Cacao (Ka.kaw) beans is a super food grown on the Therobroma cacao tree, and found mainly in south american countries. As a child, I was privileged to consume endless amounts of this nutrifying food, because it was an endless part of my environment. This “food of the Gods” as it was called by the Greeks is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet, and consumed the right way, it’s benefits can be enormous.
How We Processed The Cacao My Grandfather Brought Home
1. The cacao hanging off the Theobroma cocao tree.
2. This is how my grandfather would bring the caca0 home on his donkey; lots of full beautiful colored pods. Sometimes my siblings and I would pick them from the trees (they are very close to the ground) on our walk home from school and suck the white flesh off the seeds.
3. A dissected pod with the exposed cacao seeds.
4. An old Trinidadian picture of women dancing the cacao, which is the traditional way we separated and dried the seeds in trinidad. The seeds were extracted from the pods onto a shed and my family members would literally stomp around the slippery seeds to separate them (the process is known as “dance the cocao”. Once separated, they were left out in the shed for the sun to dry for about 2 to 3 weeks.
5. Sun dried cacao seeds
6. Vintage grinder. One exactly like my grandmother used to grind the beans.
7. End result. The oval cacao balls that were molded from the grounded beans.
Cacao Beans Nutrients:
Vitamins: B1, B3, B5, B9, E
Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Sulfur. Manganese,
Fats: Steric Acid, Palmic acid, Cleic acid
Health Benefits Of Cocao Beans are:
Decrease in cellular degeneration
Lower blood pressure
Decreased risk of diabetes and cancer
In Your Diet
Cacao beans can be purchased at your local health food store. Be sure the label reads raw, not roasted and are not treated with alkalis. Roasted beans lose much of their nutritional content during the heating process.
You can drink it as a tea. No dairy products should be added as they inhibit the absorption of antioxidants.
Mix them with your fruit smoothies.
Sprinkle bits over pancakes or waffles.