Cacao nibs have been the craze lately. The name sounds fancy but ‘cacao nibs’ simply means “crushed bits of dried cacao beans”. It’s chocolate in its purest, most nutrient-rich form. <3
Where do Cacao Nibs come from?
The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is native to the upper Amazon region but is now commercially grown around the world for its beans. The major cacao producers are Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ecuador, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, and Brazil—but we grow Cacao in the Philippines, too!
Following the harvest, cacao beans are extracted from their pods, then fermented and dried. Crushing the dried beans gives you raw cacao nibs. Some manufacturers roast the nibs for a richer flavor and aroma.
What does it taste like?
Cacao nibs have an intense dark chocolate flavor. It smells like any gourmet chocolate bar but tastes far more bitter.
The nibs have a unique texture similar to a macadamia nut – crunchy yet tender. The cocoa butter in them gives a wonderful mouth-cooling sensation after each bite.
Raw cacao nibs have a slight tang to them. They are firm but chewy like roasted coffee beans. On the other hand, roasted cacao nibs are crunchier and have a nutty and less bitter flavor.
The taste takes a little getting used to. But if you’re already a chocolate lover, then nibs will be a welcome treat.
Cheapest Cacao Nibs in Cebu
Metro Supermarket: Cacao de Davao – Cacao Nibs 150g – P176 (P117/100g)
- Landers – Superfood Cacao Nibs Sugar coated 227g – P229.75 (P101.21/100g)
- Landers – Mal Roasted Cacao Nibs 250g – P309.75 (P123.91/100g)
- Metro – My Wellness Plain Cacao Nibs 150g – P180 (P120/100g)
Where to Buy Cacao Nibs in Cebu
Cebu has a flourishing cacao industry. So it’s not difficult to find high-quality chocolate products. Some of the local sellers that offer cacao nibs and cacao nib products are:
You may also find cacao nibs at the following supermarkets and specialty stores:
- Metro supermarket at Ayala Cebu
- Rustans at Ayala Cebu
- Healthy Options at Ayala Cebu
- Healthy Options at SM City
- SM Supermarket
- The Chocolate Chamber at Robinson’s Galleria
Cacao Nibs Nutrition
Like most superfoods, cacao nibs contain a chockfull of nutrients. They are the healthiest chocolate product because they are the least processed and contain no sugar.
One ounce (28 grams) of the nibs provides:
- Calories: 175
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Fat: 15 g
- Sugar: 1 g
- Iron: 6% based on Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- Copper: 25%
- Magnesium: 16%
- Phosphorus: 9%
- Manganese: 27%
- Zinc: 6%
Additionally, cacao nibs contain plant compounds like flavonoids, which are known as potent antioxidants. In fact, chocolate products have the highest flavonoid content by weight among all food.
Flavonoids help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Studies show that people whose diets are rich in flavonoids have a lower risk of heart disease, mental decline, and certain cancers.
Cacao consumption can also help control your blood sugar and boost your immune system. That said, overconsumption can have some nasty side effects.
Cacao contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine that, when consumed in excess, can cause anxiety, trouble sleeping or digestive unrest. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as children, are more vulnerable to these effects.
How to Eat Cacao Nibs
Get past the bitter taste—and cacao nibs make for a perfect snack. While you can eat them on their own, why not add them to something you already love? For example, you can sprinkle a teaspoon over your morning oatmeal or late-night bowl of ice cream for some crunch and extra nutrition.
Blend them into smoothies, or use them as chocolate chips substitute for healthier cookies and cakes.
You can even throw some into your favorite pasta or enchilada sauce for a deeper flavor. Every foodie knows a little chocolate adds pizzazz to any tomato-based sauce.
Read this next article: Chia Seeds: Where to buy them in Cebu.