What is Cocoa Butter?
The ancient Mayans referred to cocoa beans as “the food of the Gods”. Not surprising, given how delicious chocolate is.
Cocoa beans can be turned into a variety of different substances, including cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter. Each has its own nutritional profile and use in cooking.
In particular, we use cocoa butter in all of our keto-friendly snack bars.
You might have seen cocoa butter used in skincare products or lip gloss. But it’s also completely edible, and provides many health benefits.
Cocoa butter is processed out of cocoa beans by either roasting or fermenting. The end result is a fatty, buttery substance rich in fatty acids and nutrients.
Raw cocoa butter is completely edible, and you can use it as a topping for crunchier items like celery sticks. You can also use it in baking to add richness and texture to a bread or dessert.
Nutrition at a Glance
Cocoa Butter is high in fat and calories, but also contains loads of nutrients. It is a particularly good source of vitamin D. One 100g spoonful contains:
- 884 calories
- 0g carbs
- 0g fiber
- 0g sugar
- 0g protein
- 100g fat
- Vitamin D2
- Potassium, Phosphorus, Copper, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium
Unlike chocolate, pure Cocoa Butter contains at most trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine, the stimulants in chocolate. Eating it will not keep you up at night.
Because cocoa butter contains zero carbs, it is a perfect food for keto. You can mix it in with any other keto dish you enjoy.
Cocoa butter is rich in nutrients. These nutrients provide several benefits, including:
- Supporting Immune Function
- Improving Heart Health
- Regulating Insulin
- Keeping Skin Moisturized
Supporting Immune Function
Most adult Americans are vitamin deficient year-round, especially in the winter. Although the Sun is often the best way to get vitamin D, it’s not always around. But you can get vitamin D from other sources, like eggs, fatty fish, or cocoa butter.
Vitamin D is essential for regulating mood and appetite. It helps your body absorb calcium, and supports your heart, your bones, and your immune system. People who get enough vitamin D are less likely to get sick in general, so keep this in mind with cold & flu season approaching.
Improves Heart Health
The reason why raw cocoa beans taste so bad is because they are chock full of polyphenols. Polyphenols are heart-health promoting, antioxidant compounds that are densely concentrated in cocoa beans, but they taste bitter and astringent.
Polyphenols may lower blood pressure and improve the health of blood vessels. They reduce the amount of fat and inflammation in the blood vessels. And polyphenols may also act as a prebiotic, improving gut health.
Strictly speaking, pure cocoa butter has a very low polyphenol content, as most polyphenol gets filtered out in the production process. But in most cases, polyphenol-rich cocoa power is mixed in with the cocoa butter to ensure the right consistency. This provides the right balance between good flavor and heart-healthy polyphenols.
Improving Insulin Resistance
Diabetics may particularly benefit from cocoa butter, as cocoa consumption can reduce insulin resistance. The flavonoids in cocoa improve blood sugar control and also reduce oxidative stress, which contributes to insulin resistance.
Keeping Skin Moisturized
Cocoa butter contains vitamin E, which helps the body repair and maintain its skin. Vitamin E protects your skin from UV rays and oxidation. It can also help with psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin diseases.
If you looked closely at the nutritional profile above, you’d see that 100g of Cocoa Butter contains a whopping 884 calories! You could fulfill your daily caloric needs with less than 300g of the stuff, so don’t go wolfing down an entire bottle all at once. Plus, 100g is more than six tablespoons.
Thankfully, most recipes only call for a very small amount of Cocoa Butter. It’s a solid fat at room temperature, so when it melts you get a lot of liquid fat to work with. Besides, Cocoa Butter is expensive, so you wouldn’t want to use a whole lot of it, anyway.
How We Use Cocoa Butter In Our Products
We use Cocoa Butter in all of our products, including our Chocolate Raspberry and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk bars. Fats are important to keto, and they are necessary for baking. They make a product moist and smooth and add richness to the flavor.
Take a look at our products for more information. You can see the nutrition facts for each product by clicking “View Nutrition Facts”.