A Primer on Cacao Butter

At first glance, a hunk of cacao butter looks just like white chocolate, but it’s actually the cream that comes from cold-pressing raw cacao beans. The other byproduct from cold-pressing is fiber from the beans, which is ground into raw cacao powder (not to be confused with cocoa powder, which is ground roasted cacao beans).

Both the cacao butter and the powder are thought to retain much of their antioxidant power because they are spared heat treatment. Aptly named, cacao butter is just that — it’s buttery and creamy, and tastes like the essence of dark chocolate. Add it to a smoothie, use it as hand cream or make this delicious sweet snack:

Strawberries and Yogurt with a Maple-Cacao Butter Drizzle

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon chopped cacao butter

1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt

3 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced

Directions:

Fill about one-quarter of a small bowl with boiling water. Put the cacao butter in another small bowl and set it over the hot water. Help the cacao butter melt by stirring (gently melting it like this helps keep the cacao in its raw state). Stir in the maple syrup. Top the yogurt with strawberries and drizzle with the maple-cacao butter.

Per serving: Calories 140; Fat 7 g (Saturated 4.5 g); Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 40 mg; Carbohydrate 9 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 10 g

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Leah Brickley is a Nutritionist-Recipe Developer for Food Network Kitchen.

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