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Is Your Chocolate Real? Cacao vs Cocoa: What You Need To Know…

While by now we all know that chocolate has some amazing health benefits, what you may not know is the difference between store-bought chocolate and the really good stuff. Fortunately, we’re here with info and a great recipe so you can make your own amazing chocolates!

The studies that boast of chocolate’s amazing health benefits are not referring to your average store-bought chocolate bar, but rather refer to cacao.

The good news is you can make your own chocolate with only 3 super healthy ingredients: cacao, coconut oil and honey!

So what’s the difference between cocoa and cacao? Cocoa is processed cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. The process of making cacao is minimal and preserves all the antioxidants, while roasting at high temperatures destroys them in cocoa.

Let’s take for example a popular brand: Hershey’s chocolates. Like other industrial chocolate makers, for the most part, their products aren’t really chocolate. During their manufacturing process, cocoa butter is mixed with other vegetable oils. This is a cheaper way of producing chocolate but the problem is the final product is something other than real chocolate. Most of them also contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup and use soy lecithin as an emulsifier.

Studies show that the darker the chocolate, the better. Eat only less-processed chocolate that contains at least 65 percent cacao, recommends Joy DuBost, PhD, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman. Not only does dark chocolate have a higher concentration of antioxidants than milk chocolate, but milk chocolate is also higher in added sugar and unhealthy fats.

Did you know also that dairy inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from cacao? Making your own real chocolate using non-dairy ingredients is the best way to preserve all the health benefits.

7 Health Benefits Of Raw Cacao

  • It can improve memory loss
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Improves vision
  • Protects your nervous system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • It can boost your mood
  • Helps prevent cancer

Make your own healthy chocolates!


  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (make sure it is melted).
  • 4-6 tablespoons raw honey (depending on how sweet you like your chocolates)


  1. In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients.  You want to incorporate all ingredients really well. You can whisk by hand or using a hand blender.
  2. Put the mixture into fun molds! (The egg chocolate mold and heart chocolate mold are good starter molds. You can also use a chocolate bar mold.) Place in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  3. Enjoy!

Tip: Store your chocolates in the freezer and take them out a few minutes before serving. 

They taste amazing! With this recipe I made 30 mini chocolates. You can use maple syrup and swap coconut oil for cacao butter, which results in a creamier chocolate, as well. You can also try incorporating other flavors like vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, berries, other spices, and chopped nuts – whatever you feel like trying!

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Is Your Chocolate Real? Cacao vs Cocoa: What You Need To Know… Reviewed by matt on 20:31:00 Rating: 5