kitchen math:

2-1/4 oz. = 3/4 cup

don’t have it?

In recipes without a chemical leaven (baking soda or baking powder), you can substitute Dutch-processed cocoa powder for natural cocoa powder. But the two types of cocoa react differently with baking soda and baking powder, so if your recipe contains these ingredients, stick with the type of cocoa that’s called for.

how to choose:

There are flavor variations among brands. You might find that you love the complex flavor of premium brands, such as Merckens and Valrhona, or you might prefer the familiar flavor of the supermarket brands like Hershey’s and Nestlé.

It’s a

5 Surprising Ways to Cook with Cocoa

Cacao beans in the hands of an Ecuadorian farmer.
Cacao beans in the hands of an Ecuadorian farmer.

When we think of chocolate, usually desserts and candy bars come to mind. But believe it or not, chocolate makes a great addition to savory dishes, as well. Just think of a delicious Mexican mole poblano sauce, and how it complements chicken. Now that research reveals that cocoa powder contains compounds that can protect against stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, it’s a great time to try more cocoa recipes and enjoy main dishes that contain this healthy ingredient.
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What makes cocoa recipes so healthy? Cocoa beans are a particularly potent source of antioxidants, substances that mop up free

Using Mylar Bags with a Vacuum Sealer

When I first encountered Mylar vacuum bags I wondered why I would ever use them. Then I started paying attention to all of the foods that I purchase that are sealed in mylar bags instead of plastic and I started to realize there were absolutely foods where metallic was the best option of fresh food.

When combined with an oxygen absorbent, mylar vacuum seal bags are perfect for long term food storage. This allows me to make my emergency storage supplies at a much lower cost and have much tastier food than what can traditionally found on the emergency preparedness market. This ability to store grains, dried fruits, jerky, and other emergency staples for the long term has made it so that our emergency supplies are more diverse and higher quality.

In addition I have started making larger batches of granola, dried fruit, homemade chips, dehydrated potatoes, and jerky for the camping season and putting those into these bags. By making my own instead of purchasing these items from the sporting goods store, we can now go backpacking more often keeping our packs light and our meals enjoyable. Combined with a dehydrator, I even make soups and stews that I

Some Pounds To Drop With TruVision Health

Apart from self esteem that you experience once you drop some extra pounds, there are some other benefits that you get. Maintain ideal body weight means you can hinder some serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and some others. People that lose their body weight healthily, they display better sugar blood level and become more energetic. When it comes to have ideal body shape, it needs the combination of regular exercise and fine quality food intake. However, if you want to boost the effect, adding TruVision Health into your diet, it brings you benefit.

If you look around the internet, you will discover many people show good result when taking the product. Beforehand, the product itself is divined into two packages that work together, the one that is known as TruFix and TruWeight & Energy. Each package provides you with different functions that complete one and another not only to make you melt some extra fat, but also to keep your health on the right track. Losing your weight with truvision health weight loss, it requires you to take each capsule before you eat your breakfast for about thirty minutes. And

Love to Cook? Let’s Try to Make this Recipe!

For most of women, cooking is one of the activities that they should do in their daily life. As the mother or the housewife, cooking becomes one of the jobs that we should do in our daily life. Even if you do not really love to cook, you need to learn how to cook so that you can give the best food for your family. But at the contrary, if you really love to cook, making any kinds of foods will not be such a difficult thing to do for you any longer.
Here we will talk about the beef recipe healthy that you can try. Do you love beef? How about your family? Do they love to consume the beef also? Well, here we try to cook the beef for the lunch menu. Sound’s good? For the simple way to cook, we will try to sauté the beef. Do you love to sauté the beef for your family? You need to provide some of the spices for the good taste. So, previously you need to slice the beef into the small pieces then you need to put the beef and also the spices based on your flavors

How to Be Successful in Promoting Your Bar and Grill

There’s no denying running a bar and grill can be pretty tough. While you may think it all depends on the restaurant’s concept, menu, training staff, and handling operations, there is more to it than what you may be missing out on. In order to make your bar and grill successful, you need to spend time promoting it and making sure customers find your establishment. Otherwise, they will end up patronizing your competition. And this can only be bad for your business.

If you are wondering how you can successfully promote your bar and grill, here are some things you need to remember:

Don’t forget to use social media

For any business, social media can be an effective tool. As a matter of fact, it has largely become the way people communicate with each other, their family, friends, former classmates, and others. More so, social media has turned into a medium for individuals to have their concerns raised and heard by their favorite brands, products, restaurants, and even celebrities. If you want your business to be discovered by people, you will need to use social media websites the best way you can.

These are the types of things your bar and grill should post

Dietary cocoa flavanols improve blood vessel function in patients with kidney dysfunction

Consuming a beverage containing cocoa flavanols improves blood vessel function in patients with kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that the plant-derived compounds may benefit the cardiovascular health of patients with poor kidney function.

Individuals with failing kidneys are at increased risk of developing heart problems, and they’re more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than from any other cause. Lifestyle and dietary modifications to maintain vascular health or reduce disease risk might help protect patients’ heart health, but there are currently limited diet-based therapeutic approaches to counteract cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney failure.

Tienush Rassaf, MD (University Hospital Essen, Germany) and his colleagues tested the potential of cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of plant-derived polyphenols that are present in cocoa and have been shown to have beneficial effects on blood vessel function in individuals with normal kidney function.

The team randomized 57 dialysis patients to ingest either a test beverage rich in cocoa flavanols (900 mg per day) or a control beverage that was free of cocoa flavanols but matched the nutrient content of the test beverage in all other aspects. After 30

Why it is Necessary to Enable the Body Get the Best Cocoa Energy to Remain Healthy

If you know about the history of cocoa, even the Mayans and Aztecs believe that these plants are the gift of God that can really provide a remarkable nutrient to the spirit. With the great health benefits of cocoa when producing supplements, you can just imagine on how effective these products in helping countless of people achieve their goal to live longer.

When compared to the available dark chocolates on the market, many people agree that the cocoa energy from the latest cocoa-based supplements and vitamins is more beneficial. In addition to offering many consumers excellent taste, these products also present a remarkable aroma that can really capture the interest of many individuals who are new to cocoa products. Of course, we cannot discount the benefits of dark chocolates also especially those made from natural ingredients too.

One of the most interesting benefits of is that it can sustain the normal level of the blood pressure. Medical experts believe that with the right amount of cocoa that the body consumes, it helps a person to eliminate hypertension. Like when cocoa powder incorporated to natural chocolates, the flavonoids it contains will help the blood pressure to normalize. On the other hand, the Polyphenols

Cocoa flavanols lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel function in healthy people

Two recently published studies in the journals Age and the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) demonstrate that consuming cocoa flavanols improves cardiovascular function and lessens the burden on the heart that comes with the aging and stiffening of arteries. The studies also provide novel data to indicate that intake of cocoa flavanols reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

As we age, our blood vessels become less flexible and less able to expand to let blood flow and circulate normally, and the risk of hypertension also increases. Arterial stiffness and blood vessel dysfunction are linked with cardiovascular disease — the number one cause of deaths worldwide. “With the world population getting older, the incidence of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke will only increase,” says Professor Malte Kelm, Professor of Cardiology, Pulmonary Diseases and Vascular Medicine at University Hospital Düsseldorf and Scientific Director of FLAVIOLA. “It is therefore pivotal that we understand the positive impact diet can have on cardiovascular disease risk. As part of this, we want to know what role flavanol-containing foods could play in maintaining the health of the heart and blood vessels.”

Cocoa flavanols are plant-derived bioactives from the cacao bean. Dietary intake of

Adding Cocoa Beans to Your Daily Diet

Including Cocoa beans in your daily diet is an easy way to give your body a healthy boost. Some benefits include:
Plenty of Antioxidants
Researchers agree that cocoa beans are one of the most natural, antioxidant-rich foods you can consume.  In fact, in its natural form cocoa beans have three times the amount of antioxidants of green tea. Antioxidants promote healthy cholesterol, protect against cell damage, and may even help prevent certain types of cancers. Those are just a few examples. All around, antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the human body.
A Natural Antidepressant
Sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Antidepressant”, Cocoa beans contain three key neurotransmitters that promote a positive mood. Serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine all work together to keep your mental state happy. In addition to this, cocoa beans also contain monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which allow the three neurotransmitters to circulate in your blood stream longer than they normally would.
Supports a Healthy Weight
Although research is thin in this area, it is generally believed that cocoa beans help promote weight-loss. This is due to the polyphenols contained in the beans, which may improve insulin sensitivity, thus helping you maintain a proper weight.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
It

The Home of the Best Cocoa Beans in the World

Did you know that in 17th century, Venezuela was the world’s major cocoa producer and exporter. Currently, one of the chief producers of cocoa in the world is Dominican Republic. Followed by Cibao Valley, San Francisco de Macoris and Santiago.

One of the best cocoa producers is Dominican Republic because cocoa farmers there really know how to cultivate and nourish cacao trees. This is the main reason why they have high quality cocoa beans. The country produces two types of cocoa beans. These are the Hispaniola and the Sanchez. Based on the study, Hispaniola has 4% share while Sanchez has 96% share in the country’s cocoa production .

Cocoa is considered as the market’s smallest commodity. Cocoa beans have been available to the market for several years now. Moreover, traders before was engaged into barter using cocoa products. Today, cocoa products are traded in London and New York. London market rely on the cocoa production of West African while New York market depend on South East Asia.

The operation in cocoa industry is improving. Before, it’s the middleman who closes a deal between farmer and manufacturer. Now, farmer can directly make an arrangement with chocolate manufacturer. This clearly eliminates the need and cost

Does Chocolate Help Brain Health?

A new study this week that linked the antioxidant-rich flavanols in cocoa to improved memory in healthy older adults produced lots of yummy headlines, so  it’s OK to stuff ourselves with leftover Halloween candy, right? Well, not exactly.

Study participants — all between the ages of 50 and 69 — saw striking improvements in memory after drinking a special cocoa drink daily for just three months. On average, the memory of 60-year-olds improved to perform more like that of  30- or 40-year-olds, according to lead author Scott A. Small, professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. A control group that downed a low-flavanol drink did not show such improvement on the memory and pattern-recognition tests.

>> 10 Drugs That May Cause You Memory Loss

Sadly, this does not mean the average older adult could improve his or her memory with candy bars. First, Small estimates you would have to eat at least 25 chocolate bars a day to get the amount of flavanols in the drink — and the ensuing obesity caused by all that fat and calories would be terrible for your brain and heart. Second, the processing of most chocolate bars makes them virtually flavanol-free. “Do not, please do not, eat that much chocolate,” Small urges.

Beyond

Yummy News Cocoa May Help Keep Brain Healthy

When the press release hit email in-boxes, health editors across the country – including yours truly – were certainly dancing a jig. “Chocolate May Help Keep Brain Healthy,” said the release headline. “Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp.” Obviously, fantastic news.

The study, published in the respected journal Neurology, comes from the hallowed halls of Harvard.

So it was with something close to glee that I called Farzaneh Sorond, M.D., Ph.D., and a neurologist with Harvard Medical School. Give us our prescription, Dr. Sorond. Tell us just how much chocolate and what kind we should eat or drink to keep our brains healthy. We’re ready to take our medicine.

But Sorond wanted to talk about something more exciting than chocolate. (As if there really were such a thing.)

First, the details of the study:

The lucky study participants – all 60 of whom had high blood pressure, diabetes or both – drank two cups of hot cocoa a day for 30 days and didn’t consume any other chocolate during the study. Before the study began, researchers tested participants’ memory and thinking skills and ran ultrasounds to measure the amount of

Cocoa flavanols lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel function in healthy people

Two recently published studies in the journals Age and the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) demonstrate that consuming cocoa flavanols improves cardiovascular function and lessens the burden on the heart that comes with the aging and stiffening of arteries. The studies also provide novel data to indicate that intake of cocoa flavanols reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

As we age, our blood vessels become less flexible and less able to expand to let blood flow and circulate normally, and the risk of hypertension also increases. Arterial stiffness and blood vessel dysfunction are linked with cardiovascular disease — the number one cause of deaths worldwide. “With the world population getting older, the incidence of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke will only increase,” says Professor Malte Kelm, Professor of Cardiology, Pulmonary Diseases and Vascular Medicine at University Hospital Düsseldorf and Scientific Director of FLAVIOLA. “It is therefore pivotal that we understand the positive impact diet can have on cardiovascular disease risk. As part of this, we want to know what role flavanol-containing foods could play in maintaining the health of the heart and blood vessels.”

Cocoa flavanols are plant-derived bioactives from the cacao bean. Dietary intake of

What Makes a Successful Chef

Have you ever envisioned yourself as a glamorous executive chef who goes to “Iron Chef” and cooks everybody else’s bum to another planet? You are not the only one.

Becoming a chef can be a good career move only if you have the right personality, and it is definitely not as glorious as it seems on TV.

Working under constant pressure to deliver the food fast without sacrificing quality throughout the process, standing on your feet for long hours, enduring cuts and burns, heavy lifting, noise, heat, smokes and fumes, working on evenings, weekends and holidays and almost anytime when the rest of the world is not working are just a few of the things you must go through as a chef.

When you finally become a head chef you might not have to do the heavy lifting, but your responsibilities will increase significantly. Executive chefs, or head chefs, are in charge of coordinating the work of the kitchen staff, control food cost, determine serving sizes, plan menus, order supplies, ensure quality and presentation of food is correct, schedule staff, train the cooks on public health regulations and how to store all products in order to control waste.

All that being said, however, the

Conflict cocoa

The world cannot afford to stay silent on a conflict bubbling in a corner of Africa that has already pushed up prices of – what some people consider to be – an essential commodity to a 30-year high in recent months.

If the crisis spirals out of control – as may be the case, with one man hanging on to power despite the rising popularity of his electoral opponent and de jure winner of last year’s elections – there is every chance of shortages due to falling production in the battle zone.

That must not be allowed to happen, else many people will be left ganache-ing their teeth by 2014, when chocolate production may grind to a halt for want of raw material from sustainable sources.

So far, there has been a cautious reaction from major players to the call by activists to clamp down on exports from Ivory Coast, but as the world demand for chocolate has not fallen significantly, there is little chance of the world making that bean-ana republic a nougat-zone.

It is not surprising the sale of conflict cocoa – some may call it blood

Raw cacao vs cocoa: what’s the difference?

You guys have been asking us: “What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao?”, so we thought we’d better clear a few things up for you.

Is there a difference between the two aside from a few vowels?

The studies that boast of chocolate’s amazing health benefits are not referring to your average store-bought chocolate bar (damn misleading researchers). The chocolate that they’re referring to is raw cacao.

Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter).

Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.

What are the health benefits of raw cacao?

  • Lowers insulin resistance.
  • Protects your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.
  • Shields nerve cells from damage.
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Reduces your risk of stroke.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease: The antioxidants found in cacao help to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide (NO) in

5 ways to add raw cocoa powder to your diet

I cannot remember the last time I went a full day without consuming cocoa. Seriously. Whether it’s my morning hot chocolate I make from scratch, or the raw cocoa powder I sprinkle over frozen banana slices for a sweet snack, cocoa is getting into my system in some way or another. Am I an addict? Yeah, probably. Is it a health concern? Not the way I consume it.

We’ve written about the health benefits of cocoa before. It is packed with antioxidants that destroy free radicals, the chemicals that accelerate aging, inflammation and increase the potential for a range of diseases. Eating a little dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. It can even improve blood pressure and blood vessel health, and improve your HDL cholesterol. We all have heard the studies about how great cocoa is, but we can’t just go around chowing down on chocolate bars. The benefits are too often far outweighed by the negative consequences of the fat

Cooking with cocoa nibs

If you have daily cravings for dark chocolate, you’ve got to try cocoa nibs. Never heard of them? These crunchy little gems are roasted and crushed cocoa beans that deliver the true essence of chocolate, without the sugar, and are delectably loaded with antioxidants.

From upscale dessert menus to your local health foods deli, cocoa nibs are growing in popularity and becoming more readily available. Here’s more on cocoa nibs and three cocoa nibs recipes to get your chocolate fix.

What are cocoa nibs?

Cocoa nibs, also called chocolate nibs or labeled as cacao nibs, are about as close as you can get to unprocessed chocolate. They are essentially roasted cocoa beans that have been separated from their husks and crushed into small bits. Because cocoa nibs are minimally processed, they boast more antioxidants than your candy aisle chocolate. Cocoa nibs are a health-conscious chocolate lover’s answer to satisfying a chocolate craving without the added sugar found in candy bars. Cocoa nibs can replace chocolate morsels in cookies or brownies and can be added to other baked goods or used as a garnish for desserts. Because cocoa nibs aren’t

Choice Ingredient: Cocoa Powder

Learn: Similar to coffee, cocoa powder starts as beans―cocoa beans, from the cacao tree. After harvest, the seeds are fermented, roasted, and ground to create chocolate liquor. To make cocoa powder, the chocolate liquor is pressed to remove most of its fat, or cocoa butter, then ground again, resulting in a fine, dusky powder. Natural cocoa powder is acidic and slightly bitter, so a 19th-century Dutch scientist named Conrad van Houten found a way to neutralize the beans with alkaline chemicals, creating Dutch process cocoa powder, which has a smooth, mild chocolate flavor and a rich reddish-brown hue. Always check the label before purchasing. Dutch process cocoa may also be called “Dutched” or “alkalized,” while natural may only say “cocoa.”

Purchase: Thanks to variations in cacao trees, growing regions, and processing methods, you’ll find wide variation in flavor between brands of cocoa powder, and there are dozens to try. A good rule of thumb: If you like a particular manufacturer’s solid chocolate, you will probably like their cocoa powder as well.

Use: Cocoa powder is often used in baked goods. It also can be lightly sprinkled on top of tiramisu or other finished desserts for garnish. Cocoa powder has savory

5 Sweet and Savory Things to Do With Cocoa Nibs

Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 — with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.

Today: What, exactly, are you supposed to do with cocoa nibs? Alice tells all.

Cacao or cocoa nibs are bits of hulled cocoa beans. Most nibs are sold roasted (and those have the best flavor). They are unsweetened — thus somewhat bitter — and super crunchy, with intense and rather primal chocolate flavors.

More: 10 Chocolate Cookies. You’re welcome.

Nibs were once found only in chocolate factories, where they were ground up and made into chocolate. Nibs are still the defining ingredient in all chocolate manufacture, but they are now also available in better supermarkets and specialty stores. You can use nibs in all kinds of sweet and savory ways. Here are five to get you started.

5 Sweet and Savory Things to Do with Cocoa Nibs

1. Sprinkle nibs on vanilla (or other) ice cream for a grown-up ice cream experience.

2. Add nibs — in addition to or instead of — nuts in cookie recipes.

3. Make cocoa nib-infused whipped cream: Bring 1/3 cup of roasted nibs to a simmer in 1 cup of heavy cream. Off heat, cover and let steep 20 minutes and then

COOKING WITH Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter

We all know how popular cocoa butter and shea butter are for moisturizing skin and hair, but does anyone here actually cook with the two? After doing very brief research, I can’t figure out why they aren’t more popular. Let’s start with cocoa butter.

Cocoa Butter (1 Tbsp)
13.5g Total Fat
8.1g SFA (60%)
4.4g MUFA (33%)
0.4g PUFA (3%)

Cocoa butter is also rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin E.

Now, onto shea butter.

Shea Butter

16:0 Palmitic 4.0
18:0 Stearic 41.5
18:1 Oleic 46.4
18:2 Linoleic 6.6
20:0 Arachidic 1.3

If memory serves, palmitic and stearic are SFA’s, Oleic is a MUFA and linoleic and arachidic are PUFA’s. That makes shea butter break down as:

45.5% SFA
46.4% MUFA
7.9% PUFA

Shea butter is rich in beta carotene, is known for its phenolic compounds, has been used in Africa as a cooking oil for centuries and is sometimes used in Europe to make chocolate.

Raw food grade cocoa butter can be found here for $17/lb shipped.

Shea butter is very inexpensive and 2.3 pounds of food grade shea butter can be had here for $18 shipped.

For $35, I can get shea butter and cocoa butter, all food grade. They sure have great fatty acid profiles. Why aren’t