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Cacao nibs are very popular. You can use them in different types of dishes. In this article, BestLifeTips will lead you to the most common ways for how to eat cacao nibs.
What are cacao nibs?
Cacao nibs are small pieces of crushed cacao beans, or cocoa beans, which come from the Theobroma cacao tree.
Cacao beans are pulled out of the pods, fermented, and dried after harvesting. Cacao nibs are crushed bits of the meat from those raw cacao beans.
Some producers package their products raw, others roast them before selling.
These cacao nibs contain nutrients and powerful plant compounds that have benefit health in many ways.
How are cacao nibs made?
To make nibs, the cacao beans are first fermented and then dried before they’re roasted and cracked. What’s left after they have been cracked is a brittle shell along with the nibs.
In the chocolate bar making process, cacao nibs are ground into a paste with sugar and sometimes milk powder to make chocolate bars.
What do cacao nibs taste like?
Cacao nibs have a strong chocolate taste but they are bitterer than chocolate. They are very low in sugar, which makes their flavour quite strong and bitter.
People often pair cacao nibs with something slightly sweeter, such as fresh fruit. Or they sprinkle them on top of oats, yoghurt, or cereals.
Can you eat cacao nibs raw?
Yes! You can absolutely eat cacao nibs raw. It is safe to eat them. Cacao nibs are roasted, so any dangerous pathogens have already been removed.
Benefits of cacao nibs
Cacao nibs have many antioxidants. They can help reduce cell damage in our body and prevent heart disease and cancer.
Here are some other health benefits of cacao nibs:
- Healthy digestion
The fiber in cacao nibs promotes healthy digestion. Getting enough fiber to help soften your bowel movements, prevent hemorrhoids and help with other digestive conditions.
- Protecting cardiovascular system and heart
Cacao nibs contain heart-healthy flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants, protecting the heart and the arteries in your heart and brain. Flavonoids thin the blood and prevent clots. They help prevent heart disease, stroke, lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
- Improving mood
Cacao nibs contain healthy fats and other compounds impact your mood by increasing the levels of the hormones serotonin and dopamine in your brain.
- Less inflammation
Some compounds in cacao nibs have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to lessen the risks of getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression.
- Preventing premature aging
The polyphenols in cacao nibs protect cells from oxidation, which keeps you feeling and looking young.
- Fighting fat
The cacao nibs contain MAO, which naturally suppresses your appetite. MAO is often added to weight loss products. It allows serotonin to continue circulating at a higher rate than other appetite suppressants.
- Preventing tooth decay
The crystalline extract in cacao nibs strengthens tooth enamel and is more effective than fluoride at preventing cavities.
How to eat cacao nibs?
Cacao nibs have a rich flavor and much more bitter taste than even the darkest of chocolates. So you may have to adjust the sweetness when using cacao nibs instead of regular chocolate in recipes.
There are many ways to enjoy cacao nibs:
- Tossing them into your favorite smoothie.
- Using in baked goods like muffins and breads.
- Blending cacao nibs into homemade nut butters.
- Stirring them into your morning oatmeal.
- Mixing them with nuts and dried fruit for snacks.
- Adding cacao nibs to coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
- Using them in savory sauces, such as barbecue sauces and mole.
- Crusting steak or duck with crushed cacao nibs for a unique flavor.
- Blending them into hot chocolate or homemade nut milks.
- Incorporating cacao nibs with coconut, almond butter, and puréed dates to make healthy energy balls.
- Using them in place of chocolate chips in granola recipes.
- Sprinkling roasted cacao nibs on top of yogurt.
How to eat cacao nibs – Add to baked goods
Cacao nibs add texture, chocolate flavor, and a unique twist to a huge variety of baked goods.
You can use nibs instead of nuts in cookie recipes; stir a spoonful into cake batter; sprinkle them on top of brownie batter before putting it in the oven; or add them to pancake mix.
How to eat cacao nibs – Mix them into condiments
Many condiments go well with cacao nibs. For example, incorporate cacao nibs into the spiced lamb sausage pizza sauce; or combine cacao nibs, olive oil, Nicoise olives, and basil leaves into a delicious blend to make Nibby Pesto.
How to eat cacao nibs – Whip up some hot chocolate
It’s easy to make Cocoa Nib Hot Chocolate, but it still packs the quality and refinement.
Steeping ground cacao nibs, sugar, water, and salt in a press for 30 minutes before heating, straining, and combining with milk.
How to eat cacao nibs – Add to smoothies
You can add some chocolate flavor and a healthy dose of antioxidants to your breakfast or afternoon smoothie with cacao nibs.
Toss in a few tablespoons of cacao nibs into your smoothie recipe and then enjoy it.
How to eat cacao nibs – Turn into candy
You can turn cacao nibs into candies to enjoy them instead of eating them raw. Eat the candied nibs out of hand or break them into pieces to use as an impressive topping on cupcakes, cakes, and so on.
How to eat cacao nibs – Sprinkle over sweet and savory meals
Cacao nibs can be used as a topping on meals, even the savory ones. Sprinkle them over salads, roasted veggies, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, or trail mix.
If you prefer the sweet route, use cacao nibs to top a bowl of ice cream, pudding, granola, or fruit salad.
In conclusion, adding cacao nibs into your daily cooking routines can add flavor, texture, and nutrients to satisfy any palate. They can complement any type of dish.
Side effects of cacao nibs
Though cacao nibs have many health benefits, there are still potential side effects.
Overeating cacao nibs may cause side effects related to excess caffeine intake, including anxiety, jitteriness, and trouble sleeping.
Pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider before eating cacao nibs. Children and pregnant or breastfeeding women are more vulnerable to the effects of stimulants like caffeine.
Aside from that, there is some concern about the ingestion of cocoa products in late-stage pregnancy because of the constricting effects of cocoa antioxidants on a fetal blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus.
Hope that with these tips from BestLifeTips, you know how to eat cacao nibs in many different ways now. Try experimenting with this cocoa product in your kitchen to find more unique and delicious uses.