Monday, November 11, 2019

The Prolific Bean - Organic Cacao (beans) - Nov. 11, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Prolific Bean
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight:  .082 oz. (2.36 g.) / 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total package
Calories: 12 calories (per package) in 2 beans*
Cost: $11.49 for 1 package
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Nibs Theme Week.

Today's package of "Cacao" (beans) were from The Prolific Bean (Menlo Park, CA), a company that specializes in high-end coffee and cacao beans.

The descriptive terms listed for today's cacao beans included: "Organic, Whole Bean, Hand Peeled, Low Caffeine, Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant."  (They're also gluten free, vegan and soy free.) The country of origin for the cacao was not identified.

This "sustainably-farmed, all natural energy snack" was very good, with all the satisfying flavor elements one might find in a relatively delicate but complex chocolate with no "off" or extremely bitter flavors. (More of a citrus fruit note in the aroma than a bitter one.)

The texture and "chew" was just what you might hope to find in a roasted cacao bean. With each bite, the bean gently fractured into lovely nib pieces. Selling roasted cacao beans intact may help preserve flavor as well. (Less surface area(s) exposed to open to the air mean less drying out/staleness.)

These cacao beans were pricey, but also of very high quality. And one or two beans might be enough to satisfy your cacao or chocolate craving. Nibs (and whole beans) are high in flavor and very low in calories (with zero sugar or sweetener).

*These beans were labeled as containing approximately 6 calories per bean. (Each bean only weighs about .041 oz.) 

The numbers for 1 oz. of cacao nibs varies from 130 to 170 calories per oz. The percentage of fat in cacao beans depends in part on where the cacao was grown. (Cacao grown in colder climates has a bit more fat, which may help explain the variance.)

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TCHO - Organic, Fair Trade Roasted Cacao Nibs - Nov. 10, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Roasted Cacao Nibs
Good +
Weight: 1 TB (3 g.) / 7.84 oz. (222 g.) in total package
Calories: 20 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $6.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: (online order)

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Nibs Theme Week.

Today's Organic, Fair Trade Certified Roasted Cacao Nibs were from TCHO (Berkeley, CA).

Opening up a fresh package of roasted cacao nibs is an invitation to experience the essence and origin of true, deep, unsweetened chocolate flavor. Frequently nibs (unless raw) will have roasted, nutty or coffee notes. In this case, the nibs had nice roasted chocolate aroma and flavor with a faint, not unpleasant, green tea note.

TCHO tasting notes for these nibs read as follows: "Intense fudge-like flavor with notes of roasted almonds and malt."

These humble little cacao bean bits had uniform flavor and crunchy texture with no "off" notes. This tells me that the cacao beans were fermented, dried, sorted and roasted by a sequence of experienced hands.

While plain nibs will be too bitter for some sweet chocolate lovers, most will appreciate the opportunity to try cacao nibs at least once.

And, for those fortunate cooks and chocolate lovers who are creative, you will have a ball with these. They can be used in so many ways, in both sweet desserts (brownies, chocolate chip cookies, marinated in spirits of your choice and sprinkled over ice cream, etc.),  and beverages/smoothies, and also in savory dishes (spice rubs, marinades, with salads, smoked, etc.). Add nibs to coffee (during the brewing and filtering process), for a touch of roasted mocha flavor. Or infuse nibs into hot milk and strain them out before serving.

At 1 gram of Carbohydrate, 1.5 g. of (unsaturated) Fat, and 20 calories, a single (1 TB) serving of roasted cacao nibs offers a lot of satisfying flavor for very little "cost" for those watching what they eat. And, no sugar.

Copyright 2019. Unauthorized use of the text and/or images from this site,, is a copyright violation.
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