Cacao Nibs: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Low-Key Superfood
Blog post by Luka Pajkovic
Everybody knows about almonds and avocados, walnuts and Greek yogurt, and all those other nutrition-packed superfoods, famous for their seemingly endless health benefits. While these are all well and good, we here at Nomad Chocolate were looking for something a little sweeter; so, fuelled by our totally reasonable and normal obsession with everything chocolate, we present to you the best superfood of them all: Cacao Nibs!
Cacao nibs are cacao in its least processed form, short of eating the raw bean, that is. After harvesting, cacao beans are dried and de-shelled, leaving the meat of the bean, called the cacao nib. These nibs are then broken into pieces and ready to be roasted, or eaten raw.
Extremely low in sugar, cacao nibs still maintain the delicious dark chocolate flavour we all love, with the added benefits of high fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Rich in essential minerals like magnesium and iron, and packed with anti-oxidants and flavonoids, cacao nibs can improve health long-term and slow the effects of aging while helping prevent mental decline and various forms of cancer.
The only thing that beats the health benefits of cacao nibs, is the multitude of ways to work these little bits of deliciousness into your diet, so here’s five ways to start enjoying this low-key superfood:
On Oatmeal or In Cereal
Spice up your healthy, fiber-filled, and cardboard-y morning meal by sprinkling some roasted cacao nibs onto your bowl of oatmeal, or mixing them into your favourite cereal. Cacao nibs also contain around ¼ of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee, so this delicious and nutritious addition is a perfect pick-me-up to start your day off alert and energized.
Alongside Your Favourite Fruits
Dark chocolate and fruit is an age-old pairing, and cacao nibs take this combo to the next level. Cacao nibs help neutralize sweeter fruits such as bananas, but can also complement the sharper tang of citrus and berry flavours, often bringing their own delicate flavour notes to the dish to create a complex and intriguing flavour profile.
Cacao nibs are a healthy option to pair with fruit for a tasteful, mid-day dessert that won’t cause the near-coma aftermath of richer cakes and pastries.
In Your Baking
Cacao nibs make a wonderful addition to baked goods such as banana bread and muffins, they provide some extra texture and hints of chocolate with every bite. They are also a perfect low-sugar replacement for chocolate chips, and fare beautifully in cookies so you can indulge in the name of health and nutrition!
Here at Nomad we’ve embraced the unique flavour and texture of cacao nibs in our Cacao Nibs & Sea Salt bar. Sweet and salty, this bar is deliciously complex.
In Shakes and Smoothies
Whether it’s a part of your morning meal or a post-workout ritual, it’s hard to beat the convenience of packing everything you need into a blender and pouring out a tasty smoothie.
Add a handful of cacao nibs to boost the anti-oxidant and mineral content of your morning smoothie to get you started for the day, or introduce some to your protein shakes to aid recovery and add some real cacao to all those chocolate-flavoured formulas.
A La Carte
If you have a taste for dark chocolate – and all the best people do – then you’ll find that the only preparation cacao nibs need is none at all.
With a rich cacao flavour, it’s easy to find yourself eating nibs by the handful; immune to melting, they make a perfect on-the-go snack for warmer destinations and have no trouble hanging out in a purse or pocket. Healthy and delicious, cacao nibs are also filled with nutrients that promote feelings of fullness, so they’re a handy way to stave off temptation when you’re on the road or watching your waistline!