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Cacao is a fruit that grows in Central and South America, Africa and Oceana. The fruit grows in a pod that is broken open, rinsed and then dried in the sun. Once the beans from the pods have been dried they are lightly toasted and then hulled. The hulled, toasted beans are then ground down and fermented and made into a paste. The paste is then poured into a mould and cooled to create blocks of cacao. The processing is very minimal and ensures that all of the nutrients and oils stay in the cacao. This creates a stronger medicine that is still very much in connection to the earth and the spirit of the plant.
Chocolate contains cacao but they are not the came. Cacao on its own is a superfood full of medicinal properties that are good for both your physical body and mental health. Chocolate is made of mostly added fats, sugars and milk and often times has been stripped of the oils and over processed leaving very little of the plants nutrients behind.
Ceremonial grade cacao has many many health benefits ranging from the ability to boost mood helping with depression and anxiety, to improving cardio vascular health, to improving levels of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorus to name a few. Cacao also improves focus and boosts energy. In fact every part of the plant from root, to tree, to flower and every part of the pod can be used medicinally! Cacao is actually considered a master plant.
The cacao comes in a block. It's pure cacao so it's not mixed with sugar of milk. It's quite bitter and pairs well with spices like cinnamon and cardamom and chilli! You can add honey or a natural sweetener and some dairy free milk to smooth it out.
I like to shave my whole block at once either with a knife or a cheese grater and store it in a jar for ease of use.
I use 2 tablespoons per cup but perhaps start with 1 to see how it effects you.
Add the cacao and spices to a blender and add 1/2 a cup hot water blend till it's smooth. Then add the dairy free milk and honey - macadamia nut milk is brilliant and so smooth. Blend again. Then mix the remainder if the cacao and hot water together in a cup. I like to add the extra water after as to not have too much heat and water in the mixer.
Conversely, I don't use a blender. Instead I add all the dry ingredients to a warm cup and little by little I mix in the hot (not boiling) water creating a paste. Then I slowly add the rest of the water, sweetener and milk choice to make a full smooth cup of cacao. You can whisk mid way to ad the trademark rainbow bubbles. This was takes more patience but allows for more presence and attention.
Yes! it is safe to drink cacao daily. Start small, with about a tablespoon or the equivalent of 3 cacao seeds daily and go from there! Please note that cacao can interact poorly with antidepressants and some heart medication. If you are on prescription drugs it is wise to consult your doctor before consuming cacao.
Yes but much less than coffee. The major stimulating ingredient in cacao is theobromine. It provides a a softer energy than caffeine that lasts longer that leaves you feeling uplifted. 1 cup of coffee as roughly 80 to 130mg of caffeine where cacao has 10gm per cup (at 1.5 tablespoons cacao per cup. Cacao also helps improve your mood which can lower stress.
Yes! Ruk'u'x Ulew cacao comes from a small family farm in Guatemala and is organic.
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