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Organic Cacao Beans

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Description

Sacred amongst the Mayans and Aztecs, these cacao beans are bursting full of antioxidants.

Originating from the tropics of South America, these organic cacao beans are most commonly used as the raw base for chocolate manufacture. Cacao beans have been used for centuries by the Mayans in ancient ceremonies – partly because it is seen as the ‘Food of the Gods’ due to its active ingredient theobromine, which when translated, means exactly that phrase.

Organic Cacao Beans contain a wide range of antioxidants; containing 3 times the amount that green tea contains! Cacao beans are normally one of three varieties – Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. Our cacao beans are of the Criollo variety; the type that is most widely used to make luxury chocolate, and makes up less than 3% of the world’s cacao harvest. This high quality bean is exceptionally aromatic but lacks the bitterness that some other cacao beans have.

The Theobroma cacao tree thrives in warm, equatorial climates, with trees growing as tall as 12 to 15 meters in the wild. Cacao farmers tend to stunt the tree’s growth to around 4 to 8 meters to help with the harvesting procedure.

These cacao beans can be used in a variety of ways and one of our favourite ways is to make Mayan Hot Chocolate. To do this, first the beans need to be roasted, which is simple and smells delicious! Pop the beans into a heated pan or skillet on medium to high heat without any oil and stir them until the shells look toasted and the beans have stopped popping. Allow the beans to cool for a couple of minutes then peel off the toasted outer layer (do not throw this away as it makes for lovely cacao tea when steeped in hot water!). Once peeled, the beans need to be ground into a paste before then mixed with water. This can then be drunk on its own, though we recommend adding some cinnamon or vanilla in there for a delightfully warming drink. Add a dash of some unrefined cane sugar, and you’ll have yourself a delicious hot chocolate.

If you are a fan of cacao, try our cacao nibs or powder. Chocolate fans will love our milk chocolate peanuts and dark chocolate raisins, or for a mix of sweet and savoury, try our cacao crunch trail mix!

Ingredients: Organic Cacao Beans (Criollo variety)

Origin: Ecuador

Allergen Information: Packed on premises that handle gluten, tree nuts, sesame, soya, peanuts and milk.

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Nutritional Information

Typical Nutrient Values: Amount per 100g:
Energy 2231kj/542kcal
Fat 46.0g
of which saturates 29.0g
Carbohydrate 4.7g
of which sugars 1.2g
Fibre 27.0g
Protein 13.0g
Salt n/a
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Cooking Instructions

To roast the beans, simply pop them in a pre-heated skillet or pan with no oil until the outer shell looks toasted and the beans have finished popping. Leave the beans to cool for a few minutes, then peel off the outer, toasted shell.

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Storage

For optimum freshness keep in a cool place away from moisture and direct sunlight.  Store in a tightly sealed bag or container.

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Family Tip

  1. Grind up the cacao beans once roasted to make a paste that can then be used to make delicious Mayan Hot Chocolate.
  2. Alternatively, use the paste to make cacao butter! Simply take the paste and strain through a cheesecloth. You will end up with creamy cacao butter that is perfect not only for making chocolate, but also to make at-home skin lotions and ointments.