More details on how to use cacao, dosage, storage, side effects and usage during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How do I use cacao?
You might have guessed that our favorite is to make cacao drinks. Traditionally cacao was consumed as a drink with a divine status. You can find recipes and inspiration on our recipe page and of course experiment yourself. Let us know if you have any questions. Some examples to enjoy the effect of cacao drinks:
Creativity, brainstorm, team meetings.
Focus, flow, positive energy, mood enhancer.
Combination with supplements and medicinal mushrooms to uptake these better.
Ceremonial cacao drink in a ceremony or your own ritual.
For other healthy deliciousness you can add cacao to smoothies, breakfast and make chocolate.
What is the difference between cacao paste, nibs and powder?
Nibs are cacao beans broken into smaller pieces. This is the result after separating the husks from the bean.
Cacao paste is created by finely grinding the beans (or nibs). Because the cacao butter comes free, it becomes a thick liquid paste. At room temperature this is a solid block which can melt and dissolve into a drink.
Cacao powder is created under high hydraulic pressure to separate the cacao butter from the powder. The cacao butter is often sold for cosmetic products because of its value and the powder for lesser quality cacao products. This is why we leave the cacao intact as a whole food source so you can enjoy all its benefits.
What ingredients go into the cacao paste from Pure Kakaw?
Only high quality cacao beans from beautiful, natural farms that are cared for by organic principles and agroforestry systems. That's it, no additives, no sugar.
As a comparison a kg of 70% chocolate blend also contains 300gr (the other 30%) of sugar. We believe too much food is pre-sweetened and processed. You can always add sweetener to your taste, but not take it out :-).
What dose of cacao should I take?
This depends on your body and how sensitive you are. A bigger body in general means a bigger dose. Most importantly is to listen to yourself and do what feels best. There is no dangerous overdose known, but you might want to avoid too much lightheadedness or a headache. Always drink enough water to hydrate yourself.
In general we advise: 10-25gr for a casual dose, 30gr as a small ceremonial dose and 42gr as a stronger ceremonial dose.
You get the most benefits from cacao when using it for a longer time. Some notice the subtle effect immediately, some recognize it after a week or so. You don’t need to drink cacao every day, check in with yourself what feels good.
How often should I drink cacao?
You can drink cacao daily without a problem. We always advise to listen to your body and find what dose works best to you. In general it’s good to take short pauses if you drink cacao daily to also feel and experience without.
Most benefits arise when using cacao on a regular basis, also nutrition wise. The effects of cacao are quite subtle, some notice it right away and some people recognise it more clear after using cacao for a few times.
Cacao is too bitter for my taste, can I still enjoy its benefits?
Yes, you can tune the drink to your taste with:
coconut oil makes it smoother and softer,
oat and other plant-based milk makes it more creamy and naturally sweetens,
different spice blends like cinnamon, anise and maca.
sweeteners like honey, agave or cane sugar,
playing with the cacao-liquid ratio and making it less thick or make a smaller concentrated shot.
or go wild with fruit smoothies to which cacao is a great addition. Check out our recipe page for more inspiration.
Cacao has complex flavors that are intense in a pure form, especially if it’s new to you. We noticed that many people find cacao intense at first, but open up to it more when trying it for a few times. Both to its flavor and effects. Most importantly is to make something that you enjoy.
Can I use cacao during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Yes, the benefits of cacao for mothers and babies is unfortunately unknown. Traditionally cacao is used during pregnancy and after giving birth by mothers to regain strength and positive energy. The natural antidepressant effect of cacao can help against postnatal depression symptoms. In general a lower cacao dose is advised to feel how the baby responds (both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding). Cacao contains a low dose of caffeine, but theobromine is mostly responsible for the stimulating effect which works differently. Please ask your health practitioner if you have specific questions for your situation.
Cacao butter is incredibly nutritious for skin care. In native cultures it is used by women for this purpose as well as during breastfeeding on the nipples. Let us know if you want to use this, we love to support happy mothers and happy babies in any way.
How long can cacao be stored?
For at least one or two years. Actually we never got to where it was no good anymore. When storing for a long time the surface can turn a little whitish if the cacao butter reforms at the surface. This is a natural proces, it only looks less nice. There is actually a thing about ‘ageing’ cacao. More on that later :-).
Cacao is best stored dry and cool. But not in the refrigerator. The cold is no problem, but water can condense which makes it wet.
My cacao block looks whitish, is it still good?
Yes, this is technically called ‘fat bloom’ and means that some of the natural fats (cacao butter) reformed on the surface. It can occur because of temperature changes while storing. This makes no difference to the quality of the cacao, it only looks less nice. You can use it in the same way for your cacao drink.
Is cacao a psychedelic?
No, but you could describe cacao as psychoactive. Cacao does not create things/visions that are not there. But cacao has neurocognitive effects, enhances your mood, focus and creative flow. You can read more in our blog story about the active ingredients of cacao and how this works in a healthy balanced way.
Cacao works as a catalyst to go deeper into processes with a loving energy and heart opening effect. Although cacao is not psychedelic itself, it does strengthen the effect of psychedelic substances like magic mushrooms and cannabis. Shamans used to combine these in ceremonies.
Does cacao have side effects that I should know about?
To enjoy cacao as much as possible it’s good to keep the following in mind:
A large dose of cacao can be heavy on your stomach, this depends on what you’ve eaten and how sensitive your belly is. Check for yourself what is a nice dose and listen to your body.
Cacao is slightly dehydrating so it’s always advised to drink enough water to avoid a headache. This also improves detoxification processes of your body.
If you’re taking MAOi based antidepressants and have a contraindication with cacao/chocolate a lower dose is advised. Cacao actually works as a natural antidepressant itself.
Do you also ship internationally?
Yes, if your country is not shown at checkout you can let us know where you are and we can check the shipping costs. International shipping goes very smooth and our shipping partner gives a good rate.