Most people know that dark chocolate is a healthier choice than milk chocolate due to the higher cocoa content that can offer a range of health benefits. However, did you know that the processing involved in the production of mass-produced dark chocolate can strip it of most of its nutrients, including the antioxidants? Given that much dark chocolate is sweetened with high quantities of refined sugar, this doesn’t leave you with much of a health benefit!
At Meraki Cacao, we use raw cacao for our products because of its fantastic health benefits. The difference between cacao and cocoa is the processing they go through. Cacao and cocoa begin life in a cacao pod as beans. The beans are dried and fermented in the sunshine to remove harmful bacteria and pathogens. If the beans are roasted to very high temperatures, they are known as cocoa, and if they are left unroasted (raw), they are called cacao.
Cacao is considered the highest source of antioxidants and magnesium of all foods. Cacao contains more fibre and calories than cocoa since more of the nutrients from the whole bean are still intact. We use cacao nibs (crushed beans) in our products which are ground in a stone grinder for at least 24 hours, together with the other ingredients.
Each of our bars is about 60% cacao, and they all contain ground cashew nuts, lucuma, hemp powder and Palmyra Blossom nectar (www.sugavida.com). Palmyra blossom nectar is the most nutritious sweetener available. It is full of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins and magnesium. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2000 years. Some bars also contain homemade almond or hazelnut butter, which gives them a lovely richness and boosts the bars’ nutritional profile. Every ingredient counts – no empty calories. Using Palmyra blossom nectar means that the sugar content in our bars is much lower than your typical chocolate bar.
Eating a Meraki Cacao bar will nourish your body and soul. It will satisfy any chocolate craving you may have without the guilt! We have written separate blogs on each of our ingredients which explain in detail why we choose our ingredients and why they are good for you.
So yes, our bars are healthier than chocolate, which means they are better for you!