All chocolate is made from the cacao bean (or cocoa bean).

Cacao is chocolate.

Since I have been on a bit of a raw cheesecake exploratory lately, and my family and friends are loving it!!!  I have been using cacao is some form or another in them and they have been tasty, but it is also good to know that real raw cacao has many health benefits as well.

So, here is some info on cacao.  It is the seed or nut of the fruit from the tree it grows on.  They are always in season and like to grow in  temperatures above 60 degrees F with little fluctuations of high humidity.

Way back when, the Cacao beans were used instead of Gold for money by the Mayans and Aztecs.

1879 was when the first milk chocolate bar was produced.

But, that is probably the start of when things changed. Cacao has a high mineral content but it is destroyed when cooked, heated, refined and processed.

Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world, more than (by weight) red wine, (shucks), blue berries, acai, pomegrantes and goji berries combined.

Cacao is the #1 source of magnesium, which is the most deficient major mineral on the SAD (Standard American Diet).

Cacao also contains iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, Vitamin C, Omega 6, Phenylethylamine (PEA), which is not present in processed or cooked, that is the chemicals we produce in our bodies when we fall in love!! Also, anandamide, tryptophan, serotonin, fiber just to name a few.

Most of this is lost when we process, heat and cook cacao.

Because of the nutritional density, it is considered a Superfood by some.

From cacao beans you can get cacao nibs, powder, butter and paste that can go into bars, cheesecakes, beverages, trail mixes, drinks and smoothies.

So, if it’s raw cacao…… is good for you, but like anything, remember in moderation.  You will find the taste slightly bitter at first if you eat a nib on it’s own, but after awhile, if you try one of your old favorite chocolate bars……..taste like junk, fake, yuck!

That last  cheesecake I made was a banana chocolate one and boy was it good!!!

Finally, some chocolate that is good for us!!  David Wolfe thinks so………