Superfoods #1: Cacao Powder

Before I begin this post, this is way too long overdue, so I apologise! Do you remember a long time ago, when we were still wearing loincloths and feeding pet dinosaurs, I hosted a giveaway, and then the dinosaurs got extinct, man developed fire and you were still waiting to hear the results?

Well, wait no more thousand years longer, as officially, I would like to announce the winner:

Ladies and gentlemen, randomly chosen from our wonderful commenters waassss….. *anticipation*

ASHLEY FROM WISHES AND DISHES!

Ashley, you have full permission to do this :)

Ashley, you have full permission to do this 🙂

Yessireee this classy, upstate New Yorker will be the new, lucky owner of Ms Lorna Foreman’s one of a kind, Gluten-Free Cookbook, Wheat Watchers!! Congratulations 😀

I have emailed you a notification for your details, and then the book will be on its way!
And a big thank you to all of you for all the support you showed during the giveaway – I was overwhelmed as was Lorna!

Now… moving on to the post for today

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How lucky am I? A couple of days back, Justin from Cheap Super Foods Australia, contacted me, asking me to try some wonderful up and coming raw, organic ingredients from their huge range. As if I could turn down a huge opportunity like that! I know many bloggers, especially Vegan, focusing on all these new foods, so I knew I had plenty of inspiration to start making recipes.

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But what are superfoods? Why is using them considered ‘super’ but using caster sugar, isn’t? We are not being ingredient-ist here, but the term ‘superfoods’ means that particular ingredient has been classified as Food with high nutrient and phytochemical content that may confer health benefits. It has few negative properties if any, considering it is highly unprocessed (natural), does not contain contaminants, saturated fats, artificial ingredients or food additives.” – Wikipedia

When I say ‘phytochemicals’, I mean naturally occurring beneficial chemical compounds in plants, such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and polyphenol. I used this think anything ‘organic’ equated in some way, to marijuana and hippie food, tasting like dirt despite any ‘benefits.’ Since I started food blogging, I have learnt a heck of a lot about all of it, and am glad to learn that is not the case! 😀

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The wonderful folks from Cheap Super Foods sent me three different 250g samples:

  1. Cacao Powder
  2. Coconut Sugar
  3. Chia Seeds

Let’s begin making raw, organic, totally delicious desserts shall we?

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Cacao Powder. CAcAo powder.
Cocoa Powder. COcOa powder.

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Health Deets!

Health Deets!

2 different vowels can make an immense different when you are baking. Can I be honest with you? I used to think ‘cacao’ was a different spelling for ‘cocoa’, you know how Australians spell ‘centre’ with ‘re’ but Americans spell ‘centre’ with ‘er’? A small difference, no biggy, I did not even think it over much, despite the fact that majority of the time, cacao was associated with the words, ‘raw’ or ‘organic’.

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Sheesh, so young and naive.

I looked up the difference between the two and it is basically, a difference in processing, ending up with one used commonly in desserts, and one used in common association with health benefits. You see, while they both obviously come from The All-Mighty Chocolate Beana.k.a The Cacao Bean (Yes cacao, NOT cocoa bean), cocoa powder is heated in order to be made, which often destroys many naturally occurring antioxidants and nutrients it may contain. Therefore, it is no longer raw AND is more rich and bitter. It also may contain some cocoa butter to enhance flavour, and may go through a process of becoming ‘Dutched’, meaning it is alkalised (all you chemists!) and has less health benefits.

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Meanwhile, cacao powder, is raw, and does not use the various processes, therefore allowing it to keep its rich, beneficial properties. Cool right? It is the chocolate flavour with more 🙂

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Of course, while I may use it in different ingredients to give them a healthy twist, I would never replace my Special Dark Cocoa Powder, as it really does have that richness in it. And if you are going to eat a pound of butter, do it the right way non? This is an ingredient I would keep in the pantry if I was whisking up pancakes, or muffins, to put my health meter a notch up while still enjoying myself. It is a great substitute for sure 😀

To celebrate this fabulous superfood, here is the recipe for you. I am sure you have all heard of Raw Organic Brownies, which contain no sugar and no fat. Well, I whipped up my own recipe for one and hope you enjoy it. It was  fudgier moreso than even my usual best brownies, and while not the richest, certainly made my sweet tooth sing and my body’s nutrient level hit the roof 😀

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Raw Fudgy Brownies (With Everything!) 😉
Adapted from many sources put together but inspired by: Oh, Ladycakes

Printable Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw walnuts/pecans (or a mix!)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (Medjool)
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut + extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt (I did not have any but it has been recommended by many)
  • Chocolate chips, for sprinkling

Method:

  1. In a food processor, process nuts together until finely ground – you will notice them sticking together slightly, and that is because their natural oils have been released while being crushed, which is a good thing 🙂
  2. Scrape down the sides of the food processor
  3. Add in the allspice, cacao powder, desiccated coconut and salt (if using) and blend until combined
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  4. Scrape down again (this is important because otherwise, there will not be even distribution)
  5. While the food processor is… processing… make your date paste: Put your dates in a saucepan over high, barely covered by water and boil until the majority of water has evaporated and the dates are easily mashing together (similar to in a Sticky Date Pudding)
  6. Let mixture cool for 10-15 minutes
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  7. Spoon into food processor with the maple syrup and process. You should notice the mixture starts to clump together at this point.

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  8. In a tin lined with baking paper, spoon the mixture out and spread. As you can see, I wet my hands slightly and then used them to make the spread more even 🙂
  9. Sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut and chocolate chips (I did not do this till after, whoops!
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours
  11. Slice and devour, you will die when you realised they are just as fudgy as underbaked brownies!
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Notes:

  • Put in orange zest, some peanut butter, whatever you fancy! Even espresso powder 😀
  • After blending it all, if you want some crunch, mix through chocolate chips or more nuts before spreading it in the tin and refrigerating!
  • Try freezing it, you may be pleasantly surprised 😉

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Would I recommend buying this productDefinitely! The texture of the cacao powder was soft, it smelt fantastic and the health benefits were incredible! For day to day baking, I would use this instead of normal cocoa powder to up my nutrient intake without a doubt!

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Cheap Super Foods Australia boasts of the best organic quality in their products and this is definitely evident in the good packaging and delicious flavour. Not only do they have a wide range of ingredients to try such as acai powder (what even…) and goji berries, but check out their Superfoods Blogto get fabulous ideas on how to implement them in day to day recipes!

*Disclaimer: I may have received these products courtesy of the company but my opinion of each ingredient was all my own

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115 Comments

  1. Pingback: Enhanced? | Go Bake Yourself

  2. Pingback: Superfoods #3: Chia Seeds | Go Bake Yourself

  3. Saskia says:

    Those brownies look amazing CCU! I LOVE cacao powder too. I mainly use it for nutty protein balls, but it makes a devilishly wicked hot chocolate too. Glad to have another recipe to need it for! Will bookmark this one. Looks like a keeper.

  4. Soni says:

    Oh I absolutely love this recipe.I love Chia seeds and use it all the time but never tried Cacao powder!Will look out for it and try your recipe 🙂 So yum!

  5. Susan says:

    Chocolate is my super food :). Truly my only weakness which I try to restrict to less than one ounce of plain, dark chocolate a day. What a delightful brownie recipe! I wish I had you metabolism 🙂

  6. Well, if super bakers like you can get confused…what are we mere mortal bakers! I had no clue on this difference. Thank you so so much Uru. I was wondering, is Cacao bitter?

    Loved the opening of your post…you are adorable and have this awesome sense of humour. Thanks for the nice chuckle first thing in the morning. Congratulations to your winner 🙂

  7. grace says:

    i’ve never cooked or baked with any of those sample ingredients you received–what fun! fudgy doesn’t even begin to describe these brownies. 🙂

  8. libishski says:

    I’m always on a mission to use better ingredients in my cooking so thanks for letting us know about Cheap Super Foods. Already making a list of ingredients to buy for my winter baking escapades 🙂

  9. Tisa says:

    Very impressive and inspiring. I love how you used cacao powder. I’m always confused as to how it would taste. Your recipe looks fantastic. Sold.

  10. Hotly Spiced says:

    Congratulations to Ashley! And how lovely to be sent a hamper of these super-foods – my uni students would be very jealous – they’re always asking me to buy these ingredients xx

  11. Deanna says:

    Great post! We are loving using raw cacao powder in raw desserts, smoothies and ice pops! Now I want to make your brownies!!! They sound wonderful!

  12. navane64 says:

    Never heard about superfoods but its great discovery esp the organic cacoa powder for this stunning brownies. Also cacoa powder is new for me but read through your infor for the details.

  13. I’ve totally missed you, Uru – I’ve been wondering when we’d see another post! The beginning of this post made me laugh, especially the GIF of James Marsden. Amazing! Thanks for all the edumacation here about super foods, cacao v. cocoa and this fantastic brownie recipe. Finally a guilt-free brownie!

  14. Becky says:

    Uru,
    Healthy brownies almost sound like an oxymoron, but not in this case. I didn’t know the difference before cacao and cocoa, either. Thank you so much!

  15. bec {daisy and the fox} says:

    this looks like a super delicious snack! and dessert… and breakfast – i just want to eat that all day!!
    and thanks for telling the difference between cacao and cocoa! 🙂
    hope school and all is going well! 😀

  16. laurasmess says:

    What a fantastic post Uru. Great recipe… and I love the fact that you’ve explained the confusing differences between cacao and cocoa. I did a bit of my own research a while ago (as I was wondering what the difference was between ‘Dutch process’ cocoa and normal cocoa) and since then, I’ve been trying to find some affordable powdered cacao (AFFORDABLE being the key word!). I’ll check out this company. Thanks again lovely!

  17. BekAtCrave says:

    YUM these look great- a healthy twist on a usual naughty favourite 😉 Thanks for showing us the difference between cocoa and cacao too…some of us are too shy to ask 😉

  18. Sally says:

    Those sound amazing! I’mshopping this morning and will have all those delicious ingredients on my list. It will be fabulous haing guilt free brownies! I’ll let you know how they go. All the best 🙂

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