13 Feb Discover Cacao Nibs
Alicia Slusarek, Contributing Blogger
Even if love is all you need on Valentine’s Day, you still deserve a piece of chocolate. Compared to other heart-shaped candies and gummies, chocolate wins in terms of popularity and nutrition. Compared to Necco’s classic “call me” & “true love” Sweethearts and Wonka’s Nerds and Sweetarts candies, which all contain an average of contains 36 grams of sugar (about 2½ tablespoons), dark chocolate is the healthier choice. I’ve recently discovered cacao nibs, an even better way to step up your dark chocolate. They’ve hit the market by storm as a better-for-you way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
What are Cacao Nibs?
The nibs are essentially tiny crumbles of raw, or unprocessed, chocolate just after it’s been separated from the cacao fruit. Other chocolates are heated to high temperatures and have sugar added during processing, which depletes the chocolate of some of its nutrients. Nibs, on the other hand, retain their impressive nutrient profile because they are not heated and don’t contain any sugar. On average, 1 ounce of this raw chocolate provides 160 calories, 4 grams protein, 9 grams fiber, and 0 grams sugar. It only takes a small amount to reap the nutritious benefits (typically less than 1 ounce), so keep moderation in mind.
Cacao nibs perfectly compliment many Valentine’s Day desserts and other everyday recipes. Since nibs don’t contain sugar, use them to substitute higher sugar ingredients like chocolate chips or m&m’s in your favorite trail mix, granola bar, cookie, or waffle recipes. Sprinkle over ice cream, yogurt, or over brownies.
Although “love don’t cost a thing,” cacao nibs rather expansive. Look for them in the baking isle or the organic sections of your grocery store. Here are some of my favorite brands:
Recipes To Try:
Alicia Slusarek finds joy in sharing and spreading her enthusiasm for wholesome nutrition through cooking and writing. She is excited and determined to continue living her passion as she aspires to complete her dietetic internship at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA and become a registered dietitian this spring.