What Is The Difference Between Ceremonial Cacao and Cacao Powder ❤️✨

The cacao bean is a plant medicine however it has been reduced to a commodity by the chocolate industry which has led to some dark practices like slave labour including child labour in some areas of the chocolate industry. It is up to us as a consumer to stop supporting companies that condone human and land exploitation. The Food Empowerment Project is a great place to start with a list of hundreds of companies they do and do not recommend.

So let’s first look at cocoa powder and cacao powder. 

Cocoa (koko) powder is typically made from low-quality cacao beans which have been roasted at a very high temperature, changing the molecular structure of the cacao bean and reducing the nutritional value.

Cacao (kakaow) powder, which is marketed as a “superfood”, is usually made from higher grade cacao beans and even though roasting can be at a lower temperature, the beans are still highly processed, just like the beans used to create cocoa powder.

After roasting the cacao beans they are shelled and ground to produce cacao paste. Once the cacao butter has been removed from the cacao paste, the remaining product is hammered into fine particulars to create cocoa or cacao powder.

The cacao butter is the perfect carrier for the beneficial minerals, neurotransmitters, and neuromodulators (mood-elevating compounds) found in the cacao beans yet with its removal the medicinal benefits of the cacao bean is reduced. The subtle energetic properties of cacao are also destroyed through the high processing.

I still use cacao powder when I am creating my raw chocolate desserts as it is a time of creativity, honouring, and a way of expressing my love. With that said though I do ensure the cacao powder that I purchase is ethically and sustainably produced, including the growing, harvesting, and production aspects. 

What is Ceremonial Cacao then?
Ceremonial cacao or ceremonial-grade paste is a whole food as it is created from premium cacao beans which are lightly roasted, shelled, and ground into a paste. That is it. Nothing is removed and it still retains the subtle energetic properties which are part of the medicinal qualities of ceremonial cacao.

When working with ceremonial cacao it is about developing a relationship with this plant medicine and like any relationship it takes time. When sitting in ceremony come with an open heart, curiosity, and gratitude. 

As there is no governing body for what can be labeled as “ceremonial cacao” look into where the cacao comes from. For me I look at does the company have a relationship with the farmers, with the land, how is the cacao bean cultivated and produced, and is the company giving back in some way. 

The Spirit of Cacao is heart-centered, she supports us in opening our hearts, developing gratitude, and living in reciprocity. What is your relationship with cacao?

Lots of love,
Vicki Cook, Moon Priestess ❤️✨
Energy Medicine Institute


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