Cocoa butter is the ingredient that gives luxury chocolate its smooth and satisfying quality. But did you know that cocoa butter also has excellent health benefits?
What is cocoa butter?
Cocoa beans are made up of two parts, cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Beans are pressed to extract the cocoa butter, which is then re-combined with the powdered cocoa solids to make chocolate. So cocoa butter is a crucial ingredient in chocolate and, as the natural fat found in cocoa beans, also has numerous health benefits.
Cocoa butter’s key health benefits
Cocoa butter can improve health in multiple ways. Its oleic acid is proven to help prevent heart disease. And its antioxidants, vitamins and fats help protect the outer layer of the skin and lock in moisture, keeping the skin youthful and preventing wrinkles. Furthermore, by helping to regulate the activity of T-cells in the blood, cocoa butter is also good for the immune system. Find out more about quality chocolate’s health benefits here.
Where do you find cocoa butter?
The two most common uses for cocoa butter are in chocolate and cosmetics. Fine quality chocolate is made with pure cocoa butter, whereas mass produced chocolate is made with low cost, vegetable fat substitutes, which significantly lower the healthy attributes. Not to mention that replacing cocoa butter with cheap alternatives also significantly affects the taste of chocolate. So how do mass manufacturers overcome this obstacle? By adding plenty of cheap, refined sugar – the hidden demon in most processed foods!
The moisturising and anti-aging effects cocoa butter has on skin makes it a popular choice for skin creams too, especially as it’s a natural ingredient. To eat it or to wear it, that is your choice!
Can I Cook with Cocoa butter?
Yes! Cocoa butter is a healthier, (vegan) alternative to butter and can be used for frying, baking and in creating silky smooth sauces. I always use it to create a rich, dark sauce for venison or goose!
So you see, far from being just a by-product of the chocolate-making process, cocoa butter is resplendent with wonderful properties. So I recommend you make the most of it as part of your diet and beauty regime!
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