What are cacao nibs and where do they come from?
Cacao nibs are small pieces of cocoa beans. cocoa beans are the seeds of the cacao tree and grow in the cacao pod, which contains between 40-60 cocoa beans depending on the variety. One needs two of these pods usually around 100g Chocolate to get.
Cocoa originates originally from Central and South America, grows today however around the world in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia inclusive India, even in the meantime in north Australia, basically in the tropics so approx. 20 degrees north, 20 degrees south of the equator. Thousands of years ago. indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs and Maya discovered the cocoa bean and began to cultivate it for its unique flavor and pleasant aroma. The Aztecs, for example, used the beans as currency in trade, and the Maya fermented and even used them to make a drink they called chocolatl. Cacao was so popular in the region that when the Spanish arrived, they found that the Aztecs considered it a luxurious, high-value commodity.
Nutritional benefits of cacao nibs
Cacao nibs are pure cacao with no additives. They are highly nutritious and are an excellent source of antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Cocoa nibs also contain high levels of dietary fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. In addition, cacao nibs are rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc and are considered a superfood. 100 grams of cacao nibs contain about 600 kilocalories.
What can I do with cocoa nibs?
Of course, you can make cocoa powder from them if you put the pieces in a blender. But cocoa nibs are ideal and healthy for muesli and smoothies. They add a crunch to desserts and cakes as a kind of chocolate sprinkles.
What is the shelf life of cacao nibs?
Cocoa nibs, like Chocolate, should be stored in a cool, dry place. Since the cocoa bean (and thus the nibs) are approximately 50% Cocoa mass and 50% cocoa butter, cocoa nibs (like butter) can go rancid. The expiration date on the packaging is a first indication, but they are quite durable much longer, especially if you are stored airtight.
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