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Healthy CHOC BROWNIES!!! Gluten-free too: )

(7 Posts)
Skyla2 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:36:06

Wow, thanks for sharing. It's hard to know what the difference is, if any?! There is a lot of conflicting stuff out there. Cocoalady sounds like she knows her cocoa: ) And I like what she has to say about it too. Though I read this... and took the bate, hook, line and choc!

"Let’s get one thing straight people: cacao is not cocoa. They make look very similar, smell the same, feel the same, they are even spelled almost the same way, but they are worlds apart when it comes to nutrition. It all comes back to raw versus cooked foods, which I have talked about several times here on the site - when you heat any food above 40 °C (104 °F), you destroy many of the fragile enzymes and vitamins that are contained inside, thus rendering a once very nutrient-dense food, just a tasty one. It happens. That is not to say that cooked food isn’t good for you because it definitely has its place in the diet, but raw chocolate versus a Hershey bar? There’s simply no comparison.

If you’re in the market for some raw cacao (and you really should be on your way to the health food store immediately after reading this), please only purchase certified organic raw cacao to ensure that you are getting the most nutrition for you money. If you do not, well, you’ll also be chuggin’ down a whole lot of chemicals from irradiation and pesticides, which are standard practice in growing cacao beans."

The jury's out! Either way, thanks for the education on cocoa: )

swampster Fri 14-Dec-12 22:17:11

The brownies certainly look and sound tasty but I'm afraid I'm with CocoaLady on this one. Cocoa and cacao are the same thing and always have been. It's all about marketing.

<<<<<copy and paste>>>>>"Cocoa powder and cacao powder is the same.
What is considered "raw" cacao is suppose to be a cocoa powder that has been in a process that never exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit...which is already an almost impossible scenario, since cocoa beans are grown in the Equator, and you may exceed that temperature while drying in the patio under the sun covered with black linens (to heat it up and allow the fermentation of the bean)....and yes, you need to dry them, otherwise they will rotten in a few days, and the shell will be too difficult to peel off.

Back to cocoa powder....
ALL cocoa powder comes from the cocoa bean, which without the shell is called cocoa nib (a.k.a. cacao nib). The first step is grinding of the nib (which again, when you grind something to such small particle size you will create a lot of friction with -that's right - heat!). That will give you the cocoa/cacao paste (a.k.a. cacao mass or liquor), which has about 50 to 56% fat (cocoa butter) in it...and ALL cocoa powders have to go through that stage.

Next stage is to take some of that butter away, which the raw community claims can be done through "cold pressing". For any that don't understand that term, cold pressing is done with oils like olive oil to preserve the oil almost intact by cooling the press plates while applying pressure (pressure generates heat, therefore it needs to be cooled). But here is a reminder, olive oil is liquid in room temperature, cocoa butter is SOLID, and it STARTS melting at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit ... so, you cannot control and cool it to a point where it will be still in a solid phase, because it cannot be pressed and "flow" out.

Last operation is to grind the solids left in the press, again - heat...and there is your cocoa powder or cacao powder... you tell me if you call it "raw", a term not defined by the FDA for cocoa, and that can be used by anyone just to sell the cocoa to a much higher price. Maybe that is why bigger, more serious companies don't have this product, since they do not want to be liable for false advertising...

Regarding "Raw" cocoa nibs or cocoa beans...yes, that is possible, and the only concern is the high bacteriological plate count... but how much you want to train your immune system is up to each individual. And yes, the less manipulated the cocoa, the more polyphenols and healthy chemicals you will obtain from it.

There is also a difference between alkalized or ducthed powders, and the natural ones (which do not contain any potassium carbonate), being the second ones the ones containing more of the healthy properties (antioxidants). But that is totally different than claiming a "raw" cocoa powder.

So, that is my explanation, and again, I respect anyone's opinion on what they want to eat or how they want to consume it. I just disagree with misleading the general public just to make juicy profits."

Skyla2 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:05:12

They are both delicious. I've added an explanation to the post for anyone curious about cacao/ cocoa. The recipe would work well with either though, or both: )

swampster Fri 14-Dec-12 21:49:41

As does cocoa powder. hmm

Skyla2 Fri 14-Dec-12 21:29:31

Raw cacao powder contains many more nutrients than traditional cocoa powder. It's sold mostly in health food shops, Wholefoods have a great one, Choc Chic. Yes, you're right, cocoa powder and cacao powder are different terms for the same powder, and are nearly the same, though not quite; "cacao powder" as featured in the post refers to raw, unsweetened powder.

swampster Fri 14-Dec-12 12:48:39

Erm... cacao IS cocoa.

Skyla2 Thu 13-Dec-12 16:06:46

Hi Mums,

If you're stuck for a healthy treat, please check out my Healthy Choc Brownie Christmas Trees. Here is the link, I hope you enjoy!

feelingfood.co.uk/2012/12/12/choc-brownie-christmas-trees/

I haven't shared my blog posts here before, so hope this is what I'm supposed to do!! Sorry, if it's not, I'm sure I'll work it out eventually.

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