5 Uses for Cacao You Probably Haven't Heard of Yet
Updated: Mar 1
Everyone usually thinks of baked goods and candy when it comes to cacao but there's so much more to the superfood than chocolate and sweets. While sugar is frequently added to smooth out the natural bitterness of cacao, it's natural flavour and qualities can also be enjoyed in a variety of different ways.
Cacao can be used and consumed in several formats depending on what you would like to use it for. At Cachao, we offer only the highest quality unroasted cacao products including cacao butter, cacao powder, hand peeled cacao beans and cacao nibs (both sweetened and unsweetened). Cacao butter is essential in giving chocolate it's rich creamy texture, and much in the same way, it can also be used to add a buttery texture to anything else it comes in contact with.
TO FRY STEAK AND SCALLOPS
Instead of using butter or oil on a frying pan, try cooking your steak and scallops using cacao butter. This vegan alternative is not only healthier than dairy butter, it's also easier to cook with since the burning temperature is considerably higher than pan frying butter and olive oil. The flavour of cacao butter is less overpowering than butter which can sometimes mask the true flavours of what is being cooked. Another benefit of using cacao butter is that it has an impermeabilization effect and seals in moisture especially when cooking water rich foods like scallops, fish and red meat. This results in a better flavour and texture as the meat is able to retain its natural "juices" as it is cooked and permits the food to obtain an excellent caramelization.
TO MARINATE MEAT
Cacao powder can easily be mixed with other spices and ingredients to make an delicious rub for steak and roasted meats. Try mixing the below items and rubbing them over your meat along with a small amount of olive oil before grilling or cooking as desired. Please note that when using cacao powder a little bit goes a long way... take care to adjust quantities in function of the amount of meat that will be prepared.
1/2 tablespoon Raw Cacao Powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon finely ground coffee (organic better)
A pinch of fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt
IN YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
In recent years, the use of cacao in beauty and cosmetics has garnered considerable interest due to its natural ability to hydrate and lock in moisture as well as providing high amounts of antioxidants, even more so than other natural alternatives like shea butter and coconut oil. Cacao butter is very high in fatty acids which is why it’s often hailed for its ability to improve skin elasticity as it forms a protective barrier over skin that holds in moisture. It is also rich in phytochemicals; natural plant compounds that have been shown to improve blood flow to the skin and slow signs of aging by protecting against UV damage and smoothing scars and wrinkles. Particularly popular among pregnant women, cacao butter has also been shown to prevent and minimize the appearance of stretch marks and on sensitive skins to heal rashes caused by dermatitis and eczema. Try slathering our raw cacao butter directly on your freshly washed face or adding a pinch of cacao powder to any homemade face mask or body scrub for an extra boost.
Enhance your favorite chilli recipe by adding a few tablespoons of raw cacao powder as it simmers over heat. The cacao powder will give all the flavours of the chilli greater depth and richness, without overpowering the dish. This works particularly well with vegan recipes to add a slight smokiness when the meat is substituted for ingredients like black beans and sweet potatoes.
SPRINKLED ON FRESH FRUIT
The natural sweetness of fruit is a perfect match for the intense flavour of cacao powder. A little bit of cacao powder packs a lot of taste so the combination is perfect for anyone looking to watch their sugar consumption. Our favorite fruits to sprinkle cacao on are strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and bananas but feel free to experiment with your own fruit of choice.
If you'd like to learn more about our ingredients and try our products come visit the Cachao Chocolate Manufactory in Palma or explore our website at www.cachao.eu.