Marketed as a superfood, raw cacao butter (and its processed cousin, cocoa butter) is another plant-based fat we should be keeping on our radar.
By now, it’s pretty much standard practice to put a big ol’ scoop of coconut butter in our morning potions (pretty sure we can all thank Lee Tilghman for that stroke of genius). Call it a plant-based version of the equally-loved Bulletproof-style coffee, which typically features some combination of grass-fed ghee, coconut oil, butter and/or MCT oil. Adding a dose of healthy fat to your AM coffee, matcha or smoothie is a great way to give your brain a boost first thing in the morning – and keep it going through ‘till lunch. But what about raw cacao butter? More recently marketed as a superfood, raw cacao butter (and its processed cousin, cocoa butter) is another plant-based fat we should be keeping on our radar. Typically used in baking or in beauty DIYs, raw cacao butter is finally getting some recognition as the powerful food it really is:
What is raw cacao butter?
Also called theobroma oil (which hints at a benefit within), raw cacao butter is the unprocessed fat extracted from cocoa beans. Unlike cocoa butter, which is processed at a high heat, killing off any nutrients or vitamins, cacao butter retains the healthy fats, antioxidants, and nutrients present in the raw material. Cacao butter is an incredibly stable fat, meaning it can withstand high heat, and is packed with body-loving goodness.
What are the benefits?
Is there a difference between raw cacao butter and cocoa butter? Surprisingly, yes… a rather large one. Raw cacao butter is superior to cocoa butter because it hasn’t been treated with high heat, which destroys vital nutrients. Raw cacao butter is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and essential fatty acids, which could have a positive effect on immune function,have anti-inflammatory effects, and support heart health.
How do I use raw cacao butter?
While you may first think to put cacao butter on your skin, like cocoa butter, in fact it’s a super nourishing addition to recipes – it’s what gives high-quality chocolate its luxurious texture. Cacao butter can be used in a variety of recipes, including raw desserts and baked goods, and can be mixed with cacao powder in homemade chocolate recipes. Additionally, cacao butter can be added to hot drinks in place of coconut oil or coconut butter to add a creamy texture and a good dose of healthy fats. Of course, it’s also a gorgeous addition to DIY beauty recipes as well. Try using it in place of cocoa butter in at-home recipes for body butter and moisturizing bars.
Morning Cacao Elixir
1 tsp raw cacao powder
8 oz hot water
1 tbsp raw cacao butter (I like Navitas Organics)
2 tbsp coconut milk
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour into a mug. Sip slowly and enjoy!
+ More Wellness Encyclopedia posts.