428 of 434 people found the following review helpful
Awesome quality cacao nibs - powerful and satisfying.,
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This review is from: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 16-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 2) (Grocery)
I'm a certified chocoholic with a weight problem. I had heard that cacao nibs had all the health benefits of dark chocolate (way more, actually) without the sugar and junk food aspects. They are loaded with antioxidants and have those powerful endorphin releasing stimulants. They are also quite high in fiber (but also in saturated fats).
I got my big pile of Navitas Naturals nibs and dug right in. Well - these are a bit of an acquired taste; but once acquired, they really satisfy. Cacao nibs are broken pieces of raw whole cacao beans that have been fermented and dried (and that's it). They are brown, with a dark cocoa smell, and a seductive texture that's partly like a coffee bean (crunchy and hard), and partly like a piece of chocolate (buttery with a crisp and then melting fat). The flavor initially gives you a cocoa hit and then a winey fermented flavor that is hard to describe. The aftertaste is bitter like baking chocolate. Like a coffee bean, there's some fibrous grit with the aftertaste after the creamy fats have dissolved on your tongue. My first impressions was "phew - that's disgusting". The winey flavor was off-putting and the bitterness in the aftertaste was hard to take. That didn't prevent me from immediately having more, however - as the crisp rich creamy quality made me want more. After a few pinches (maybe 3/4s of a tablespoon) I was flying! I mean, these things are POTENT. They really are loaded with all those endorphin releasing stimulants - and man they wake you up and then make you feel loved. Over the next few days I kept a big baggie of these in my pack and ate them whenever I wanted a cup of coffee. The stimulant effect is totally as strong as coffee - and more. To go with the speed, there's a feeling of well being and intellectual stimulation that's seductive in the extreme. I began to almost enjoy the odd powerful flavor. My only concerns at this point are whether these are addictive! About 1/2 way through my bag I have yet to hit a stem or a stone or an inedible piece (unlike what I've heard with some other brands). The flavor and texture is pretty consistent as I work my way through too - pretty good for a totally raw organic product.
I found that I could grind them up into powder in the blender and use the powder to "cocoa" up various foods (especially ones bearing some sweetness). For example, after my workout I'd put a tablespoon of nibs and a tablespoon of chia seeds in the blender and grind nice and fine and then toss in a fist full of frozen blueberries, a glug of Walden Farms zero calorie chocolate sauce, 8 oz water and two scoops of whey protein powder (chocolate flavor, of course) and then blend. It all whips up into a rich chocolatey blueberry shake that packs the nutritional wallop of a steak dinner with omega 3 oils, TONS of antioxidants, and a wicked emotional and blood sugar pick-me-up. You can buy the powder pre-ground, but I imagine the goodies keep better in this coarsely cracked version.
All in all - I think of cacao nibs as much as a drug like coffee as I do a food. People who eat ultra-dark chocolate for the health aspects should absolutely check nibs out because my body tells me they have WAY MORE of the chemical goodies of chocolate with far less sugar and fat. They also are brimming with a rich raw cocoa flavor that's weird and wonderful and hard to describe. If you are bent in this way - this stuff is wonderful.
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 4, 2009 3:41:29 PM PDT
Matthew G. Sherwin says:
This is one awesome review, Joshua!
Take care, Matt
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 2:57:31 PM PDT
Kindle Customer says:
Great shake idea. Will definitely try.
Posted on Sep 25, 2009 11:58:12 AM PDT
Alan Kunz says:
Just took a look at that Walden Farms sauce..
Dump that stuff asap. The FDA allows food manufacturers to label MSG as "Natural flavors", "spices" and "spice mixes". MSG encourages weight gain and the development of mental illnesses.
Anything "zero-calorie" should be looked at with suspicion. It's always a good idea to choose real, organic food over something nutritionists (who change their opinion every few years) and the food manufacturers (who still peddle margarine as good for you) tell you to eat.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2009 7:54:50 AM PST
Joshua G. Feldman says:
Thanks for the heads up about the Walden Farms chocolate sauce. The extra chocolate flavoring is totally optional. Just using chocolate flavor protein powder is enough if you find a rich brand. Pure cocoa with a big of sweetener (like agave nectar) is better. The cocoa nibs have a rich flavor too - but it's not what you'd normally call "chocolate flavor".
Posted on Jul 29, 2010 12:25:49 PM PDT
K. Shchyelkunova says:
Wht an informative review. Thank you very much for taking the time. I've never tried cacao nibs before but was very curious. I can see that I will like them already:)
Posted on Aug 7, 2010 1:44:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2012 9:18:59 PM PST
wow, you describe exactly what i want to say
"winey & addictive"
although i eat them straight as snack. have to be careful not to overdose tho/
the only thing is i wish it came in beans (instead of nibs). then i don't have use a spoon.
(edit: i found if i eat too much, my brain starts buzzing; also it gives me indigestion. dont' know about others.)
Posted on Jan 3, 2011 2:14:39 PM PST
Mark Boggs says:
I just ate my first 1/4 cup of these nibs purchased largely because of your excellent review. They are AWESOME! Much better than any 100% chocolate I've eaten with less calories and more flavor than I could have imagined. So much depth in those little pieces. I'm hooked! Thanks for taking the time to write your reivew.
Posted on Apr 4, 2011 9:27:51 AM PDT
Stacey Brister says:
Wow, Jushua, you wrote a most excellent description! I must have this ASAP! Thank you, thank You!!!
Posted on Apr 11, 2011 6:15:58 PM PDT
Jersey Mike says:
Joshua - I'm in awe of you! Stumbled upon your cacao review just after tasting my very first nibs and struck by the objective creativity and accuracy. Browsed through a half dozen of the other reviews and even more astonished. Amusing, enlightening, and well reasoned. As an expatriate New Yorker who cycled the Bayonne Bridge over to Staten Island and its zoo as a kid, my cap is off to you!
Posted on Apr 22, 2011 5:01:17 PM PDT
R. Hardy says:
This may be coming a bit late, but I just wanted to point out that nibs are not just beans that have been dried. In fact, they have been fermented, dried, roasted and then have their shells removed. This does not change in any way, the fact that they are delicious!