Can You Eat Raw Cacao Beans? [NIBS BENEFITS]

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Having watched cacao beans being roasted and crushed into cacao pulp on their route to become those favorite chocolate bars, I’ve long wondered whether the raw cacao beans might be eaten directly.

So I done some research on this and here we are.

So, can you eat raw cacao beans?

Raw cacao beans may be eaten right from the pod, and they also contain numerous useful elements.

Cacao beans sold in supermarkets that are packed and labeled as raw are not really raw since they have been fermented and dried before reaching the shelf.

However, you consume them straight from the package.

I was curious whether they tasted like chocolate, what nutrients they contained, and what the best methods to consume them were.

The answers to these critical questions are provided below.

Are Raw Cacao Beans Nice To Eat?

Can You Eat Raw Cacao Beans? [NIBS BENEFITS]

The white pulp that surrounds the raw cacao beans tastes like a sweet melon mixed with a peach.

And the pulp that surrounds fresh cacao beans smells tropically fragrant and like lychees.

The beans themselves taste like a very dark, bitter chocolate.

But, they still taste quite nice.

They taste extremely similar to cocoa powder, which you may have used to create drinking cocoa.

Or, tasted when you were baking a chocolate cake.

They contain several helpful elements; below is a summary of their nutritional properties:

Cacao Bean Properties Raw Cacao Beans 3.5 oz (100 g)
Energy (kcal) 464
Protein (g) 14.29
Total lipid (fat) (g) 39.29
Carbohydrate (g) 39.29
Fiber (g) 32.1
Sugars (g) 0
Calcium, Ca (mg) 107
Iron, Fe (mg) 5.14
Sodium, Na (mg) 0
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid (mg) 0
Vitamin A (IU) 0
Fatty acids, total saturated (g) 21.43
Fatty acids, total trans (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0

Cacao bean plants thrive in hot, humid areas.

And, according to MakeChocolateFair.org, the primary cacao bean producing nations are:

  • Ivory Coast 37%
  • Ghana 22%
  • Indonesia 11%
  • Nigeria 6%
  • Brazil 5.5%
  • Cameroon 5%
  • Ecuador 5%

However, they may be found in any tropical location, including South America, the Pacific Islands such as Hawaii, and South East Asia.

If you visit one of these nations and go trekking.

Alternatively, if you see them on the property where you are staying, you may open the pods and taste the delectable cacao beans.

How To Tell When Cacao Pods Are Ripe

Can You Eat Raw Cacao Beans? [NIBS BENEFITS]

Scratching the surface of the pod will reveal ripeness.

When you scrape it with your fingernail, the skin below should not be green.

Cacao pods may range in color from yellow to red to deep brown when ripe.

They may be opened with a knife, a hammer, or by smashing them against a rock.

The simplest method is to strike them with a big rock, mallet, or hammer.

It will fracture the hard skin of the pod, revealing the cacao beans, and you may need to pry it apart with your hands in certain places.

What’s The Difference Between Cacao Nibs And Cacao Beans?

Raw cacao beans are prepared in a variety of ways after being extracted from cacao pods picked from a cacao tree.

They are fermented for approximately a week before being offered in supermarkets.

This is when they are let to sit in a container, much like a marinating procedure.

Chemical reactions occur when they marinade in their own flavors.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this gives them a richer taste and breaks down the slimy sweet, tasting covering and pulp that surrounds the cacao beans.

After they have been fermented, they are dried.

This prolongs their life and prevents them from becoming bitter.

It also makes them less bitter in general. They are crushed into tiny bits after being dried and fermented.

These are cacao nibs, which are around the size of pebbles.

Cacao nibs are the processed form of cacao beans, which are used to produce chocolate and may also be consumed raw.

Cookies with nuts and dried fruit, together with coffee or hot chocolate.They can be added to smoothies, muffins, biscuits

How Much Raw Cacao Is Too Much?

According to Healthline.com, raw cacao and processed raw cacao bean products such as cacao nibs are strong in caffeine and another stimulant known as theobromine.

Caffeine in large quantities may cause anxiety, jitteriness, an elevated heart rate, and difficulty sleeping.

If you consume them close to bedtime.

The greatest quantity of raw cacao you may ingest is determined on your caffeine intake.

Caffeine tolerance increases if you consume a lot of coffee, tea (not herbal), or energy drinks.

Which means you wont notice the effects as much.

However, having a high caffeine tolerance has a deleterious impact on your adrenaline glands.

In a recent piece regarding whether coffee and bananas are excellent for breakfast, I went into further detail about the harmful effects of too much caffeine.

You may find out more about it by reading the article Coffee and banana for breakfast.

However, suffice it to state that you should consume in moderation and keep track of how you feel. You can eat more the following time if you don’t feel worried or jittery.

Furthermore, according to Healthline.com, consuming raw cacao is typically undesirable for expecting moms, and you should contact with a medical practitioner before eating it.

Are Cocoa Husks Edible?

Cocoa husks are high in protein, dietary fiber, caffeine, flavonoids, and theobromine, according to one research.

They are normally too dry to eat on their own, although you can.

However, grinding them up as a powder that can be added to cereal, smoothies, cakes, and other baked items is a fantastic way to utilize them.

They are often abandoned during the cacao manufacturing process, and the above research investigated alternative uses for them.

They discovered that they may be employed in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors, as well as as organic fertilizer.

Will Cooked Raw Cacao Retain Its Benefits?

According to a research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, raw food has more nutrients than cooked food.

Also, according to this paper from the University of Missouri, dried foods contain more calories than fresh foods.

If you want to reduce weight, raw cacao beans are a superior choice.

Raw cacao offered in shops is usually dried and fermented, thus it has less nutrients than raw cacao straight from the pod.

And when cooked, it loses even more nutrients.

However, no research has looked at the precise percentage shift between raw cacao and cooked cacao, such as when it is used to produce cakes, cookies, chocolate, and hot beverages.

So, at this point, I can only state that eating raw cacao beans is preferable than eating cacao that has been dried or cooked.


Raw cacao beans may be consumed and are high in many useful elements.

The beans themselves have a bitter dark chocolate flavor. And the juicy and delicate fresh cocoa bean husks taste like sweet melon blended with peach.

Raw cacao beans sold in shops are often dried and fermented, with the majority of the husk (the sweet component) removed.

Cacao nibs, which are dried, fermented, and pulverized cacao beans, are still highly healthful.

But not as healthful as cacao beans eaten directly from a chocolate pod.

Cacao, on the other hand, is strong in caffeine and other stimulants, which might have harmful side effects if consumed in excess.

As a result, you should only consume a little amount at a time and in moderation.

Also, if in doubt, seek the advice of a medical practitioner.


Is it OK to eat raw cacao nibs?

Due to their sweeter flavor, cacao beans that have been toasted or roasted during processing are used to produce chocolate. Raw cacao, as most superfoodies are aware, may be consumed, and cacao nibs are no exception. They have a mild crunch that some people compare to cashew.

Is it safe to eat raw cacao beans?

Cacao Beans: How to Use Them. The beans may be eaten raw, but you would only eat a few pieces since they have a very distinct bitter flavor. If you have a sweet craving, you would most likely consume beans with honey since it reduces bitterness. Just two slices may keep you going for many hours.

How much cacao nibs per day is safe?

Cacao has a strong effect on the central nervous system, and ingesting a much of it may interfere with calcium retention. Consume no more than 40 grams (four to six heaping tablespoons) of raw cacao each day.

What are the benefits of eating raw cacao beans?

5 Advantages of Raw Organic Cacao
Blueberries have 40 times the antioxidants. Raw Organic Cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries.
The most abundant plant-based source of iron.
Magnesium-rich for a healthy heart and brain.
Calcium content is higher than in cow’s milk.
A Natural Anti-Depressant and Mood Elevator.

Is raw cacao a superfood?

It’s easy to get engrossed with chocolate. Cacao — the dried seeds at the base of chocolate — is also one of nature’s richest sources of magnesium, as well as antioxidants, calcium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

What is the difference between raw cacao and cacao nibs?

Cacao nibs are just dried and fermented cacao bean fragments. When you put one in your mouth, it has the feel and flavor of a roasted coffee bean. In contrast, powder is created by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans.

Is raw cacao anti inflammatory?

Cocoa is said to have therapeutic effects. It includes a variety of phytochemicals, including polyphenols, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as a pain-relieving impact.

How many raw cacao beans per day?

Consume at least 8 whole roasted peeled beans every day. They will be soft and warm after roasting, but as they cool, the cacao butter inside the bean will solidify and the bean itself will become crunchy.

What are the side effects of too much raw cacao?

Caffeine-related adverse effects such as anxiety, increased urination, insomnia, and a rapid pulse may occur if used in significant quantities. Cocoa may produce adverse skin responses as well as migraine headaches. It may also induce nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, and gas.

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