Craving a chocolate treat but don't feel like melting chocolate? These easy paleo chocolate recipes made with cacao powder will be ready in no time—no double boiler required!
Sometimes you just need something chocolate. If you're eating paleo and avoiding gluten, grains, and processed food ingredients you don't want to grab a traditional chocolate dessert from the bakery or grocery store.
Instead, make a quick and healthy treat using superfood cacao powder. You'll be able to control what goes into your decadent chocolate treat, and get the benefits of cacao—more antioxidants than red wine or green tea!
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What’s the difference between cacao and cocoa?
Both cacao and cocoa come from the same cacao plant that all chocolate comes from. Raw cacao powder is minimally processed and retains more nutritional value and more of the antioxidants. Cocoa powder is processed at a higher temperature so it loses some of its nutritional value. Dutch process cocoa is chemically processed to make it less acidic which destroys some of the flavanols and also changes the flavor slightly.
As always, it’s important to read the labels with any cacao powder you choose. Be sure to avoid any brand that includes ingredients like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dairy, or other processed food additives. The only ingredient on the label should be certified organic cacao.
Can you substitute cocoa for cacao in recipes?
The short answer is yes. As long you use a cocoa powder with no added ingredients, it can be substituted in any of these recipes. But if you want the most superfood benefits from cacao use raw cacao powder.
Do not substitute Dutch-process cocoa in any of the baking recipes as it has a different level of acidity which can affect how the baking soda or baking powder works in the recipe.
Where to find cacao powder
You can find raw organic cacao powder at many health food stores or on Amazon. But the best prices I've seen on organic cacao (and many other organic products) are at Thrive Market.
Get up to $20 in shopping credit when you purchase a Thrive Market Membership! (1 month, 3-month, and 1-year memberships available)
Chocolate Recipes Made with Cacao
These quick and easy cacao powder recipes will satisfy your chocolate craving in no time.
This cacao recipe is so simple and takes just a few minutes to whip up.
Fast and easy flourless brownies you can make in no time.
This cacao smoothie tastes like a chocolate milkshake!
Double chocolate decadence in a muffin – these are perfect for dessert or snacks too!
This easy dairy-free ice cream is packed with chocolate flavor.
This chocolate tart looks fancy but is so easy to make in the blender!
The perfect combination of chocolate and peppermint to warm you up!
This chica seed pudding is so easy and chocolatey!
Chocolate and cranberries? If you like cranberry muffins, try this version with cacao powder.
If you like peppermint mocha, you'll love this cacao powder and collagen smoothie.