If you read it too fast you might read it wrong. Cocoa & cacao are ALMOST spelled the same and ALMOST always used interchangeably. If you know nothing else about them, you at least know they have something to do with chocolate. For some of us, especially chocolate lovers, that’s all that matters. But you can never have too much chocolate right? Let’s find out what makes them different and why we love them so much.
Same Thing Right?
Cacao Vs Cocoa
The truth is both cocoa and cacao start with the cacao plant. The main difference between the two is how it is processed and what results from the process.
Cacao beans are dried, fermented, and heated at a low temperature. The heat separates the fatty part of the bean from the rest.
- More Antioxidants
- Cacao Butter is a Great Moisturizer
- Boosts Mood And Cognitive Performance
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Protects Heart
- Regulates Insulin
- Not As Sweet
- Can Be Harder to Find
Cocoa is harvested the same way except it is heated at a higher temperature which yields a sweeter product.
- Better for Baking
- More Processed
- Less Nutritional Value
Which One Should You Choose?
In conclusion, it’s safe to say both cocoa and cacao can be a delicious treat. Cocoa on one hand is sweeter, cheaper, typically used in baking and desserts but loses its nutritional value and antioxidants in processing. It’s also typically mixed with artificial sweeteners and lots of sugars.
Cacao on the other hand is less processed and closer to the raw natural state of the bean. It tends to carry more nutritional value than cocoa due to the low heat process and has even been linked to boosts in cognitive performance. The higher percentage of cacao, generally the better it is for you. If you find yourself with a deep chocolate craving, try to spring for the cacao which tastes good and is good for you.