Raw cacao is made from the seeds of the cacao pod, of the cacao which originated in South America (picture to the right). These colorful pods contain fruit and seeds, and these SEEDS or "beans" are what cacao powder and butter is made from.
Cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet according to the Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity chart. This is about 10 grams of flavenol antioxidants per 100 grams. Antioxidants help free the body of free radicals which cause damage to our cells.
The health benefits of cacao are numerous, particularly in it’s raw form since none of the nutrients have been lost in the heating process.
Some highlights are:
We buy our chocolate direct from an association of cacao farmers in Satipo, Peru. They are certified organic by Control Union, and officially accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The association is also a member of the Fair Trade Federation, and certified by a third party, which upholds standards on social, environmental, and fairly traded criteria.
This association is certified organic by Control Union and is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, this ensures the cacao is certified organic and fairly traded. Each family has around 5 acres of cacao trees that are under the shade of larger trees such as coconut.
Cacao has been refereed to as the food of the Gods by the indigenous people of Mexico, central and south American cultures and was even used as money by the Aztecs and the Mayans. It was primarily consumed as a hot drink (with no dairy or sweetener) until it was brought to Europe, where they sweetened it with sugar and milk.
Since then it has been consumed primarily as a sweet desert. And since adding sugar sends spikes in our blood sugar and dairy inhibits the absorption of the powerful antioxidants, we make our chocolate with low glycemic sweeteners and use fats such as coconut butter.