Friday, November 29, 2013

How To Make Your Own Cacao Powder

We grind our own fresh cacao powder, as we need it, from whole raw cacao beans. Much like coffee beans, cacao will be at peak flavor right after grinding. And like grains and other seeds, nutrition deterioration begins as soon as they are ground. 


whole cacao

The whole raw cacao beans keep much better than pre-ground powder, and store for a long time in a cool, dark place. When I want cacao for a recipe, I simply use my coffee grinder to blend up the amount I need.  


fresh cacao powder
The grind I make may not be as fine as storebought, but I would say the quality, nutrition, and freshness make up for it!
I do grind coffee in the same mill, and am never bothered by any coffee flavor in my chocolate or chocolate flavor in my coffee. They go pretty well together, and any small residue from sharing the equipment hardly matters. 

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How To Make Your Own Cacao Powder
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33 comments

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December 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Thx for sharing on Natural Living Monday. I've never ground my own cocoa beans, and would like to learn more about how to use it after it is ground.

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December 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Great idea! Where to you buy your cacao beans?

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December 2, 2013 at 10:49 PM

I get them from Azure Standard.

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December 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I use cacao powder in place of cocoa in raw desserts, like truffles, and in smoothies and ice creams! It's much like cocoa in flavor, but has more nutrition because it's less processed.

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December 3, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Wonderfully easy! We shared with our FB readers at homesteadlady.com.

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December 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

If you're a hard-core raw foodie, this idea wouldn't be for you, but... I've heard that you can stir the raw nibs in a hot pan until slightly toasty, then grind them. They say it really brings out the flavor too. I hope to try this idea soon, as the nibs I've ground so far haven't been so fine. Like you say, a bit coarse.

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December 4, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Wow, never thought of doing this! Pinned:)

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December 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Hi I got a lot of cacao beans in Brazil but the thought of peeling them individually seemed daunting1 Do you grind them with the skin on? I will try to do that and see if they do not get too bitter!

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December 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Great idea! I bet it tastes wonderful. I use my coffee grinder for all sorts of things - cardamom, chipotle, you name it. I can imagine that chocolate tailings are pretty great in the coffee!

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December 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Do yours look like the ones in the picture above? There is nothing to peel. The skin is thinner than an almond's skin, and it grinds up fine (though maybe my cacao powder would be less coarse if that thin layer could somehow be removed). But if yours do look like mine, I don't think they actually need to be peeled, and that sounds like a lot of hassle!

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December 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Hi Mellow,
What an interesting process, I would love to try this. Hope you are staying warm and cozy in this cold weather and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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December 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Love this! So smart. Thank you for sharing with us on AFW!

Be Well,
--Amber

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December 10, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I am loving learing how to make everything from scratch! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you will be able to join us again this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2013/12/try-new-recipe-tuesday-december-10.html

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December 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Azure Standard...I need to check it out. What a great idea. I love your tips and am so glad that you share them at Raw Foods Thursdays!

Heather

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December 12, 2013 at 4:11 AM

Oh my, I do love the sound of fresh cocoa powder. I don't think I'd mind the coarseness one bit. Thank you for sharing your experiment with cocoa beans.

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December 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

This is interesting. I have never really thought about this. Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Meals Friday.

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December 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Wow, that's awesome. I'm too lazy for this but if you're ever in need of someone to share yours with, feel free to send it my way! Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat link party!

Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

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December 16, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Hello, I found your site through the HomeAcre Hop! I never thought of buying them whole. That is genius! Thanks for the great tip. :)

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December 18, 2013 at 4:07 AM

Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday! I bought my raw cacao powder from Azure but will order the beans next time and grind. :)

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January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

I have cacao nibs. I can just grind them up...right?

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January 31, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Yes! Nibs are simply broken bits of cacao beans. You can grind them the rest of the way for fresh cacao powder :)

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Anonymous
February 18, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Hi, thanks for your post, it's exactly what I wanted to hear...
My question is, have you used it for baking, or making raw chocolate? I'd just like to know if it acts differently, since I'm guessing it's more moist than commercial cacao powder.
Thanks :)
(I had to post as Anonymous because blogger keeps asking for my full name... But if you could reply to celflo@hotmail.co.uk that would be lovely.)

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March 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM

It might be more moist than a commercially made powder, for sure. I haven't found that I need to use it any differently than normal cocoa or cacao powder, though, but I do tend to avoid overly fussy recipes. For a chocolate souffle, you may want to stick with the baking cocoa.

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Anonymous
May 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Tnx for the informative post. I bought unsweetened dark chocolate bar at the grocers thinking it was unprocessed but now I feel stupid. I should have researched raw chocolate. The chocolate ingredient bar only states "unsweetened chocolate" but how can it be so smooth and pressed into bars if something wasn't added...?

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September 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

I have researched this and the following quotation will explain why you get a different consistency than bought cacao powder. While unprocessed foods are healthier for you, I have to wonder what the milled cacao bean tastes like. Is it bitter? I just use raw cacao powder for now.

"You don't get cacao powder from simply grinding cacao beans -- there is an extensive chain of events from pod to powder. Cacao beans are in large pods when they are harvested. The pods are split open and then allowed to ferment to mellow the natural bitterness of the cacao beans. Cacao beans are then roasted and hulled to uncover the cacao nibs. Nibs are ground into a thin paste, referred to as chocolate liquor. The liquor is then pressed to squeeze out the cacao butter and leave the cacao solids. The cacao solids are pressed again, dried and then ground into cacao powder."

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May 7, 2015 at 11:37 AM

No offense, but this is not cocoa powder. This is a step away from chocolate liqueur. To make cocoa powder you must extract the majority of cocoa butter. Cocoa beans are roughly 52% cocoa fat/butter. When you remove most of the cocoa butter, you have a solid that you can then grind into powder. There are some small scale machines that do this, but you are still looking at a minimum $250 machine to extract the butter. Then you can use your coffee grinder, but the powder is nothing close to the fineness you will get at the store.

At least, that's what we do, at our tiny chocolate factory. :-)

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Anonymous
July 2, 2015 at 6:59 AM

cacao powder, not cocoa. the lack of high heat makes the difference. crazy little switch of vowels.

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July 10, 2015 at 6:30 PM

Sounds like you know your stuff! But my article is about cacao powder, a raw, whole food made from ground cacao beans, not processed cocoa.
And you're right, the fineness in a home grinder is nothing like what you can buy! But it's fresh, and I believe that adds to the flavor and nutrient profile.

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Anonymous
July 16, 2015 at 5:49 AM

Many a times, I use fistful coco or cacao beans for the recipes to make it immediate and fresh. Just roasting beans for 5-10 mins will gain good flavour and crisp in nature. Grinding is good even in mixer cum grinder jars. Roasting removes bit bitterness. While fermenting beans, there will be various fungi elements. That may be removed in roasting. Its my view. Is it ok

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July 19, 2015 at 8:09 AM

Ooh, I've never thought of roasting my own cacao. I love that idea, thanks! :D

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Anonymous
April 6, 2016 at 7:05 AM

Just making claims up, without doing any research to validate them, is usually not a good idea. In actuality cocoa powder has a much longer shelf life than cacao nibs/beans, because most of the fat is removed from the former. When you grind up cacao beans/beans you are dramatically reducing the shelf life even further. And the product will tend to cause problems in recipes designed for cocao powder.

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April 8, 2016 at 7:51 AM

Interesting! I had not realized that cacao and cocoa were defatted, but that makes sense. All the more reason to grind your own fresh, keeping it a whole food. There is no concern for shelf life when you are grinding beans for use in an immediate recipe :)

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September 27, 2017 at 10:45 AM

It is a good alternative to sugar and is best for diabetics patient. It is sweet but not too sweet. It has healthy nutrients which are fresh and good for you.
Sugar free cocoa powder

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