Cocoa Beans: useful properties and recipes
Cocoa is a wonderful and everyone's favorite drink. It was first prepared several thousand years ago and still has not lost its popularity.
- Where cacao beans grow and what they look like
- How cocoa beans differ from coffee beans
- Composition and Calories
- What are the benefits of cocoa beans
- For Women
- For Men
- For Children
- For weight loss
- Cocoa bean oil: properties and uses
- Cocoa bean husks application
- How to peel cocoa beans from the husks
- Cocoa Beans in Traditional Medicine
- Harm and contraindications
- How to choose and store cocoa beans
- How to eat cocoa beans
- Can I Eat them Raw
- What to make with cocoa beans: Recipes
- Meat sauce
- healthy dessert
- How to roast cocoa beans
- Interesting facts about cocoa
Where Cocoa Beans Grow and What they Look Like
The chocolate tree, where cocoa beans grow, was discovered in ancient times by the people of Peru. People were so fascinated by its magical flavor that they named it "theobroma. This means "food of the gods".
The chocolate tree reaches a height of 20 meters. However, today the average height is about 8 meters. This is the height that experts have considered optimal for care and fruitfulness.
Cacao is a beautiful evergreen plant with large, dense and oblong leaves up to 15 centimeters in size. The flower of the chocolate tree, on the other hand, is small - no more than 1.5 centimeters. It has a whimsical shape and bright orange or purple color, somewhat reminiscent of orchids or physalis. Curiously enough, these flowers do not smell like chocolate at all. They have a sweet and spicy aroma similar to freshly baked gingerbread.
The cacao bean is very large, up to 35 cm long and 13 cm wide. The bean is shaped like a lemon or elongated pumpkin. Each bean contains approximately 70 seeds, each about two centimeters in size, which are used in various dishes and spices.
Although it was Peruvians who first tasted the beautiful fruit of the chocolate tree, it is considered to be native to the forests of Central America. It is on this continent that the climate is optimal for the growth of cocoa beans. In addition to these two countries, cocoa trees have historically grown in Spain, Australia, Switzerland, India, and some countries in Africa. They differ somewhat in appearance and taste.
Today, the main suppliers of cocoa to the market are Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, and Brazil.
- Forastero (which means "stranger" in Spanish) is the most common variety of cocoa bean on the consumer market. It is characterized by high yields and is tolerant of climatic and weather changes, so it can grow in almost any area. Forastero beans have a dark mustard color, are very dense and have no pronounced aroma. They need a long and thorough fermentation.
- Criollo (Spanish for "native") is a noble and expensive cocoa variety. The yield of trees of this species is almost one and a half times lower than that of the Forastero variety. Climate and temperature have a great influence on the quality of the beans. For example, in excessive heat and lack of moisture, they become bitter, while in excess, the structure of the beans becomes liquid and oily. A sharp cold can kill the tree once and for all. The color of Criollo fruits is dark red, brownish. Have a strong nutty-chocolate flavor. It grows mainly in Central America and Indonesia.
- Amelonado is a rare cacao species that grows in Africa. It is very similar in taste and appearance to Criollo. Its fruits are slightly smaller than those of the other varieties. The color of the bean is orange-red and it has a distinct spicy flavor. The peculiarity of this variety is that it can be stored for quite a long time without losing its properties.
What is the difference between cocoa beans and coffee beans
Coffee and cocoa are indeed very similar drinks. Both have invigorating properties due to the chemical substance they contain, caffeine. It dilates blood vessels and increases blood pressure, thereby increasing blood circulation in the tissues and the brain. However, cocoa has a milder effect on the body, because in addition to caffeine, it contains theobromine, a substance with similar properties. Therefore, even people with neurological and cardiovascular diseases can afford to enjoy cocoa.
Coffee and cocoa are similar in taste, both are dark brown in color. However, their composition is completely different. Coffee is ground coffee beans and cacao is ground cocoa beans. They are the fruit of evergreen plants, often even growing in the same area.
Unlike coffee beans, cocoa beans contain a fair amount of fat, which makes them more caloric and nutritious. The fruit of the chocolate tree is also high in vitamins A, E, and folic acid.
Compared to cacao fruit, coffee beans are small and rarely reach more than 2 centimeters in length. Like a cherry, the coffee bean is encased in a berry. They do not grow singly, but in bunches of 30-50 pieces, and have different colors - from burgundy brown to light green.
Composition and calories
Cocoa beans are a very tasty healthy product. They contain 530 kcal, a number so high mainly because of the oil content of the cocoa beans. As much as 53 grams per 100 grams of beans! But do not worry about the figure - it is mostly unsaturated fatty acids, which have antioxidant and rejuvenating effect.
By the way, ground cocoa, which is used to make drinks, has a much lower nutritional value due to non-fatting during fermentation.
The cocoa bean is high in protein, about 13 g per 100 g, which is very important for health-conscious people. Carbohydrates in beans are 10 g per 100 g, but most of them are vitamins and sugars of natural origin, which nourish tissues but do not contribute to weight gain.
Cocoa beans contain many vitamins. First of all, they are A and E, which promote cell regeneration and normalize the condition of blood vessels. In large quantities included in the composition of the fruit of the chocolate tree and vitamin K, which regulates blood clotting, hematopoiesis and metabolism. Folic acid contained in cocoa normalizes the nervous system and improves immunity.
Of micronutrients, cocoa beans contain phosphorus and calcium, which improve the condition of bones and teeth. In ancient times, people noticed this and used ground cocoa as tooth powder. The product also contains iron, zinc and magnesium, which improve the contraction of blood vessels and the overall condition of the body's circulatory system. And selenium and copper contribute to fast and problem-free conception and generally have a beneficial effect on the female reproductive system.
What are the benefits of cocoa beans
Every woman wants to be beautiful and enchanting. It is not unimportant to have beautiful and soft skin. Cocoa butter, extracted from cocoa beans, stimulates cell regeneration and moisturizes the skin. It can easily replace hand and face cream. And, of course, it is hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly.
Cocoa in the morning promotes a healthy complexion, thanks to it tans more even and quickly. Of course, you should not be too strenuous with the drink, because it promotes high blood pressure.
By the way, as a rule, cocoa is consumed together with milk and sugar. This is not quite right. After all, beans already contain quite a lot of carbohydrates and fats. Traditionally, this drink is consumed with hot peppers and brewed with hot water. But if you can't refuse the usual taste, it is better to replace cow's milk with oat milk or almond milk and sugar with stevia or honey.
Zinc, which is contained in the fruit of the chocolate tree, has a positive effect on the male reproductive system. It stimulates the production of the hormone testosterone, thereby increasing potency and sperm vitality. Future fathers are recommended to consume a cup of cocoa every day for a successful conception.
Cocoa can also help professional athletes. It is high in protein and muscle growth and the caffeine will give them strength. Unlike coffee, cocoa does not increase the heart rate and the naturally occurring carbohydrates in the drink will give strength for the workout.
There is a well-known prejudice that pregnant women should not drink cocoa. However, this is not entirely true. Cocoa is no more harmful to the mother than black tea. The natural fruit of the chocolate tree contributes to the normal formation of the neural tube in the fetus, as well as the heart and internal organs. The invigorating drink also contains magnesium - a trace element that normalizes the tone of the uterus and prevents miscarriage. And most importantly, cocoa is a wonderful way to raise the spirits of a pregnant woman, and a happy mother is the main condition for the health of the baby!
Of course, it is important to know the limit to everything. It is not recommended to drink more than 1 cup of cocoa a day. Also, the drink is contraindicated to future mothers with edema and high blood pressure.
Cocoa is quite an allergenic product, so it should not be consumed in the first 4-6 weeks after the birth of the baby. After that, you can try to drink half a cup of the drink and watch the baby's reaction throughout the day. If all is well, the young mother is allowed to drink 1-2 cups of cocoa a day. It is desirable to do it in the morning before 12 o'clock in the afternoon, so that the invigorating components of cocoa do not interfere with the baby's sleep. If your baby gets a rash or disturbed stool - it is better to exclude the drink for at least 1 month.
In order not to cause allergies in a child, the main thing is to drink natural, not instant cocoa. The fact is that when grinding often fall into various impurities, negatively affecting the body. Sometimes they are the cause of allergic reactions in a person.
Cocoa is an important product for baby food. It is not only healthy, but also very tasty. Chocolate, cocoa, chocolate cakes and muffins - all of which children eat with great pleasure.
The fruit of the chocolate tree contains substances that help the brain develop. It has been observed that children who drink cocoa in the morning do better in school and make better progress.
One cup of natural cocoa may be consumed from the age of 2 to 3 years. It is not desirable to give a child until the age of 7 years to give it with a lot of sugar. You should try to buy chocolate with at least 50% cocoa content, and better yet - make it yourself at home.
For weight loss
For a girl who wants to lose weight, cocoa is the number one product. Firstly, it stimulates the metabolism and thereby increases the burning of calories, secondly, it gives strength for exercise and improves the cardiovascular system, and thirdly, it reduces the appetite and discourages cravings for fat and sweets. When properly consumed with the help of cocoa beans, you can lose up to 5 kilograms in a month.
Cocoa-based diet: 100 grams of sugar-free homemade chocolate (with stevia or other sweetener), one apple, two cups of cocoa with oat milk and unlimited water are allowed per day. You can stick to this diet for up to 5 days. During this period you can lose up to 8 kilograms.
By the way, cocoa butter helps to eliminate cellulite. To do this, it is necessary to apply it to the problem areas with massage movements every evening.
Cocoa bean oil: properties and application
Cocoa bean oil is one of the most important products in the beauty industry and folk medicine. Due to the large amount of vitamins A, E and K, as well as fatty acids, it has miraculous properties in skin regeneration. Regular use of this product promotes healing of scars, scars, burns, acne marks.
In addition, cocoa butter helps to soften corns, calluses and hard formations on the skin - heels will be like a baby after just 5 uses of the miracle product. It is desirable to apply it at night and put on top of cotton socks.
With the problem of baldness to date face both women and men. The loss of hair has a terrible impact on the appearance and self-esteem. Cocoa butter can beat hair loss and improve the density of the hair. It is necessary to apply it every 2-3 days at night, and in the morning wash it off with shampoo. This product is suitable for all hair types.
To avoid tearing during childbirth, many gynecologists recommend lubricating the perineum with cocoa butter from the 32nd week of pregnancy. This remedy is absolutely safe for both the mother and the unborn child.
The use of cocoa bean husks
Cocoa bean husks, or cocoa hulls, are a byproduct left over from the processing of the fruit of the chocolate tree. However, it also has quite a wide range of uses and is of great benefit to people.
- It is an excellent compost and fertilizer. Cocoa hulls are widely used in agriculture. They are used to cover plants in order to keep moisture in the soil and improve soil properties, as well as to protect the fruit from pests and weeds. Used to grow strawberries, yams, various shrubs.
- Animal bedding. Cocoa velva is used in the aviaries of akhatin snails, turtles, spiders, hamsters and some other animals. It perfectly absorbs odor and moisture, is hypoallergenic and inexpensive.
- Filler for pillows and mattresses. This use of husks is not very common, but still has a place. Bedding filled with cocoa-velle has orthopedic properties, smells good and is environmentally friendly. The disadvantage of such use is that there is a lot of dust from cocoa husks, so it is necessary to use quality material for the products. The second disadvantage can be called short-lived - unlike artificial fillers, cocoa husks do not last more than five years.
How to peel cocoa beans from the husks
In the industry, the fruit of the chocolate tree is peeled with a special machine. To clean the beans at home, you need to soak them in warm water with baking soda for several hours. After the water procedures, the husks will easily come off the beans, and you can consume the product as intended.
The second way to clean the cacao fruit is to roast it. It is necessary to place the beans in the oven for 40 minutes at maximum temperature. After that, the husks will peel off quite easily.
Cocoa beans in folk medicine
- Candles for thrush. Melt a glass of cocoa butter on a water bath, add 15 drops of tea tree essential oil and 5 drops of cedar oil, mix, remove from the fire. Add half a glass of broth of onion husks, stir again, pour it into the blisters of pills and place in the freezer. Take out after two hours, then store in the refrigerator. Use vaginally before going to bed with 1-2 suppositories a day. The effect of use will manifest itself on the 3rd-4th day.
- Mix a tablespoon of grated cocoa beans and a tablespoon of oak bark. Boil with boiling water. Take 1 cup in the morning from low blood pressure, vascular dystonia and headaches.
- One tablespoonful of tea rose petals in a glass of hot water. Wait 15 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of ground cocoa. Take during the day to stimulate ovulation from 1 to 15 days of the cycle. After that, stop taking it. If conception has not occurred, apply again from the first day of menstruation.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cocoa with 1 teaspoon of ginseng root and 3 juniper berries. Boil 500 ml of boiling water. Take 2 cups in the morning and evening to treat male infertility, urolithiasis and prostatitis.
- Half a cup of cocoa powder mixed with the same amount of sea salt, add two tablespoons of melted cocoa butter and essential oils as desired. The mixture should be thoroughly mixed. The resulting scrub should be rubbed into problem areas with cellulite, horny skin and orange peel for 10 minutes. After the procedure, rinse with warm water.
- Mix half a cup of grated horseradish with a cup of cocoa and a tablespoon of honey. For the treatment of muscle pain and osteochondrosis, apply the mixture to the sore spot, covering it with a bag or food film for 20-30 minutes. This mixture improves blood circulation and also helps to remove harmful salts from the joints.
- Mix a tablespoon of mustard, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Rub into hair roots for baldness and slow hair growth.
- Grated cocoa beans and rosehip pour cold water. Boil for 15 minutes after boiling on low heat. Use as a natural immunomodulator for the treatment and prevention of colds and infectious diseases, as well as headaches.
- Mix cocoa powder with melted cocoa butter in equal proportions. Rub on vitiligo spots to normalize metabolic processes in the skin.
- Half a cup of grated cocoa beans pour half a liter of vodka. Insist in a dark place for a week, and then strain. Use to combat skin inflammations or as a tonic for oily skin types.
Harms and contraindications
Cocoa very often comes from undeveloped countries, where they are harvested and made under unsanitary conditions. To be sure of the quality of the product, it is better to buy whole cocoa beans rather than powder. It is advisable to soak them in water and baking soda before using them. This will definitely wash away all the dirt and also help to clean the fruit.
It is contraindicated to use cocoa beans if you are allergic to this product, hypertension in the acute stage, mental illness (paranoia and schizophrenia), severe infections (diphtheria, typhoid, etc.), parasites in the gastrointestinal tract, hyper- and hypothyroidism, diabetes, and children under 2 years old.
How to choose and store cocoa beans
Choosing the "right" cocoa beans is very important, because the taste and quality of future dishes depends on it. It is necessary to pay attention to such nuances:
- Smell. The fruit of the chocolate tree smells sweet, spicy, nuts or chocolate. If a bitter smell of mushrooms or mold is felt, you should not buy the beans.
- Rind. It should be dry, of the same color, without obvious flecks.
- Country of origin. If you have a choice, it is better to prefer beans from Indonesia or Malaysia.
Store the cocoa beans in a dry, dark place at a temperature of no more than 25 degrees. It is advisable to wrap them in a clean cotton cloth. It is best to use the fruit of the chocolate tree within a month after purchase.
How to eat cocoa beans
You can eat cocoa beans in the form of chocolate, a drink, and as part of a variety of other dishes.
You can eat them raw.
The fruit of the chocolate tree can be eaten raw, but no more than 100 grams a day, so as not to cause stomach pain. Without cooking they are bitter and too hard. Some people break off a piece of raw beans and mash them up like candy. This helps beat hunger and headaches.
Recipes for making cocoa beans
Place the grated cocoa beans and cocoa butter in the ratio of 6:1 in a prepared heat-resistant glass container. Heat in a water bath until dissolved. Add salt, sugar, stevia, honey, berries, nuts, cinnamon, ginger and other spices to taste. Remove from heat and pour into molds. Place in fridge for a few hours.
Recipe 1. Melt 2 tablespoons of grated cocoa beans, add 2 cups of milk, stir and remove from heat. Whisk 1 egg yolk with sugar and add to the drink.
Recipe 2. Put 1 tablespoon of grated cocoa and 1 teaspoon of coffee into a turkey. Boil for 10 minutes as usual, serve with cream and cinnamon.
Recipe 3. In a clay pot for baking, put 1 tablespoon grated cocoa, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons sugar and pour water to half of the container. Place in the preheated oven for an hour, then take out, quickly fill the pot with cream and place for another 15 minutes.
Mix half a cup of cocoa, a tablespoon of mustard, a pinch of red pepper, a tablespoon of honey and a glass of orange juice. Put chicken or pork meat in the mixture for two to three hours. Then drain the liquid, rub with salt and wait another 40 minutes. Meat in this marinade is great for roasting and baking.
Beat 1 cup of flour, half a cup of cocoa powder, a tablespoon of sugar, 2 eggs and a cup of water with a mixer. Add baking soda by the tip of a knife and put out with lemon juice. Let the batter stand for half an hour and fry the pancakes in butter.
Fry onion, carrot, bell bell pepper until soft. Add a glass of meat broth, half a glass of grated cocoa beans. Reduce heat to low, stirring constantly. Taste and season with salt, black and red pepper, and any remaining seasonings. Serve with beef, chicken or turkey.
Prepare homemade sugar-free chocolate, cut into cubes. Add broccoli, smoked chicken breast, bell peppers, lettuce, olives. Dress with mayonnaise or sesame sauce.
Melt grated cocoa beans in a water bath, add stevia and a glass of cream. Mix with a mixer until stiff and frothy. Add soaked agar-agar. Whisk again. Place in fridge for an hour. This cake will be low calorie and very tasty.
How to roast cocoa beans
It is advisable to roast the fruit of the chocolate tree before making cocoa powder and drinks. There are several ways to do this:
- Place whole cocoa beans or pieces of fruit on a baking tray sprinkled with salt, place in an oven heated to 140 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 100 degrees and hold for another half hour. Throughout the roasting process, stir every 10 minutes.
- Put the chocolate tree fruit in the dehydrator, turn on the maximum temperature and leave for 5-6 hours. Processing in this way leaves the cocoa bean more healthy.
Interesting facts about cocoa
- In ancient Mexico, the Aztecs used cocoa beans instead of money. They valued the product and considered it a gift from the gods. One slave was worth 100 fruits and a turkey was worth 10.
- In Catholic Europe, cocoa was forbidden for a long time. The priesthood of the time considered the drink demonic and condemned its use on a par with heresy and witchcraft. People believed that an ordinary drink could ruin the skin of babies, give rise to terrible diseases and make a person go into the devil's web. Cocoa was only used secretly, and in Spain the drink was served only to the table of the king and the most noble dignitaries. The ban was lifted by the Pope, who accidentally tasted it. He found it unpalatable and saw nothing wrong with its use.
- Cocoa tastes better if served in a thick-walled clay cup.
- The product does not cause yellowing of the teeth. On the contrary, it strengthens the enamel due to the calcium and phosphorus it contains. In the past, grated cocoa was used instead of toothpaste.
- Cocoa can help you fall in love. This drink causes the release of serotonin and endorphin, the hormones responsible for happiness. They induce a feeling of elation and serenity and help you look at the world with different eyes.
- The movie "Chocolate" with Johnny Depp tells the legend of the magical and mystical properties of cocoa and helps all the characters to find their destiny and happiness.
- The Mayan tribes used chocolate for ritual ceremonies. When a nobleman was buried, a jar of cocoa was placed next to the deceased.
- Christopher Columbus discovered cocoa beans during his travels, but he did not appreciate them. The scholar and discoverer mistook the fruit of the chocolate tree for spoiled almonds and saw no point in bringing them back home.
- The word "xocolatl" (chocolate) means "bitter water" in Mayan. Indeed, the traditional drink of this tribe was bitter, because they served it with chili peppers and salt.
- Cocoa beans were first brought to Europe by the Spanish, who collected them as a tax from their colonies. They were not popular at first and only became widely sought after by the end of the 18th century.
«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only purposes only. Before applying any recommendations, please consult with a specialized specialist before applying any recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."