Chocolate is made from the cacao beans of the Theobroma cacao tree. The beans are fermented, dried and processed to make cacao powder.
This raw powder is essentially chocolate in its purest form. It is rich in nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, fibre and zinc. It contains flavonoids which promote blood flow and reduce inflammation. It is also rich in antioxidants. For these reasons, cacao is considered a superfood.
Cacao powder is different from cocoa powder. They both come from the same plant, however the method for making cocoa powder is slightly different. When making cocoa powder the beans are roasted at high temperatures. This process of heating destroys many of the nutrients. Cocoa powder is often packaged with added sugar and dairy.
In the Billabong kitchen, we bake with raw cacao powder. Most of our recipes are gluten and dairy free and we prepare all of our desserts without refined sugar. Our Cook Amara shares her delicious chocolate dessert recipe below.
Fudgy Vegan Dark Chocolate Bites
- 1 cup cacao powder
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup almond milk
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp organic chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Combine well. Be careful not to over mix.
- Grease or line a baking tin. Pour mixture into the tin.
- Place tin in the oven and bake at 180 degrees for 30mins, or until toothpick comes out clear.
- Set aside and allow to cool for about 2 hours.
- Cut into squares and serve.