Are you tired of searching high and low for that perfect raw cacao bean? Look no further, my friend! We’ve got you covered like a blanket made of chocolate.
What are Raw Cacao Beans Anyway?
Before we dive into where to get them, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. When we say “cacao,” we’re talking about the raw form of chocolate. It comes from the Theobroma cacao tree, which sounds fancy but really just means “food of the gods.” And who are we to argue with ancient civilizations who clearly knew their shit when it came to food?
Cocoa is what happens after those beans have been roasted – think Hershey bars or Oreos (aka cookies for grown-ups). But raw cacao has all sorts of health benefits that get destroyed in the roasting process. So if you want to experience true chocolatey goodness, go raw or go home.
Why Bother With Raw Cacao Beans?
I mean, other than feeling like a total badass because you know exactly how your chocolate was made? Here are some reasons:
- Antioxidants: You know those things everyone always yammers on about? They help protect against cell damage and keep us looking young and purty.
- Mood elevator: Chocolate can boost endorphins and serotonin levels.
- Heart health: Some studies suggest flavanols in cacao can lower blood pressure.
- Brain power: One study showed increased blood flow to the brain after consuming cocoa flavanols.
Plus it just tastes good as hell.
Where Can I Find These Magical Little Buggers?!
Ah yes, here’s where it gets tricky. Not every grocery store carries them (booooo), so sometimes ya gotta dig around before striking gold…er…chocolate.
Here are some options:
Health Food Stores
Gotta love your crunchy little health emporiums. They typically have a bulk section where you can scoop out just the right amount of cacao beans for your recipe (or, let’s be real, snacking). Bonus points for bringing in your own jar to prevent waste.
If you’re feeling lazy and/or antisocial, there are plenty of online retailers who will ship raw cacao beans straight to your door. Some popular options include:
- Thrive Market
- Sunfood Superfoods
Specialty Chocolate Shops
You know those fancy chocolate shops that make you feel like royalty when you walk in? Yeah, they probably carry raw cacao beans too. Plus you’ll likely get to sample some super high-quality chocolate while you’re at it.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a year-round farmers market (Seattle represent!), chances are someone is selling raw cacao beans there. It’s worth wandering around and seeing what other delicious goodies tickle your fancy while ya search.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
Here’s the thing – raw cacao ain’t the cheapest foodstuff around. But if it’s important enough to you (and hey, we won’t judge), here’s what to expect:
- Health Food Stores: Varies based on location/brand but generally $10-$15/pound.
- Online Retailers: Similar price range as above.
- Specialty Chocolate Shops: Might run ya closer to $20/pound since they probably source higher quality products.
- Farmers Markets: Varies widely depending on seller/region/etc., but can be anywhere from $8-$25/pound.
What Do I Do With These Little Choco-Balls?
Ahhhhh the fun part! Here are some ideas:
Raw cacao nibs/broken up beans make for an excellent snack when you need a quick burst of energy. Throw some in a small container or ziploc bag and stash it in your purse/backpack/work desk for choco-cravings.
Bring on the cozy! Simmer raw cacao beans/nibs with milk (or any alt milk) and sweetener + spices of choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) for creamy hot cocoa that’s worth fighting over.
Raw cacao can be used as an ingredient in all sorts of recipes – brownies, smoothie bowls, granola bars, you name it. Get creative!
Some Parting Words On Raw Cacao Beans
Listen here my friends: if you’re gonna do chocolate right, ya gotta start with the real deal. Yes it might take some extra effort to get your hands on raw cacao beans…and yes they might be more expensive than regular ol’ cocoa powder…but trust us. Your taste buds AND health will thank you.
Now go forth and make like Willy Wonka – except hopefully without all those creepy Oompa Loompas running around willy-nilly.
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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