Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Why You Need Cacao Nibs In Your Cabinet

Published on March 29, 2021 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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Cocoa beans are dried after harvesting, then fermented and cracked to produce small, dark bits called cacao nibs. Nibs have a bitter, slightly chocolate flavor. The nibs can be eaten on their own; in fact, I use them in place of walnuts when nut allergies are an issue.

When they are ground to a liquid state, the nibs transform into chocolate liquor.  Chocolate liquor is not alcoholic—it is just 100% pure chocolate, completely free of sugar and additives.

Some cacao nibs are roasted, while others are not. Unroasted cacao nibs are called raw cacao nibs, but they are not truly raw. I’ve seen some that are covered in chocolate too.

Facts About Cacao Nibs

  • Cacao nibs are loaded with nutrients and powerful plant compounds that have been shown to benefit health in many ways.
  • Cacao nibs are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, iron and magnesium.
  • Cacao is packed with compounds that increase endorphins and serotonin levels in our brain; these are the chemicals that cheer us up, reduce anxiety, and give us a general sense of well-being.
  • These crunchy cacao bits are often used to play up the chocolate flavor in sweets and other dishes.

Using Cacao Nibs in Desserts 

  • Cacao Nib Butter: Coarsely chop the nibs and add them to your favorite vegan butter. Add salt. Some spices and /or some confectioners’ sugar. Press the Crunchy Butter into any shape you like, and store well-wrapped in the refrigerator. Slice and serve on pancakes, waffles, or a lightly toasted slice of bread.
  • Mix cacao nibs into granola or popcorn.
  • Make the Super Healthy Nibby Chia Breakfast Sundae I created for the Theo Chocolate Cookbook.

Cacao Nib Recipes to Try Today

Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer, and innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York  Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef in both traditional  and vegan restaurant kitchens. Today Fran teaches her distinctive courses (including her Vegan  Baking Boot Camp Intensive®) throughout North America and Europe.

Photo by David Greenwood-Haigh on Unsplash

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