After a few days of cabin fever, we’ve settled back into the normal routine here in the DMV. It’s February, a week after the blizzard, and the snow is almost completely melted. The sun was shining today, and my package filled with Terrasoul Superfood goodies arrived in the mail! I did a lot of reading while stuck indoors for 4 days and decided to put away my Hershey Special Dark Cocoa Powder to try Raw Cacao Powder. It’s a less processed food source, and has a delicate, but still complex, deep chocolate flavor. Unlike Hershey’s cocoa powder, it’s light and not overwhelming in a smoothie. I’m sure I’ll come back to the decadent stuff when I’m looking for a dark chocolate fix, but for now I’ll enjoy experimenting with the healthier, purer version.
According to I Quit Sugar’s article on the difference between the two:
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter).
Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.
The other ingredient I purchased to experiment with is Gelatinized Maca Powder. In researching this Peruvian grain, I read that it’s best to purchase it in the gelatinized form, a process that strips the root of its starch, which is difficult for some people to digest (don’t worry, it is gluten free). I was concerned that this form might not be vegetarian, since gelatinized sounds like a process that would include gelatin (an animal product), but I was happy to learn that is not the case at all! Here’s a quick overview of the various forms of Maca and their benefits from The Maca Team. There is a whole lot of information out there on the health benefits of Maca, WebMD states that:
Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch.
It’s boasted benefits include improved skin, promoting balanced mood, improved women’s health, easing of depression and anxiety, along with increased energy and sex drive. It also is said to improve endocrine regulation, and contains a whole host of vitamins.
Anyway, onto the recipe now. I decided to go with what I had on hand and added in some of my new superfood powders. This smoothie is delicious, you get a nutty chocolate flavor, and no taste of avocado at all. All the subtle flavors come across and it satisfies a sweet craving at breakfast time.
Maca Cherry Berry Raw Cacao Smoothie
- 1/4 avocado
- 4-8 pieces frozen banana
- 2/3 cup frozen cherries
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/3 – 2/3 cup water
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 3 tsp raw cacao powder
- Add all ingredients to smoothie, blend on high until desired smoothie consistency is reached.
- Makes 1 and a half smoothie.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a medical profession. Please seek the advice of a medical professional before adding any new foods or supplements to your diet. The above information about health benefits of certain foods was found by conducting preliminary research into media coverage, general health information sources, and company product information for raw cacao powder and maca powder, and therefore cannot be viewed as comprehensive or conclusive information. I’m providing links as a general introduction to the topic, and as a brief overview, or starting point for your research into these superfoods.