Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kiva Organic Cacao Powder: Reviewed

I have become quite a lover of smoothies. I am not new to smoothies, I have been making them for myself since grade school. Back then I would use orange juice, a few frozen strawberries and a banana. The smoothies were simple and tasty but did not add extra health benefits. I have since then become more adventurous in my smoothies and have tried numerous fruit options from strawberries and blackberries to other types of fruit from juicy pineapples and mangos.

In the past 6 months I have tried adding many protein and fiber powders in order to add interesting flavor and boost nutrition. I have not ventured into the world of more extreme juicing or smoothies yet that include greens and veggies, but am open to trying new things. The product I will be reviewing in this post is a delicious chocolate powder. But this is not like Nestle Chocolate Quick powder or something that will add unnecessary sugars and additives (chemicals). This is 100% raw, vegan, non-GMO, organic cacao powder from the Kiva brand and it is pure and delightful. It actually adds nutrition to whatever you put it into. I use it daily, often 2-3 times a day.

I would like to explain what cacao is for those of you that may have never heard of it. Cacao and regular chocolate (cocoa) powder are similar but have some differences that change the nutritional makeup of them. It is in how the beans/seeds are prepared, processed and thus changed. Cacao is made from "cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans." This is a less nutritionally stripping process than how cocoa powder is made (which is by heating the beans). Cold pressing "keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat." Raw cacao powder is extremely rich in beneficial plant polyphenols, flavinoids and antioxidants. Consuming raw cacao powder, can add so many benefits to our health. It is packed with antioxidants which can protect your cells from damage and can have the potential to slow the signs of aging. I am sure you have heard about how blueberries are tiny amazing fruits that pack huge antioxidant and health benefits (well you are right, they ARE amazing and are considered superfruit or "superfood") however, raw cacao contains "more antioxidants than acai, goji berries and blueberries." (from I quit sugar website). Raw cacao is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, fiber, iron, calcium and other nutrients. Cocoa has nutrients too, but since it is heated to make it, most of its nutrients and antioxidants levels are lost through the process.

Cacao can have the potential to moderate glucose and cholesterol levels, boost mood, and can even assist in healthy weight loss or be used to maintain a healthy weight. Cacao is high in dietary fiber and low in sugar. (Nourish my Life website) It is quite wonderful! I was concerned that it would be bitter, but it is not bitter at all. It adds a richness to my smoothie and balances the natural sweetness of the bananas with my other ingredients.

Kiva cacao powder is made from cacao beans from Ecuador. They use the gentler, cold pressing method that I spoke about above, preserving nutrients and flavor. There no sugars or fillers in this powder. Here is the company website in case you want to learn more about it. Kiva Health Food It is also available on Amazon.

Kiva Organic Cacao Powder

Here is how I use it. My favorite way to use it is to add it to my daily morning and afternoon smoothie. I make a simple smoothie from milk, 2 bananas, 4 ice cubes (from filtered water), 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Garden of Life brand) and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder. You can use 2 tablespoons if you like, but it was too rich for me when I tried it. You can add more ice cubes for a thicker shake/smoothie. Often times I use my single sized blender, but for this review I happened to use my large multi-serving one.

I really like this powder. It has a resealable bag and smells lovely. It mixes easily in my smoothies and is not gritty or bitter. I would have liked for it to come with a pre-measured tablespoon size scoop, perhaps one that goes up to 2 tablespoons, but has a half mark line so you can use 1 tablespoon if desired. This powder can be put into milk for a healthy chocolate flavored milk (low sugar for kids and adults alike). This can be used in baking, but please note, that heating this might change/lower the nutritional value (I am unsure about this). This is delicious in plain or lightly sweetened yogurt. I like this in a vanilla yogurt with a few granola pieces crumbled on top. I sometimes flavor my husband's coffee with this cacao powder. I have made pancakes with this powder as well. The list of uses goes on and on!

If you found this review or any of my other reviews interesting or helpful, please rate is as "helpful" and or leave a comment. I enjoy writing reviews and hearing feedback about what I have written as I feel reviews help those interested make an informed decision before purchasing. I also feel that honest and informative reviews improve a product by providing insight to the company. I believe reviews should be honest no matter whether an item was free, at a discount, or purchased.

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

1 comment:

  1. This stuff sounds pretty good, healthy too, that's a plus.