A Guide to Raw Cacao Beverages

Once in a while I like using raw cacao to start my mornings, it’s not quite as strong as coffee but it offers a wide range of health benefits and still gives me a boost in the morning.

Often when I speak to people about raw cacao, they don’t know the difference between the raw version and the regular processed version.

Raw Cacao vs Cocoa


Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter).

Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.

Where to Buy

If you want something that will truly knock your socks off, find one that is 100% True Arriba Nacional. The difference in quality is night and day. True Arriba Nacional is sourced from Ecuador and has a very pleasant aroma. It’s very inviting and sensual compared to even the raw cacao sold at most whole foods stores.

I order my cacao from here.

Benefits of Raw Cacao

  • Lowers insulin resistance.
  • Protects your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.
  • Shields nerve cells from damage.
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Reduces your risk of stroke.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Boosts your mood
  • Rich in minerals: Magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.

Historically, cacao was such a valued food and medicine it was used as money instead of gold by the Mayans and Aztecs. Cacao is the most complex and nutrient dense food on this planet!  Cacao is known to put one more into their heart and help expand consciousness.

My personal experience with drinking raw cacao has resulted in more vivid dreams, elevated mood, heart expansion, and bliss! Raw cacao also aids in detoxifying the pineal gland.

Shopping List for Raw Cacao Drink

  1. Raw Cacao (100% True Arriba Nacional)
  2. 5-7 Medjool dates
  3. 2 cups of any nut or seed (I usually get whatever is on sale at the bulk section of my whole foods store, can’t go wrong with almonds though.)
  4. 2 Tbsp Raw Honey
  5. 1 whole vanilla bean
  6. nutmilk bag or cheesecloth
  7. (Optional) cumin, fennel, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon
  8. (Optional) Replace raw honey with sweetener of your choice. For example organic maple syrup would also be great.

Raw Cacao Drink Recipe:


1. Add about 1 Tbsp of raw cacao to every 2 cups of nut milk.

Optional: Add spices like cumin, fennel, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon for an even more exotic taste!

Nut Milk Recipe:


1. For every 4 cups of water blend with 1 cup of nuts (this 4:1 ratio can be used with any nut or seed.) For this recipe I’m using an 8:2 ratio, blend 8 cups of water with 2 cups of any nut or seed.

2. Strain with a fine woven cloth (cheesecloth or nut milk bag).

3. Put back in blender, add about 2 heaping Tbsp of raw honey, 5 to 7 medjool dates, 1 whole vanilla bean.

4. Blend and strain again for an ultra smooth, rich, creamy experience.


  • The sweeteners and vanilla bean proportions I use in this example are adjusted to the 8:2 ratio of water and nuts (about the size of a vitamix container). It’s recommended to soak the nuts/seeds for a creamier consistency.
  • I would definitely avoid using a regular mesh strainer as the holes are not small enough to filter all the nut/seed pieces and the texture ends up being gritty and unpleasant. Also, don’t use coffee filters, they break apart easy. This was my rookie mistake when I first started making nut milk, use a cheesecloth or they sell bags specifically for making nut milk now
  • Nuts can be expensive so I usually buy them in bulk at my whole foods store, if you can find it on sale even better!


1. https://iquitsugar.com/raw-cacao-vs-cocoa-whats-the-difference/

2. http://rawrevelations.com/cacao-powder-8oz/

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