With my journey to a healthy eating lifestyle, I had some challenges along the way. But, I knew my new eating habits had to have "balance" and incorporate some of my favorite foods in moderation. One of those foods when it comes to sweets was chocolate.
If you have done any background research on eating chocolate, we know it all comes down to how it is processed and what goes into it. There are plenty of conversations about eating dark chocolate because of its healthy benefits, but did you know there is another way to get your chocolate fix without the addition of sugar?
This is where my no guilt pleasure comes from with cacao nibs. If you are not familiar with cacao nibs, they are basically pieces of cocoa beans from the cacao tree.
They are loaded with delicious chocolate flavor with a low amount of sugar and you get additional health benefits of them being high in antioxidants with a good dose of fiber. This is a win, win situation especially for chocolate lovers as myself and you will discover this too if you give these a try.
There are various ways of incorporating these lovely nibs into your lifestyle. Here are some of my favorite ways.
Sprinkle them on top of a healthy smoothie or smoothie bowl
Use them to make a lighter and less sweet dessert instead of chocolate chips. (FYI, cacao nibs do not melt, because of their natural state, but still delicious!)
Make your own trail mix with nuts and add cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips
Sprinkle on top of healthy hot cocoa. (I make mine with a combination of chocolate collagen peptides mixed with a plant based milk)
Use them in energy bites
Use them making healthy granola bars or oatmeal
Simply snack on them!
If you are new to cacao nibs and want to give them a try, you can find them easily online or at any major healthy food store such as the Vitamin Shoppe. Make sure to buy organic so that you reap the best nutrition.
Remember, food is meant to be enjoyed and that includes sneaky ways without guilt such as cacao nibs.
Eat Good, Look Good! Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator