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The Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao

Cocoa and cacao may look the same at first glance, however, they’re two different things. If you’re baking or buying a chocolatey dessert, it’s important to understand the difference between cocoa and cacao so that you can enjoy a sweet treat. 

What Is Cocoa?

Cocoa is typically what you use when you bake chocolatey desserts like brownies, cakes, and muffins. Baking cocoa powder comes from cacao beans that are then fermented, roasted, milled, and processed at a high temperature to achieve a sweet and chocolatey flavor. 

 

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What Is Cacao?

Cacao also comes from cacao beans, but instead of roasting the beans and processing them at a high temperature, they are simply fermented and roasted at a lower temperature to maintain nutritional value. The result of this process is a healthy cacao powder that’s more bitter than cocoa powder. 

What’s the Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao?

As you can see, the difference between cocoa and cacao comes down to the production process. Cocoa is more processed whereas cacao is minimally processed. And while this means that cacao may taste more bitter compared to cocoa, it also means that it has more nutritional value. 

 

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Cacao vs. Cocoa: Which Is Better?

Both cocoa and cacao come with health benefits since they come from the same source but are just processed differently. If you’re looking to maximize your nutritional benefits, then cacao is going to be the best choice. However, if you’re looking for the perfect addition to a sweet recipe, then you’re going to want to choose cocoa. 

The Best Healthy Chocolate Desserts

Now that you know more about what chocolate actually is and that it’s not inherently unhealthy, it’s time to find some healthy chocolate desserts that have all the chocolate flavor you love but with none of the unhealthy additives. Here are some of our favorite chocolate desserts that are as healthy as they are delicious: 

1. Bougie Bakes Brownie Bites

Bougie Bakes believes that you shouldn’t have to choose between your one true love — chocolate — and a healthy diet. As a result, they have developed Brownie Bites that are simultaneously sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and even keto-friendly. 


These brownie bites are made with healthy yet delicious ingredients like sugar-free vegan dark chocolate, cocoa powder, coconut oil, almond butter, almond flour, eggs, and vanilla extract. As a result, each brownie bite only has 110 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 9 grams of carbohydrates.

2. Bougie Bakes Double Chocolate Cookies

If you want double the chocolate but less than half of the calories, then you need to check out Bougie Bakes Double Chocolate Cookies. These cookies are made with organic ingredients, like eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and of course, sugar-free vegan chocolate and cocoa powder to give them an incredible chocolatey flavor. 


Despite having double the chocolate, these cookies come with just 90 calories per cookie in addition to 7 grams of total fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, and an added bonus of 4 grams of protein. 

3. Bougie Bakes Chocolate Chunk Cookies

On the other hand, if you’re looking to enjoy a classic chocolate chip cookie, Bougie Bakes has the perfect solution for you in the form of their sugar-free Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These cookies are made with healthy iterations of traditional cookie ingredients. 


For example, instead of regular flour, they have almond flour. And instead of table salt, they have pink Himalayan sea salt. To give them a delicious chocolatey flavor, they have sugar-free vegan dark chocolate. Finally, to give them a little something extra, they also have walnuts and vanilla extract. 


These healthy ingredients combine to create a healthy cookie that comes with just 110 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, and 9 grams of total carbohydrates. 

4. Bougie Bakes Vegan Java Chip Mini Muffins

 

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If you need a pick-me-up — whether it’s in the morning after you wake up or in the afternoon during work, then you need to check out Bougie Bakes Vegan Java Chip Mini Muffins. These babies are made with instant espresso powder combined with sugar-free vegan chocolate, unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk, and gluten-free oat flour — making them totally vegan-friendly. 


With just 80 calories, 6 grams of total fat, 90 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and no cholesterol, these muffins are perfect for everything from a quick breakfast to a late-night snack. 

5. Bougie Bakes Chocolate Lovers Bundle

Love chocolate more than anything and don’t want to have to choose between these incredible (yet healthy) chocolate desserts? Then you need Bougie Bakes Chocolate Lovers Bundle. This Bougie Bundle comes complete with 32 bakes — 16 double chocolate cookies and 16 chocolate brownie bites — to satisfy all your cravings. 

6. Bougie Bakes Chocolate Obsessed Bundle

On the other hand, if you can’t go a day without eating chocolate and would consider yourself obsessed, then you should try Bougie Bakes Chocolate Obsessed Bundle. This Bougie Bundle comes complete with 48 bakes — 16 double chocolate cookies, 16 chocolate chunk cookies, and 16 brownie bites — to prevent you from going through chocolate withdrawals when you’re trying to eat healthily. 

 

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Enjoy Chocolate With Bougie Bakes

While you really can’t go wrong with cocoa or cacao, cocoa is typically used in desserts to achieve a sweet and delicious flavor. Bougie Bakes uses cocoa, along with other healthy ingredients, in our chocolatey desserts, including brownie bites, cookies, and muffins. 


All of these desserts are delicious yet healthy while also being gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and soy-free. Bougie Bakes also offers vegan desserts like cookies and muffins that are free of animal products, while still maintaining incredible flavors that will satisfy all your sweet tooth cravings. 


Sources:

History of Chocolate | The History Channel

Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao | WebMD

The Benefits of Having a Healthy Relationship with Chocolate | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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