Antioxidant Cacao

IMG_0771.JPGThis was just a lovely spontaneous bit of fun this morning, when Isabel announced to me over the breakfast table, that as part of her rainforest project, she should like to take some raw cacao into school…. Well, you can only imagine the speed at which I leapt off my bar stool and whizzed into action; cacao nibs, raw cacao, cocoa powder… and a little print out on the PC for her to share with the class. So I thought I would share it here (she is 8, so it is targeted at Year 3). Her lovely teacher has also said I can go in to school at the end of the term and make the kids some raw cacao brownies to try… so here is the 5 minute homework project attached – I really would LOVE to go back to school:

Above is my breakfast bowl of overnight soaked oats in unsweetened Alpo Almond Milk with ground almonds, cacao nibs, blueberries and some mixed seeds.

Cacao is the name of the tree and cocoa is the product, which is made from it.

The cacao pod and the beans inside can be made into several products, cocoa powder, cocoa butter or chocolate and it goes through several PROCESSES to get there.

These (shown to the class in a little pot) are raw cacao nibs, the UNPROCESSED part of the bean, that have simply been chopped up into small pieces – the taste is quite bitter and they are tasty sprinkled over breakfast cereals or put into brownies – but they are not sweet like chocolate chips!

Cacao is very healthy for you. It is full of ANTIOXIDANTS which help the body to fend off toxins which can make us sick. Toxins are things like car fumes, plastics, pollution and pesticides on our food, which all enter the body in day to day life.

Raw cacao contains many more ANTIOXIDANTS than dark chocolate and 20 times the amount of ANTIOXIDANTS found in blueberries.

So this means we can eat load of chocolate, Right????

Wrong!

Most chocolate that you buy from the supermarket has been mixed together with lots of sugar and oils to make it sweet. In fact the addition of all these fats and sugars actually block any of the remaining ANTIOXIDANTS that are left in the chocolate.

Raw cacao is a health food product and as well as being bitter it is also quite expensive to buy. But did you know that you can also buy unsweetened COCOA powder?

Although cocoa powder has been processed (it has been heated up and ground to a powder), it still contains a surprisingly high amount of ANTIOXIDANTS.

So next time you want a hot chocolate milk drink, look for one like Bourneville Cocoa Powder or Green & Blacks Unsweetened cocoa and add it to a cup of warm milk with NO added sugar and you might be surprised how delicious it is.

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