The Paleo List Answers:ARE CACAO NIBS PALEO?o?
So you want chocolate, but you want a completely Paleo version. What to do? You can always turn to dark chocolate or carob chips, but dark chocolate is processed with added sugar, so most consider it a cheat, and carob just doesn’t have quite the same flavor. What about cacao nibs? Are they Paleo?
What are cacao nibs?
Cacao comes from the exact same place as cocoa, and the two aren’t actually different. The “beans” we consider cocoa beans, come from the cocoa/cacao tree. Large foot-long fruits grow on these trees with a sweet and flavorful white fleshy center, full of bitter cacao seeds. The seeds and pulp are extracted from the pods, and set out to dry. During the drying process, the pulp slightly ferments, and in turn, ferments the cacao seeds.
Are Cacao Nibs Paleo?
The cacao seeds are then fully dried, roasted, and crushed to become cacao nibs. That’s it! These cacao nibs actually come from seeds, not beans, so yes, they’re Paleo, and they’re hardly processed at all before showing up in your Whole Foods bulk section. You can pulverize these nibs to make cocoa powder, or mix them into your marinades, ice creams, and nut-based granola bars for a hint of that dark chocolate flavor. Remember, these cacao nibs are incredibly bitter, so a little sweetness, such as maple syrup or Medjool date syrup is required to bring out that chocolate flavor we know and love.
If you’ve got access to tropical fruits, you can blend the super sweet cherimoya fruit with a banana or two and a few handfuls of cacao nibs for a chocolate-banana smoothie without any added sugar!
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: