Cocoa Powder is a product of cacao beans. They are removed from pods growing on the trunk of the tree later they are fermented and dried. Chocolate factories roast them, remove the outer hulls and ground the inner nibs for producing chocolate liquor.
Cocoa butter is extracted from the chocolate liquor, leaving a dry paste, that is dried and processed to become unsweetened cocoa powder.
So the answer is Yes! Cocoa powder is a vegan product. Pay attention to the fact that some chocolate drinks like hot chocolate may include dry milk in them but the pure cocoa powder is vegan and doesn’t include any milk or animal product in it.
A blender with food processor attachment is a perfect device for making vegan sweets with cocoa.
Unfortunately, because of cocoa may be processed on the same equipment with products like eggs, milk, nuts, etc., you may see on the back of the product that it may include traces of nuts, milk, etc. Unfortunately, the manufacturing just for vegans is difficult because there are not enough vegans to invest money in this purpose.
So, pay attention to the back of the products. The amount of milk or eggs is insignificant but it’s only up to you to decide whether you choose to consume the product or not.
But if cocoa powder is absolutely vegan, why some Vegan recipes demand carob powder but not cocoa powder then? Carob powder is a great substitute for cocoa if you have a chocolate allergy or want to consume less caffeine.
The carob powder doesn’t contain caffeine and it totally differs from cocoa. At the same time, it greatly deals with chocolate substitutional task even though carob powder does not taste the same way as cocoa powder. Carob powder is made from pods of the Carob tree.
So, if you don’t have an allergy to chocolate and problems with caffeine, there is no difference for you between the cocoa powder and carob powder.
Cacao vs. Cocoa: What You Need to Know
Even though cacao and cocoa sound the same way, each one of them is unique when we talk about nutrition, taste, and cost.
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, it is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. Cacao is the highest source of antioxidants and magnesium.
The cacao tree, aka Theobroma Cacao, produces cacao pods. They are cracked and opened to get cacao beans.
Cacao beans can be processed in many different ways:
- Cacao butter is the fattiest part of the bean and taken from the outer lining of the inside of a cacao bean. It has white color and buttery texture resembling white chocolate. The butter is removed during production and the remaining part is used to get raw cacao powder.
- Cacao nibs are just chopped up into edible pieces cacao beans. They are an alternative to chocolate chips but with no sugars or fats added. The nibs include all the fat, fiber, and nutrients that cacao beans do.
- Cacao paste comes from cacao nibs that are heated slowly to save the nutrients and. The nibs are melted into barks known that are a less-processed form of dark chocolate bars. It is used to cook raw vegan desserts or you may just eat it as a tasty snack!
- Cacao powder includes more calories and fiber than cocoa powder as more nutrients from a whole bean is still intact. Cacao is an excellent source of cholesterol-free saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, vitamins, fiber, minerals, natural carbohydrates, and protein.
Cocoa powder was revolutionary when it was invented – we wouldn’t have chocolate as we know it.
Cocoa means the heated form of cacao. This is the most common form of cacao in the form of powder. It is still very good for you and much less expensive. Cocoa powder is produced similarly to cacao but undergoes a higher heat level while processing.
Nevertheless, it is still rich in antioxidants and great for your skin, heart, blood pressure, and even stress levels. It’s better to buy just plain cocoa powder. As a rule, mixes contain sugar or milk.
The best decision is Dutch-processed cocoa powder that has been processed with an alkalized solution. This way makes the powder less acidic and much better in taste.
If you wish more nutrients, it’s better to choose cacao. If you wish fewer calories and a decent source of antioxidants, then look for cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder can also be an alternative for unsweetened chocolate in many recipes – just mix 3 tbsp of cocoa powder with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Or you can use cocoa like any other spice and add it to dishes such as casseroles, salad dressings, roasted vegetables or soups for an exotic, almost smoky taste.
Vegan Сocoa Recipe
The colder the weather outside, the more you want something warming. Now I will show how to make a tasty, sweet and warming drink for vegans. It’s cocoa, which both adults and children will love so much.
- Water – 200 ml
- Nut milk – 50 ml
- Banana – 1
- Cocoa nibs – 2 tbsp
- Chicory – 1 tbsp
- Coconut sugar – tbsp
You will need:
- Put banana, chicory, cocoa, and coconut sugar to the blender
- Add nut milk ( or coconut/almond) and hot water.
- Blend all ingredients thoroughly until smooth.
- Chocolate drink is ready!
Enjoy your meal!
Check the video below to get one more amazing recipe!