Cocoa Powder- What is it, How to use it, and Why it is Healthy?
Cocoa powder adds perfect texture and flavor to brownies, cake, cookies, and cupcakes. Let’s take a while to know more about it.
What is Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa powder is one of the oldest and healthiest foods in the world commonly used for cakes, cookies, icing brownies, and cupcakes. It is found in cacao tree which grows in central and South America, Ivory Coast and some parts of Asia. Processing of cocoa powder removes most of the fat but still contains 10-12% of fat. To obtain cocoa powder from the cocoa tree the beans are processed, dried, fermented, roasted, and ground.
How do Cocoa Powder Benefits?
Cocoa powder deserves a Super food label as it is full of nutrients and recognized as a high-quality source of protein. It contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper which help in maintaining the immune system of the body. It helps in the well functioning of muscles and bones.
Difference Between Natural and Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder?
When cocoa is pressed to remove cocoa butter known as “cocoa press cake” is grounded in fine cocoa powder. After this process, the cocoa powder which is left is known as natural cocoa powder. It is bitter, acidic, brown in color, and very strong. It is often used with baking soda to make baked goods rise.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is heavily dutched and treated with an alkaline solution to neutralize acidity. When cocoa goes alkalizing it becomes darker, mild in flavor, gets easily dissolved in liquid, and has a higher pH level. It is perfect to consume for people who have food allergies.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease: in this world heart disease has become a common reason for death. Cocoa powder helps in improving heart health as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Since it is rich in fatty acids, these acids help to improve cardiovascular health.
- Helps to control blood pressure: a study has revealed that people who are consuming cocoa powder daily have higher nitric oxide circulation in their blood, which relaxes arteries and blood vessels and interim blood pressure.
- Prevents cancer: cocoa powder is an antioxidant rich-food that fights free to lower your decay stress and cancer risk. Hence consuming cocoa powder helps to boost your antioxidants.
- Uplifts immunity: in a situation of illness, cocoa powder is a vigorous agent to boost the immune system of the body. It provides antioxidants to blood cells to recover the functioning level of organs.
Aside from adding cocoa powder as an ingredient in baking, it helps in external appearance by revitalizing your skin naturally and healthily.
Moisturize your skin: adding cocoa powder to your face mask ingredient helps in moisturizing your skin by removing dead skin cells from the skin and providing a refreshing look and radiant glow on the face.
Heal hyper pigmentation: mixing cocoa powder with milk and honey and applying it on your face as a face mask gives a superb solution by getting rid of tan, skin complexion, and UV rays damage and tightens the skin.
Reduce acne: combining the cocoa powder with aloe-Vera and tea tree oil helps in reducing acne, pimples, dark spots, and scars. It is a supernatural remedy suggested by many skincare experts for diminishing dark spots.
How to Use Cocoa Powder?
To increase chocolate flavor in dishes you can add cocoa powder. It is just not limited to dessert you can simply sprinkle it to smoothies, hot chocolates, fruits, brownies, and coffee.
Cocoa powder contains essential minerals which can be consumed daily in a healthy way to your diet. In a research, it has been suggested that cocoa powder contains polyphenols which benefit to cardiovascular health and prevent cancer by maintaining cholesterol level.