Cacao paste is a derivative of the cacao bean, the Mexican and South American plant that produces chocolate in its most natural form. More specifically, this paste is created when whole cacao beans are ground into a liquid, commonly called cacao liquor, which is then dried. Not only does cacao paste provide a delicious, chocolatey taste, but it’s also packed with health benefits, like more antioxidants than blueberries, black and green teas, and red wine. These antioxidants give cacao the power to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.
We probably don’t have to convince you to consider trying this chocolate superfood, but you may be wondering how to use it! Cacao paste isn’t necessarily the most commonly consumed food, which is why we’ve outlined a few of our favorite ways to enjoy it. Check them out below, then use the inspiration we’ve provided to discover your favorite use of this delicious superfood:
- Chocolatl - Nope, not chocolate, but similar! This is our personal favorite way to use cacao paste, as it was originally used by the ancient Mayans. On the stove, bring water to a simmer before adding your cacao paste, a dried guajillo chile, a cinnamon stick, and a vanilla bean, if you so wish. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, then remove the extraneous ingredients and you’ve got yourself Mayan culture in a mug!
- Ganache - Everyone loves ganache, but now you can make it yourself without all of those added sugars and unnecessary ingredients. Use your ganache as a filling, icing, or whipped up like a mousse. Check out this recipe for a totally superfood-friendly ganache, complete with cacao paste.
- Smoothies - We know you superfoodies can’t get enough of your smoothies, and luckily cacao paste provides a way for you to add a chocolate flare to your morning treat without comprising its nutritiousness. Throw some chopped up cacao paste into your blender and enjoy - it’s as easy as that! (Superfood tip: cacao tastes great when paired with maca powder.)
- Chocolate Bark - Many people claim that cacao paste gives chocolate bark and truffles a more superior taste than cacao powder, especially when it’s mixed with cacao butter. By simply melting your cacao paste with cacao butter and coconut oil, mixing in some sweeteners and superfoods like Goji berries, then letting it cool, you can create a chocolate bark that works all year round - not just in the wintertime.
- Granola - The best part about cacao paste? It tastes great on literally everything! Shave it into your morning cereal or mix some chunks into your homemade granola, and you’ve got yourself some extra chocolate flavor with big health benefits.
Complex or simple, the potential uses of cacao paste vary, but we can’t help ourselves - we love them all!