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Raw Cacao Nibs

Last updated on July 26, 2005

If you read Rachel’s post on the history of chocolate, then you know that chocolate is very bitter in its raw state before sugar is added. However, there are those who feel raw cacao is a “super food” that can be beneficial health-wise. I recently purchased a bag of raw cacao nibs to test this super food for myself. On first taste, I cringed because the nibs were indeed very bitter. After I ate some more, I got somewhat used to them but I wouldn’t say they are delicious on their own, straight out of the bag. So I decided to add some to my banana-carob-coconut smoothie and the result was pretty good. It added just the perfect amount of chocolatey crunch and the sweetness of the banana offsets the bitterness of the cacao.

I wouldn’t recommend eating too much raw cacao. Because it’s a stimulant, it may affect people in different ways. If caffeine affects you in a negative way, raw cacao may also do so. Raw cacao is very popular in the raw food community and among raw foodists there is much debate over whether it’s really healthy or not. You have to decide for yourself whether you feel something containing a natural stimulant is good for you. I personally prefer to get my stimulation elsewhere, but a few nibs thrown into my smoothie is, I feel, not going to be a big deal.

Will I buy another bag of raw cacao? Well, I’m not sure. The bag I have is so big that it will take me a year to go through it, considering I’m just sprinkling a few into my smoothies now and then. I guess that will give me some time to decide. In the meantime, I’m going to keep researching the subject and reading all the pros and cons. We know for sure that dark chocolate is good for us, so is raw cacao just as good? Worse? Better?

Have you tried raw cacao? I’d love to hear opinions on this. It’s definitely a controversial topic.

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11 Comments on "Raw Cacao Nibs"

6 years 1 month ago

Hey, can anyone answer this… are nibs, crushed roasted cacao beans?
If so, how can the nibs be considered raw if nibs are basically pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped?

6 years 4 months ago

Thanks for all the helpful thoughts and experiences! I can certainly attest to cacao being a stimulant: I had no idea, and while I was tired and a little cranky earlier this evening, after munching on just a little bit of the stuff I’m still awake and feeling very good — not in an altered state at all, just alert and positive. I’ll be making nibs a regular part of my diet, that’s for sure.

6 years 5 months ago

Raw Cocoa IS a super food. It IS better than natural dark chocolate. Go to and look it up. As a snack, I drink 4-6 ounces of red wine almost daily, along with a small square of 100 cocoa chocolate. Natural fat burner, antioxidant, no sugar, fiber, protein … I’m glad I can set the record straight.

6 years 8 months ago

I actually like the taste of raw nibs. I put them in cereal in the morning, which is usu. some sort of muesli with fresh fruit. I don’t find them too bitter at all.

I also like hot cocoa made with just pure cocoa powder in hot water. Maybe it’s just me, but if you leave sugar out you may get to prefer the real taste of cocoa, as I do… There’s a doctor who studied the Kuna tribes off Panama, who thinks cacao should be recognised as a vitamin.

6 years 9 months ago

THIS! is how you eat raw cacao nibs…I enjoy them for my breakfast everyday – but beware they are addictive! I toast a piece of bread (the denser the better – Healthy Delites Org. dark spelt bread is my preferred)…then spread some raw agave on the warm toast…then shake some raw chocolate powder on top of the agave..shake off excess…then sprinkle generous amounts of raw cacao nibs on top…oh my God – delicious!!! My favourite food of the moment