Chocolate is of course the superstar ingredient. Indulgent, opulent, and… healthy. This chocolate smoothie contains cacao powder, which allows you to get all the rich, chocolatey goodness, without the refined sugar or saturated fat found in solid chocolate. Total calories for this shake is 500.
Cacao vs Cocoa – What’s the Difference
Cacao powder is a raw product made with unroasted beans that are cold-pressed and then milled into a powder.
Nutrition: This gentle process means much of the impressive nutritional properties of the raw cocoa seeds are retained. Cacao is rich in antioxidants called flavanols, magnesium, zinc, and a vegan source of iron. Due to it’s high nutritional value it’s often referred to as a superfood.
Flavor: Cacao powder is a bit more gritty in texture. It is also slightly more bitter, though still chocolatey, than the more commonly used cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder is made with roasted beans and processed at a much higher temperatures.
Nutrition: Because cocoa powder is much more processed it contains relatively few nutrients. Also cocoa powder often contains added ingredients, such as sugar and dairy.
Flavor: Roasting the cacao beans develops the chocolate flavor and further processing adds sweetness.
How to buy: If you opt for cocoa powder look for an unsweetened product with few additives and less processing. Avoid cocoa powder that has undergone Dutch processing, which is when cocoa is treated with an alkali to further increase sweetness.