Monday, February 27, 2012

Cacao or Cocoa Nibs

Some recipes call for cacao "nibs".  A nib is simply a small piece of the larger cacao bean.

Many people don't know that the cacao bean comes from a collection of seeds within a pod grown on the cacao tree in tropical regions.  It is surrounded by a sticky substance and locals call it a "jungle M&M".

The beans are cleaned and traditionally sun-dried.
Cacao Nibs
After they are dried, the bean can be ground into powder.  A "nib" is simply a small piece of the dried bean.  The nib is bitter with a coffee/ nutty taste.

Nibs are sometimes called for in cookies, smoothies, oatmeals, cereal, yogurt and more.  It's a great way to  add nutrients and antioxidants to some foods without adding the sugar and fat usually associated with chocolate.

Enjoy a few nibs (or grind your own from whole raw cacao beans) -- found at your local health foods store.

Cacao Tree
Cacao Pod 

Dried Cacao Beans

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