Cacao is known as the "Food of the God's" in South America. It is an incredibly nutritious superfood, high in anti oxidants and minerals. It has been attributed with increasing mental focus and awareness and is said to help keep you happy because of the Anandamide and Phenylethlamine it contains.
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The Cacao bean or seed comes from pads produced by the Cacao tree, which grows in South America. Cacao nibs are the beans which have been peeled and broken into smaller fragments. Raw Cacao nibs can be eaten by themselves.
"Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food."
— David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate:
The Astonishing Truth About The World’s Greatest Food.
Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulphur. Sulphur builds strong nails, hair, beautiful, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning. Anecdotal reports indicate that cacao detoxifies mercury because it is so high sulphur.
Create a raw chocolate bar! Blend the following raw ingredients together: cacao nibs, agave nectar, carob powder, Maca, coconut oil, angstrom calcium, and cashews. Pour into a mould and freeze. Eat cold and experience the truth about the food of the gods!
Our cocoa beans are sourced from plantations across Peru, right in the heart of the native homeland of the cacao plant. The cacao trees are grown organically by cooperatives of local farmers using simple traditional farming methods, and our growers are continually encouraged to develop new methods of growing and harvesting their cacao which minimise damage to the environment. Unlike other rainforest crops grown on a large scale such as coffee, cacao cultivation doesn't drive the clearing of large areas of trees, as the cacao plant needs the shade of the natural rainforest to grow. Our organic cocoa nibs are made with consideration for the environment, and we only source them from suppliers who help promote sustainability and the conservation of the biodiversity in the Amazon jungle.
The mature cocoa pods are cut from the trees by hand using a machete, and although the cacao trees produce flowers and fruits throughout the year the main harvest takes place at the end of the rainy season in the late spring. After being harvested the cacao pods are immediately cut open and the seeds and pulp scooped out. The pulp is sweet and mucilaginous, and is left on the seeds while they are fermented. This fermentation process is essential for the cacao beans to begin developing the complex flavours characteristic of chocolate, and takes around a week.
The fresh raw cacao beans are placed in large crates and continually rotated using wooden paddles to ensure they are well aerated and don’t become too hot. During fermentation, the sugars in the pulp become slightly acidic and enzymes begin to break down the proteins inside the cacao beans forming smaller amino acid units, which contribute to the cacao flavour. The seeds also change colour from purple to a deep brown.
After fermentation has completed the beans are spread out on the ground and allowed to dry under the sun. Drying takes around a further week, and once fully dried the cacao beans can be stored and transported, and the skin acts as a natural protective layer keeping the bean inside safe and clean. The cacao beans are then transported to a collection centre where they are carefully cleaned and sorted to remove any poor quality beans, and passed over magnets to remove even the smallest impurities. They are dehydrated as a heat-free alternative to roasting which doesn't degrade any of the health promoting antioxidants, and then winnowed to separate the beans from the husks and finally roughly broken into small crunchy cocoa nibs.
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