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Cocoa shelf life/storage, toxicity, and health benefits if sugar added, . . .

by (3280)
Updated September 29, 2014 at 3:55 AM
Created April 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I purchased an 8oz box of Cocoa: ingredients cocoa powder dutch processed with alkakli.

I got it to add to my raw milk. I've never much liked plain milk but wanted to experience the pro-ported health benefits raw milk and cocoa.

The clerk warned me that it's very bitter, and to make sure to add plenty of sugar.

Questions:

  1. If I add sugar, am I un-doing the benefits? (I supposed a little won't be terrible, but just don't add a lot)

  2. Once I open the package, how quickly must I finish it? (Should I put it in an air-tight container? Should I store it in the fridge, or will moisture be bad?)

  3. I saw a thread here asking if raw Cocoa is toxic, making the argument that animals won't eat it, therefore it is bad. Firstly, is is considered raw if it's dutch processed? Is this a good thing to eat or a bad thing to eat?

As a side note, I enjoy 72% dark choc bar so I'm not one who only likes chocolate if it's 10% and smothered in milk and sugar.

Any tips and advice for this newbie cocoa paleo peep would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

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2626 · April 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Agreed! Over time I've pushed my tolerance to the point where 88% cacao chocolate tastes normal and 72% is a treat for my sweet tooth. At that point it's barely even an indulgence.

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401 · April 14, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Mike, cocoa mixes terribly when milk is cold and fantastically when milk is hot. I never wanted to heat my milk too much, but there is just no way to keep cocoa from clumping when it's not in something warm!

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343 · April 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Meant to say, the berries are needed for a bit of moisture - it can be quite thick and 'claggy' otherwise. Less so if it's carrots or beets you're using.

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343 · April 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM

A lovely 'dessert' recipe that doesn't involve sugar is to steam some sweet potato and blitz it in a blender with cocoa powder and some berries and chopped nuts. It's like the gooiest brownie you'll ever eat, really satisfying and sugar free. I used to be a CRAZY sugar addict so I'm always on the lookout for such recipes! Beets and carrots work well, too.

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3280 · April 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I just opened the box (surprised it wasn't in a plastic bag inside. That doesn't seem air-tight at all. Hmm. And, it doesn't spoon mix well with the milk at work. Had I tossed it in my vitamix with a smoothie, it would have been great. I did have to shovel lots of sugar to make it palatable. I will experiment with more precision at home, and decrease the sugar each time. I probably won't use sugar anyway, but rather banana and other fruit in a smoothie context.

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7380 · April 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

No. Most commercially chocolate bars for the general public don't say the cocoa butter amount, but generalyl if it's in the first three ingredients, you're okay. If it lists an oil instead of cocoa butter, I don't even consider it chocolate. The percent of cocoa just generally is meant to assure that it's dark chocolate. For a good quality, high cocoa butter dark, look in baking supply shops, or some markets carry brands like Callebaut.

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3280 · April 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

In looking at my 72% cacao dark choc bar: does that mean that 72% by weight of the bar is cacao? It is 230 cals, 17g fat, 17g carb, 10g sugars, 3g protein. Ingredients: organic choc liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter

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3280 · April 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

great, thank you! I can't wait to stir it into my milk later this afternoon as a snack!

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7380 · April 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Well, the main difference between chocolate and cocoa powder is that the powder has the cocoa butter removed. As far as I'm concerned, the cocoa butter is the good part of the cocoa, as a matter of fact, good chocolate, called couverture, is graded according to it's high cocoa butter content.

Milk is already sweet, and so you shouldn't have to add much sugar. The cocoa powder just isn't sweet like sicky sweet standard milk chocolate. Try adding a bit of cinnamon or chili powder to it (actual chilis, not chili seasoning). Adding sugar, though, won't "undo" the health benefits of cocoa, as it doesn't affect the flavonoids or other nutrients.

As long as you keep the cocoa dry and cool in a cupboard, it should last for a couple of years.

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7380 · April 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

No. Most commercially chocolate bars for the general public don't say the cocoa butter amount, but generalyl if it's in the first three ingredients, you're okay. If it lists an oil instead of cocoa butter, I don't even consider it chocolate. The percent of cocoa just generally is meant to assure that it's dark chocolate. For a good quality, high cocoa butter dark, look in baking supply shops, or some markets carry brands like Callebaut.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150
3280 · April 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

In looking at my 72% cacao dark choc bar: does that mean that 72% by weight of the bar is cacao? It is 230 cals, 17g fat, 17g carb, 10g sugars, 3g protein. Ingredients: organic choc liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150
3280 · April 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

great, thank you! I can't wait to stir it into my milk later this afternoon as a snack!

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779 · April 14, 2013 at 4:16 AM

I am currently adding cocoa to my morning coffee. Along with grass-fed butter, MCT oil and Coconut Cream (unsweetened) It doesn't seem to need sweetening in context.

I also occasionally make hot chocolate: 1 oz baker's chocolate (no sugar) 2oz coconut cream and boiling water. I zap the chocolate in the microwave as the water comes to a boil and blend it all in the blender.

Chocolate, and cocoa, without sugar ARE quite nice, but VERY different.

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343 · April 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM

This doesn't really answer any of your questions, but I'd persevere without sweetening it. Your tastebuds adjust dramatically when you stop sweetening things.

I use unsweetened cocoa when I feel like something chocolatey and I never sweeten it. I think it's delicious as it is - if you have it with something creamy like coconut milk (or raw milk like you're going to), it's a real treat. Rich and comforting. Add cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves for something warming and spicy :)

Personally, I've come to view 'sweet' and 'chocolatey' as different things. I eat cocoa often because I love it, but if I'm craving something 'sweet' I know it's because I haven't slept enough.

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2626 · April 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Agreed! Over time I've pushed my tolerance to the point where 88% cacao chocolate tastes normal and 72% is a treat for my sweet tooth. At that point it's barely even an indulgence.

B885dc10c6263f5a4492205d50560bee
401 · April 14, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Mike, cocoa mixes terribly when milk is cold and fantastically when milk is hot. I never wanted to heat my milk too much, but there is just no way to keep cocoa from clumping when it's not in something warm!

43e6e312fcc6b2cd2238e7898ad50480
343 · April 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Meant to say, the berries are needed for a bit of moisture - it can be quite thick and 'claggy' otherwise. Less so if it's carrots or beets you're using.

43e6e312fcc6b2cd2238e7898ad50480
343 · April 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM

A lovely 'dessert' recipe that doesn't involve sugar is to steam some sweet potato and blitz it in a blender with cocoa powder and some berries and chopped nuts. It's like the gooiest brownie you'll ever eat, really satisfying and sugar free. I used to be a CRAZY sugar addict so I'm always on the lookout for such recipes! Beets and carrots work well, too.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150
3280 · April 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I just opened the box (surprised it wasn't in a plastic bag inside. That doesn't seem air-tight at all. Hmm. And, it doesn't spoon mix well with the milk at work. Had I tossed it in my vitamix with a smoothie, it would have been great. I did have to shovel lots of sugar to make it palatable. I will experiment with more precision at home, and decrease the sugar each time. I probably won't use sugar anyway, but rather banana and other fruit in a smoothie context.

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2626 · April 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Cocoa powder that you buy at the store is not raw. It is roasted in the process of making it into powder. Raw chocolate and cocoa powder are available, but they're very expensive specialty foods.

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