Chocolate nibs also known as cacao nibs are small pieces of crushed cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, shelled, and sometimes roasted.
The unroasted cacao beans are usually referred to as raw cacao nibs.
Most people seem to have a bottle or bag of cacao nibs somewhere in their kitchen these days. You can sprinkle chocolate nibs on foods or blend them to make a chocolate paste.
Chocolate Nibs 101
The cacao tree grows in tropical regions around the globe like in Hawaii, but it can also be grown in places like Florida.
The fruit of this tree is where cacao beans come from and this fruit is a pod that's shaped like a football.
Cacao pods can contain as much as 60 cacao beans depending on the size of the cacao pod.
The cacao beans are fermented with their sweet white pulp that surrounds them in the pod which falls away during the fermentation process.
Then they are sun dried before they are roasted which helps to remove the shell or the husk that surrounds the chocolate nib.
nibs in their raw state contain so many nutrients like antioxidants and important minerals as well as vitamins.
However, you may find that "raw" chocolate nibs are very bitter tasting and unappealing all by itself.
Roasting helps to bring out a more pleasant chocolate taste and makes the shelling process much easier!
Shelling the cacao beans exposes the chocolate nibs inside which gets broken down into smaller pieces.
Cacao nibs are one of the least processed chocolate products which can be turned into delicious chocolate treats.
Chocolate Shake Recipe
Add 6 ounces Raw Milk (cow milk, goat milk, or vegan milk)
Add 2 to 3 ounces Raw Cream (cow or coconut cream)
Add 2 to 3 tsp. Chocolate Nibs (blend into a paste)
Raw Organic Honey and Vanilla to taste
Blend ingredients until well combined
Top with Whipped Cream
Chocolate Nibs is What Makes Chocolate!
I don't think most people realize that it's the chocolate nib or cacao nib that makes chocolate.
You can literally just blend cacao nibs until they become liquid and pour this liquid chocolate into molds to make chocolate candy.
When we lived in Sedona, we would visit the Chocola Tree Cafe every once in a while and pick up a treat. And boy do they have a lot of chocolates!
In its unadultered state, chocolate is actually a valuable and
potent super-food. However, I don't know if there's technically a raw cacao nib or raw chocolate that exists.
Although, when cacao beans are processed at low temperatures this protects its antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Besides magnesium, other essential minerals are present in chocolate nibs such as copper, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium, sulfur, and potassium.
Cacao nibs are loaded with antioxidants and brain chemicals very similar
to the ones our bodies create when we are in-love.
In its unadultered state cacao nibs contain B vitamins and a little vitamin E. The nibs will also contain oleic acid which is a heart healthy monounsaturated fat along with saturated fats.
The Caffeine in Raw Cacao Nibs
The caffeine in cooked or roasted cacao nibs has a much more stimulating effect than chocolate nibs or cacao nibs in their raw state.
And the amount of caffeine found in cacao nibs is quite a bit lower than what you'll find in that cup of coffee your drinking.
Raw cacao nibs contain very small amounts of caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is the sister molecule of caffeine and is less of a stimulant.
It's thought that the antioxidants and the theobromine in raw cacao nibs can improve blood flow, support the healthy functioning of the heart and reduce thickening of arterial walls as well as plaque build-up.
Experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when they are consumed in raw cacao nibs or in low temperature processed cacao nibs.