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Cacao Nibs and Walnut Butter with Dried Cherries

Published In: Healthy Created Date: 2014-04-28 Hits: 2377 Comment: 0

Cacao Nibs are cocoa beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces.

One oz of Cacoa Nibs contains 130 calories, 13 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. They are a one of the best dietary sources of magnesium as well as a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium.

 

Cacao Nibs contain 272 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. Magnesium is an important mineral that many people are known to be deficient in. Some studies indicate that up to 80 percent of Americans are lacking sufficient magnesium levels. Magnesium plays a major role in nerve and muscle function, bone strength and circulation. It cannot be produced by the body, and therefore, must be obtained through food sources or supplements. Cacao Nibs are a delicious way to meet the dietary requirements for this important nutrient.

Studies show that Cacao have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries, red wine and green tea. The antioxidants in Cacao Nibs are also more stable than in other foods and are easy for the body to assimilate.

 

Lets read about some of their benefits :

 

Energy Boost: Cacao Nibs contain a substance called theobromine, a central nervous system stimulant that has a similar, though less powerful, stimulating effect as caffeine. It may give you a healthy energy boost if you're feeling low during the day.

Mood Elevators: Cacao contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid required for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Enhanced serotonin levels can quell anxiety and enhance mood. Eating cocoa also helps to release endorphins, the body’s natural opiates. Endorphins are what give runners that natural high. Eating cacao can have a similar effect and may explain why some people become self proclaimed chocoholics.

PMS Symptoms: Magnesium deficiency is known to aggravate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Forty percent of women admit to chocolate cravings. This may be the body’s attempt to obtain sufficient magnesium levels. Since Cacao Nibs are a natural snack without added sugar, they may be a healthier way to satisfy monthly chocolate cravings.

Appetite Control: Cacao contains chromium an important mineral for stabilizing blood sugar and reducing ones appetite.

Improve Circulation: Cacao is a great source of flavanols, powerful antioxidants that play an important role in circulation. Flavanols help to prevent clogged arteries by helping to stop fatty acids from oxidizing in the bloodstream. Flavanols also help make blood platelets less sticky, which reduces the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

Improve Cholesterol Levels. Cacao Nibs contains healthy monounsaturated fats. The same fats found in olive oil. These healthy fats have been shown to raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

Cacao Nibs can be eaten as a snack or added to backed goods and other dishes for added crunch and chocolaty flavour.

 

Try this delicious recipe!

 

Walnut Butter with Dried Cherries and Cacao Nibs

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted in a 300 degree F oven for 20 minutes and then cooled slightly (if you have time to soak your walnuts in water overnight first, go ahead and do so...this can help make them easier to digest; if you do soak them, rinse them in clean water and pay dry before toasting them, or skip the toasting step)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup,
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, unsulphured dried cherries, chopped  A pinch or two of sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Organic Traditions Cacao Nibs

 

Directions:

1. Process walnuts in a blender. Add oil, if needed, to help blend them as they start to get sticky. Keep blending until the mixture becomes smooth.

2. Add maple syrup, dried cherries, and salt, and process again but make sure its not for long as the little chunks of dried cherries should remain. Taste and add more salt or maple syrup, if necessary.

3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the walnut butter into a small bowl and add the cacao nibs. Mix well, then pack into a one cup glass jar for storage.

4. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy over the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy this on toast, buiscuit, pancake or anything you like.

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