Have you ever heard of cacao nibs? Not cocoa. They’re like cocoa, only more natural since they’ve haven’t been processed and no sugar has been added. Cacao nibs are all the “clean eating-superfood-healthy living” rage and with good reason! Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you want to make sure you really make your breakfast work for you. Discovering new foods, and different ways to enjoy them is one of the best and most important ways to eat a better breakfast each day. If you really want to supercharge your breakfast, you have to try cocoa nibs!
What are Cocoa Nibs? Simply, they are dried, fermented, and roasted inners of the cacao bean. These beans grow in pods on cacao trees, and are the same that chocolate comes from. So basically they are raw chocolate chips. No processing, no sugar, but you still get deep chocolaty flavor, and all of the amazing natural benefits of chocolate.
So why cacao nibs for breakfast?
They get your mind right. It’s true. Raw cacao contains natural chemicals that keep you alert, boost your mood, decrease depression, and help you focus. Cacao nibs are basically have a similar effect to coffee, without the addictive properties or the “crash and burn” later.
They keep you looking FINE! Cacao nibs contain sulfur which helps maintain healthy hair and nails. Sulfur also combats fatigue and stress, which we all know can do a number on our appearance. They also a a great source of dietary fiber, which keeps the bowels “regular”, makes you feel more full, and aids in weight loss.
They keep you “on your toes.” Magnesium is a power player in cacao nibs. Their super high count of this nutrient (over 60 mg per ounce) helps you focus, relaxes the muscles, keeps your energy high, and your anxiety low. You could always use a food that naturally calms the nerves in the mornings, especially if you work a stressful job, or have a very busy or hectic day ahead of you.
They keep the crud away! Cacao has an even higher antioxidant count than blueberries! They build a defense for the body, and keep the immune system strong. We encounter so many germs as we go about our day, just in general but especially if you work in healthcare or around children, so it’s really important eat foods that protect us and can help us stay healthy. Cacao nibs also contain flavanoids that properties that prevents cancer and heart disease. Many of these nutrients naturally occurring in cacao are lost in the cooking process, but since cacao nibs are technically raw, you get all of the goodness.
They help you perform your work at your best. Cacao is an incredible plant-based source of iron. Our bodies need iron to produce red blood cells and helps tremendously with fatigue, regulating body temperature, and metabolism (how our bodies process the foods we eat). If you work in a generally cold office, this alone can effect your work performance. Iron gives you what you need to charge through the day, eat lunch and not feel sluggish, or feel like you need a nap when you have a two more long hours of work left. Sounds like I’ve been there, huh?
So how do I eat them?
They aren’t sweet, so don’t feel like you have to use them in sweet dishes only. They have a similar texture to nuts but with the flavor of chocolate. Use them in baked goods, smoothies, breakfast bars, granola, trail mix, waffles/pancakes, and oatmeal.
Have you ever tried cacao nibs?