Cacao Beans (Peru)
Ancient Purity's Pure Cacao Beans. Superfood of Ancient Empires, modern day health hack. Longevity, Happiness, Focus with a collection of vital nutrients like Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium and Copper. Our small farmer co-operatives cultivate our Peruvian cacao, specifically the esteemed Criolla variety. Known as "The King of Cacao," Criolla is highly valued for its ancient heritage, being a non-hybrid variety. These beans yield exceptional flavours and aromas, making them a crucial component in the production of fine chocolate. We ensure minimal processing of these beans, utilising low fermentation and low-temperature methods without roasting. Through our unique techniques, we strive to maintain the natural purity and superior quality of the Cacao. When unheated, organic chocolate yeilds; higher levels of antioxidants, Resveratrol and Polyphenols: Catechin and Epicatechin, whilst preserving the Vitamin C content. Phenethylamine which is (PEA - feel good Neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!). Then there is Omega 6 fatty acids, Serotonin and Tryptophan. The crushed Cacao Beans are the perfect main ingredient for a super-food smoothie.
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Cacao... An Ancient SuperFruit
Cacao... A Superfruit that Gives us Real Chocolate
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- Peruvian Criolla Cacao Beans - 100% Natural
- Produced to ecological standards, free from agro-chemicals, non-irradiated and GMO-free.
Our Peruvian cacao is cultivated by small farmer co-operatives. The Criolla variety is considered to be “the king of cacao” because it is the most ancient - it is not a hybrid - and produces high quality beans of fine flavours and aromas constituting an important percentage in the production of fine chocolate. Minimum possible processing is used with this bean, applying low fermentation and low temperature without roasting, by means of unique methods to maintain its natural purity and quality. The beans are simply ground into the powder.
- Add to plain or vanilla Greek yogurt.
- Dust brownie and cake baking pans to prevent sticking.
- Add to a pot of chilli for a deeper flavour.
- Use as an oatmeal mix-in.
WARNING: Real chocolate and our Raw Cacao can be fatal to dogs (and possibly horses and parrots) so be sure to keep it away from pets
NOTE: Make sure to visit our Cacao 'Recipes' section!
- Brand: Ancient Purity.
- Size: Powder - 400g (14.11 oz.) Beans -350g (12.34 oz.)
- Origin: Peru.
- Container: Kraft Paper Pouch.
- Estimated shelf life from purchase: 10 months - 2 years.
- Storage: Keep in a cool dry place, keep out of reach of children.
Cacao Beans Lowdown
Ancient Purity Pure Cacao Beans, also known as raw cacao or raw chocolate, can offer several health benefits. Here are some potential benefits of consuming pure Cacao Beans: Nutrient-rich: Cacao Beans are rich in essential minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. They also contain antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidant properties: Cacao Beans are one of the highest sources of antioxidants, which can help neutralise harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress.
Cardiovascular health: The flavonoids found in Cacao can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Mood enhancement: Cacao Beans contain various compounds, including theobromine and phenylethylamine, which can promote feelings of well-being and act as natural mood enhancers. Cognitive function: The flavonoids and antioxidants in Cacao Beans may improve cognitive function, including better memory, focus, and attention span. Here are a few Cacao Bean smoothie recipes for you to try:
Cacao Banana Smoothie (Cacao Beans)
- 1 ripe banana.
- 1 tablespoon Ancient Purity Cacao Beans (crushed or ground).
- 1 cup almond milk.
- 1 tablespoon almond butter.
- 1 tablespoon Longan Honey (Available @AncientPurity).
- A handful of ice cubes.
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Adjust sweetness according to your taste preferences, and add more almond milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Cacao Berry Blast Smoothie (Cacao Beans)
- 1 cup mixed berries (such as Ancient Purity Black & White Mulberries, blueberries, and raspberries).
- 1 tablespoon Ancient Purity Cacao Beans (crushed).
- 1 cup Greek yogurt.
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
- 1 tablespoon Longan Honey.
- A handful of spinach (optional for added nutrients).
- A handful of ice cubes.
- Blend all the ingredients together until well combined and creamy.
- Adjust sweetness if desired.
- If you want a thicker consistency, add more yogurt or ice cubes.
- Pour into our 'Energy Glass' and enjoy!
Mint Chocolate Cacao Smoothie
- 1 cup spinach or kale.
- 1 ripe banana.
- 1 tablespoon Ancient Purity Cacao Beans (crushed).
- 1 tablespoon Ancient Purity Cacao Powder.
- 1 cup almond milk.
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves.
- 1 tablespoon Longan Fruit Honey.
- A handful of ice cubes.
- Start by blending the spinach or kale with the almond milk until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined and creamy.
- Adjust sweetness and mint flavour according to your taste.
- Pour into your favourite glass.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves, and enjoy!
TIP: Feel free to adjust these recipes based on your preferences, experimenting with different fruits, natural sweeteners, or additional ingredients to create your perfect Cacao Bean smoothie!
Q: What is Cacao?
A: Cacao is what chocolate is made from. It is the seed of a tropical fruit known as Theobroma Cacao. Chocolate is made by combining certain portions of coco (the de-fatted cacao) and cacao butter (the oil from the bean) along with other ingredients to get the consistency and taste we know as chocolate.
Q: How can chocolate be good for me?
A: Chocolate is perceived to be bad for health is because of all the refined sugar, hydrogenated vegetable fats and additives that are used to make milk chocolate. These manmade ingredients are the key causes of obesity and heart disease. Our recipe is free from refined sugar, dairy, hydrogenated fats and additives, because we respect your health.
Q: How is your Cacao prepared?
A: Our Cacao is traditionally prepared the way it has been for thousands of years. The fruit, which looks like a nerf football, is harvested from the under-story of the rainforest. It is then placed in the ground, lined with banana leaves, where it is left to ferment for 3-5 days. This essential step in the process is what alkalises the beans and activates the beneficial compounds within. This enzymatic transformation continues as the beans are sun-dried. From there, they are lightly roasted over an open fire which finishes the flavour, kills the bacteria that accumulate during fermentation and allows the husk to be peeled away. Once the husk is removed, we have the whole, pure Cacao Beans we sell.
Q: What’s the difference between your Cacao and other good Cacao or chocolate?
A: There is a significant difference between commercially available Cacao (and the chocolate made from it) and what we sell and use at Ancient Purity. This has to do with the differences in variety, selection and processing which affect the amount of beneficial compounds in Cacao. We offer the Puruvian Criollo variety, a wild/native strain of Cacao that is ceremonially-selected. The Criollo variety contains significantly more of the compounds that are necessary to get the health benefits and consciousness altering effects. Most of the studies about the health benefits of Cacao use the Criollo variety. Most companies that sell Cacao or chocolate are using the larger seeded, more easily processed, hybridised varieties. So while the buzz about chocolate being good for your health is right on, many companies aren’t using the varieties and processing methods that ensure the high amount of beneficial compounds chocolate is known for. Just because it says organic, fair-trade or ‘85% Cacao’ has nothing to do with how much and what proportion of beneficial compounds are present. Not all chocolates are made equal!
Q: Are there any contra-indications?
A: We think of our Cacao as a plant medicine. Like any potent medicine, it is important to be mindful in its use. In most cases, there are no concerns to be aware of. Cacao is a strong bitter and power detoxifier as it helps cleanse the liver. Because of this, in higher doses people might experience detox symptoms such as headache or nausea. In this case, take it as a blessing and drink plenty of water as your body lets go of whatever it didn’t like. This will likely be accentuated for people on a raw diet or who are fasting. Go with lower doses in this case.
Many anti-depressants are contra-indicated with the tryptophan and MAO inhibitors in this Cacao, so we recommend checking your meds first. Again, this is because our Cacao is more potent to begin with and often taken in higher doses. Chocolate doesn’t have enough strength to cause these effects. Worst case scenario could be a headache and nausea. You can avoid the hassle and do some research first.
The theobromine in Cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition, go lighter on amounts. Like coffee or tea, it is important to reduce intake of stimulating foods. The theobromine in Cacao, which is very similar to caffeine, has a stimulating effect.
Warning: Real chocolate and our Cacao can be fatal to dogs (and possibly horses and parrots) so be sure to keep it away from pets. If any symptoms do present, drink lots of water, get some rest and it will pass.
Q: Is it organic or fair trade?
A: Ancient Purity is not a big company and we have so many projects we want to do, so we choose not to have outside agencies come in to provide certifications. The people who work doing the peeling & roasting, mostly women are paid for the weight of good beans they collect so they have no incentive to include moldy or inferior quality beans. There are no chemicals or fertilisers used in the growing or preparing of the Cacao as it grows on its own.
Q: How should I store the Cacao?
A: Cacao has a long-shelf life so doesn’t need special consideration. However, keeping it sealed (like in a glass jar or plastic bag) or in the refrigerator are ways to ensure that nothing gets into it and that it stays that much fresher.
Q: How much should I consume a day?
A: The best reference point we have for this at the moment is from studies of the Kuna people, indigenous to Panama. The Kuna consume, on average, 1 ounce per day of Cacao. They do this in liquid form, drinking 5-6 glasses of watery Cacao drink per day. The Kuna are almost completely lacking modern health complications such as heart issues (very low incidence of heart-related ailments), bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. The studies linked this to their consumption of Cacao. That said, daily consumption will vary person to person and depending on personal preference. Try it out and see what feels good in your body
Q: Is Cacao farming profitable? Can Cacao farmers earn a decent living?
A: Cacao is a “cash crop,” and has played an important, vibrant role in rural economies worldwide. It continues to do so today, providing families with income and raising the standard of living in thousands of communities where it is grown and harvested. It is a crop that enjoys a consistent, global demand. In some regions, particularly in parts of West Africa, farmer incomes are low – in part due to low farm productivity – and as a result these farmers struggle. Industry-supported programs help farmers with issues such as crop loss due to disease, out-dated farming techniques and other income-related issues. These programs demonstrate that farmer incomes can be significantly increased in a sustainable manner, by addressing the root causes.
Q: Do chocolate companies own Cacao farms?
A: No. The vast majority of Cacao farms are owned and operated by individual farmers and farming families.
Q: Do chocolate companies purchase their beans directly from farmers?
A: Only in extremely rare cases do companies purchase Cacao from farms. The Cacao supply chain can involve up to 12 different steps as Cacao is moved from the farming village to the port and then to the chocolate manufacturing facility, through a series of intermediaries.
Q: Can chocolate companies pay more for their Cacao? Won’t that help farmers?
A: An effective way to help Cacao farmers earn more and become self-sufficient is to support them at the farm level – through different programs – rather than trying to set price controls that often fail.
Q: Do children work on Cacao farms? Are there child labour issues on farms?
A: On hundreds of thousands of Cacao farms, children help out with farming tasks as members of the family, much as they do around the world, for many other crops. Helping out on the family farm is part of their daily chores, and for many farmers, an important step in eventually handing over the farm to their heirs. At the same time, there are issues. Surveys in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana found that too many children are performing unsafe farming tasks, and being injured in the process. There are also instances where children may be working instead of attending school, and even moved (or “trafficked”) to a farm away from their village, to work full-time.
Q: What is being done to address labour issues on Cacao farms?
A: The worldwide chocolate and Cacao industry believes that no child should in any way be harmed in cocoa farming and that Cacao farming can – and must – play a positive role in the farming community. The industry supports a number of programs to help Cacao farmers, their families and farming communities. These programs are improving education: reducing the number of children exposed to unsafe farming tasks and helping exploited and/or “at-risk” children.
Q: Why can’t industry simply label or “certify” its products?
A: In West Africa Cacao is grown on as many as two million small farms spread across rural, often remote areas of the region. From the farm, a complex process takes the Cacao Beans to port. Beans from multiple farms are mixed together, early in the process. To be credible, a label that certifies chocolate products as free of any labour abuses would require monitoring labour practices on every individual Cacao farm on a frequent basis. To do so on a massive scale, covering millions of tons of Cacao, would be impossible.
Q: Can industry guarantee that chocolate is made without the worst forms of child labour?
A: While all private / product certification efforts address labour sensitisation and training, they acknowledge that they do not provide day-to-day monitoring of labour practices. Given the absence of farm level monitoring, none of the “product certifiers” have claimed to offer a guarantee with respect to labour practices.
Public and private Certification efforts face the same daunting facts: millions of farmers and their families are on remote, smallholder farms. There are no walls, auditors, guards or monitors that can track the social conditions on each and every farm. With respect to traceability, while there can be a level of traceability in the beans produced by niche private certification schemes, it is not full traceability, bean to bar, but traceability from the co-op (or similar organisation) one level up.
Q: Why can’t industry trace each Cacao Bean – to a farm that grows Cacao responsibly?
A: The length and complexity of the Cacao supply chain, including the number of intermediaries involved in moving several million metric tons of cocoa from individual farms to port, makes credible traceability of each and every pound/kilogram of Cacao a physical impossibility. Further complicating such an approach is the practice of combining beans from different farms – and entire villages – in the early stages of the supply chain.
Q: What is the environmental impact of Cacao farming?
A: Actually, Cacao farming is most effective when undertaken in harmony with the surrounding environment, which is often the tropical rainforest. Cacao trees grow best when under the shade canopy of tropical forest trees, and when environmentally responsible techniques are used to control pests and disease.
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