It’s chocolate this week! These oatmeal cacao nib cookies are made with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips for an intense chocolate flavor with a crispy crunch!
What are Cacao Nibs?
Cacao nibs are from the cacao beans that grow inside the cacao plant. The beans are dried and fermented. The dried beans are ground up into chocolate tasting nibs. They still contain all of their nutrients with no added sugar before they are heated and made into cocoa powder which is used for chocolate bars.
If you needed an excuse to eat more chocolate, raw cacao has four times the amount of anti-oxidants than dark chocolate. It contains several nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, thiamin, carotene, calcium, protein, and riboflavin. It has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and reduce your risk of cancer.
You probably know that chocolate also affects your mood. That is because of the phenylethylamine, which is a natural chemical that can elevate your mood. That’s why so many of us reach for chocolate when we are sad or feeling stressed. Cacao also causes the brain to release endorphins which is why chocolate gives you a feeling of pleasure. It certainly does for me:)
If you think chocolate is a guilty pleasure, rest assured, consuming raw cacao is a health food. It contains less than one gram of sugar and is the perfect addition to smoothies, hot tea, or your Dandy Blend drink.
You can use cacao nibs as a topping for smoothies or acai bowls. They’re also great in muffins or quick breads or as a crunchy topping for my CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE! You can find cacao nibs at Whole Foods, HomeGoods, or online.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to check out my Pistachio Gogo Bark made of raw cacao powder!