Cacao vs. Cocoa – What's the difference?

Saturday, 30 July 2016

When I’ve been watching recipe videos and “What I eat in a day”-videos on YouTube (am I the only one who can watch those for hours and hours and hours?), I’ve noticed that a lot of people use raw cacao instead of cocoa that I’m used to. I got curious and wanted to know what the difference between them was.

The answer is quite simple really. Raw cacao hasn’t been processed in heat like cocoa has. It’s the purest form of chocolate, which means that it has more of its antioxidants, minerals and vitamins left.

Raw cacao is a high source of (to name a few):
- Minerals: magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, copper, manganese and potassium.
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C and E.

I’ve read that cocoa still has got a lot of these minerals and vitamins after its been heated, so it’s still a healthy source. Just make sure to buy pure 100% cocoa and not one with added sugar.

What I’ve noticed since I tried out using raw cacao in my smoothies for example, is that I get more energy out of it when I go out for a run compared to when I make the smoothie with "normal" cocoa. Also, the fact that I know that I’m getting more of the benefits from chocolate by eating it raw makes my mind feel better.

The only downside is that raw cacao is a bit more expensive. Therefore I’ve decided to use raw cacao when making raw things like smoothies, overnight oats or bliss balls. I'm using cocoa in things that needs to be heated up, like hot chocolate or brownies, since the cocoa has already been processed in heat anyway. 


  1. Oh you're so not alone, I love watching 'What I Eat In A Day' videos! I'd make a blog post on that myself if what I ate wasn't so boring.

    I love using raw cacao as well and I think it's a bit more intense than cocoa in flavour too, I love cacao blended with things like bananas and dates and some almond milk in a smoothie combo as well!

    1. I'm sure it's not boring haha!

      Definitely agree, it is a bit more intense. I love using it in my banana chocolate smoothie bowl in the morning!

  2. I love hot chocolate and adding a little cocoa powder to my smoothies =o) Never thought about what kind I used but after reading your post I'm interested in trying out raw cocoa powder, thanks for sharing!

    1. You should definitely try it out in your smoothies just to get that extra bit of good nutrition. It has also got a bit more intense chocolate flavour (and who doesn't want that, right? Haha!) x


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