Hardcore chocolate lovers will absolutely love this piece of news – cacao nibs have been declared a superfood this year! Cacao nibs, which are essentially roasted cocoa beans, have all the goodness of chocolate in flavour and health without the ill effects of sugar and fat. In short, it is chocolate as nature intended – as crunchy nibs with a bitter chocolate aftertaste that satisfies your craving. But it doesn’t just stop with that. Cacao nibs are supposed to be nutrient-rich too. “Anything that is less processed has better health benefits – the same applies for cocoa nibs, which are fermented, dried and roasted cocoa beans (not mixed with sugar),” pointed out Disha Jhaveri, a dietician with Global Hospital in Mumbai. “Less processed nibs are rich in antioxidants, which protect the health of our blood vessels and thereby our heart, and also boost our immune system,” she said. “These antioxidant-dense nibs might also play a role in reducing insulin resistance and can help Indians deal with Metabolic Syndrome. It can thus be a boon in disguise for people struggling with diabetes, dyslipidemia, fatty liver and hypertension.” The fiber in the nibs can help to support bowel movements and thus help to flush toxins.  

Just Eat It

You can nibble on the nibs, neat, as a healthy snack. You can also blend them with breakfast cereals, add them to home-made nutri-bars, salad and with milk. If you like a quick chocolatey fix for your breakfast, check out this recipe for a cacao coffee banana smoothie. It’s exactly what you need for a morning on the run. And it’s sugar-free too!

Cacao Coffee Banana Smoothie

01 superfoods cacao nibs

Ingredients: 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs 1 frozen banana ½ cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled 4 tbsp coconut milk 1½ tbsp agave 1 handful of ice Method: Add everything to the blender and pulse for 60 seconds. Yum. Hi, healthy smoothie! Recipe Courtesy: A Cozy Kitchen  

Go Crazy

You could also step out of your comfort zone and try something wild with these cocoa nibs like a bitter chocolate chilli soup, with ground nibs, or incorporate it in a spicy curry. But if you want to try something really funky, check out this recipe for cocoa rasam. It’s spicy and smoky.

Cocoa Rasam

02 superfoods cacao nibs

Ingredients: For Flavour 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp cacao nibs 2 cloves of garlic For the base 1 cup tamarind juice 1 tomato 1½ cup water Salt to taste 1 tsp cacao nibs or unsweetened cocoa powder For seasoning 1 tsp ghee ¼ tsp mustard seeds 1 dry red chilli 1 sprig curry leaves For garnishing A few stalks of coriander, chopped. Method: In a small heavy-bottomed vessel, boil tamarind juice, water, and tomato. Once boiled, peel and discard the skin before pureeing the tomato. Add the puree to the tamarind juice. Grind the black peppercorns, cumin, cacao nibs and garlic into large bits. Add this mixture to the tamarind-tomato juice and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the cocoa powder. Once you see a light foam forming at the top, remove from heat. In another small pan, melt the ghee, and temper the mustard seeds until they crackle. Add the red chilli and curry leaves, and pour this over the prepared rasam base. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot. Recipe Courtesy: Love is In My Tummy

Like this article? Also read: #Superfoods: How To Cook With Buckwheat Cover Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com