Cacao beans and nibs have a long and colorful history, beginning in Central and South America before 1500 BC. The entire cacao fruit was used medicinally by the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec civilizations.
These early American peoples also enjoyed consuming chocolate as a beverage; each culture adding its own mix of spices and flavorings to the drink. After the Spanish conquest in the 1500’s, cacao made its way to Europe and began to spread worldwide.
Cacao is sometimes found in extract form. Cacao beans and nibs contain a number of beneficial constituents, but many of these constituents are destroyed or lessened when processed. Health practitioners recommend that anyone interested in eating cacao for its health benefits use raw, unprocessed cacao beans and nibs rather than processed chocolate.
You can eat them as is- (high in anti-oxidants) or you can crush them into Nibs to use in banana breads, yogurts, smoothies or you can grind them up into powder to make the freshest cocoa you have ever tried. You can use this in any recipe calling for unsweetened cocoa or use to make Cocoa Tea.