Last time, we talked about how coffee makes you healthier. This time we found something more interesting for you. 13th December is celebrated as National Cocoa Day and trust us we cannot keep calm.
There are many reasons why you should celebrate cocoa – it is tasty, it is healthy, and it can be paired with different foods.
National Cocoa Day falls in the lovely winters of December and is an event to promote cocoa, something we all enjoy for its bitter taste.
In early 2004, research published data that consuming mixed fruit rich with cocoa led to significant weight loss among obese people without altering energy balance parameters.
Therefore, more people need to consider the effects proper nutrition has over their lifestyle for their health and to live happy for years without health worries!
Apart from the popular favourites, tea or coffee, cocoa comes a close third as the preferred morning beverage. We should celebrate National Cocoa Day by enjoying delicious dark or milk chocolates on this day or even combining cocoa with coffee.
National Cocoa Day should also serve as a reminder that awareness can be raised on the health benefits of dark chocolate as suggested by medical practitioners.
The story of cocoa has been characterized by a deep curiosity and an adventurous spirit. It has travelled far and wide before it reached your cup this morning, proving the full extent to this fascinating plant’s potential.
The name cocoa originates from the Olmec word “Kokawa,” meaning bitter drink. Cocoa and all its products have always had a large part in rich cultures of the Maya, Aztec, and Olmec civilisations. However, they were not accessible to other markets because this plant could not be cultivated.
The first origins of cocoa being made into a drink can be traced back to 500 B.C. Towards the end of the last ice age some 12,000 BC, cocoa was isolated to central America with temperatures barely able to support agriculture and no rain at all up until 3000 BC. The supply grew as much as it could when a group of migrating hunter-gatherers entered these areas 8200 years ago.
Gradually over time, it thrived in this secluded tribe because they had been enjoying cocoa before the 13th century AD by eating cocoa beans soaked through hot water or crushed after being roasted – like modern snacking habits.
Cocoa beans were used in ancient Arabia for thousands of years as perfume but eventually they were taken back to Spain during the 1500s. It took until the early 1900s for Dutch chocolate producers to invent moulding and pairing chocolate with sugar, creating some of the world’s first solid bars.
But still even so much later than that, it was not until just decades ago that candy makers started flavouring their confections with plumped sugar coating or sugared nut pieces that get distributed all over your teeth.
In 1984, a group of Mayan Lords discovered a pot of liquid cocoa in Guatemala and introduced it to Europe. Cacao beans were used in Mesoamerican civilizations long before Spanish traders found the Mayan people indulging in cocoa around 1720 AD.
Cacao beans are a rich source of flavonoids that contribute to antioxidant effects without any stimulants such as caffeine and they have a creamy texture unlike powdered sugar It tastes different than coffee (less acidic) and tea (increases concentration).
Cocoa was first developed as a crop by many ancient South American cultures with Aztecs and Mayans being the largest producers of the ancient world. After short-lived experiments with cocoa, Louis XIV was informed of a new kind of chocolate drink by his Spanish ambassador.
However, in America, where this species was exported before Europe, the natives developed a quite different taste for cocoa. In 1893 when the Lindt company started producing milk chocolate and began selling it around Switzerland to test its success.
This opened an alternate way for cocoa and chocolate consumption. Commercial production happened after 1926 exclusively in developing countries as European countries did not have enough room for large scale cocoa production due to unfavourable economic conditions and local tastes were difficult to entice.
The history of using Cocoa in foods is mostly about society experimenting and making mistakes until prevailing craftsmen made chocolates manageable taste-wise when processing them without milk or sugar from their raw materials.
Improved Cognitive Health: Cocoa powder in your diet improves attention span, working memory, and general cognitive health.
Stronger Immune System: Iron, Zinc and Selenium in cocoa helps in improving body functioning and boosts the immune system.
Better Muscle and Nerve Function: Magnesium in cocoa regulates muscle contraction and helps with nerve function.
Wound Healing: Cocoa has plenty of zinc which helps in healing wounds.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Flavonoid, found in dark chocolate, helps lower your blood pressure, improves blood flow, prevents cell damage, and protects from heart diseases.
Antioxidants found in cocoa powder help improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Reduces Inflammation: Theobromine, found in cocoa, helps in reducing inflammation and helps prevent diabetes.
Weight Loss and Control: Cocoa is rich in phytonutrients but low in fat and sugar. It helps in regulating energy use and increases feeling of fullness in the body.
Cocoa’s versatility makes it great for making different food items like frozen hot cocoa or pumpkin spice latte.
Chocolate Cream Pie: An old-fashioned favourite, cream pie is the first on our list. This is every grandma’s secret way of showering us with holiday sweetness.
Chocolate Macadamia Macaroons: This perfect macaroon recipe has dark chocolate, chewy coconut, and macadamia nuts, dipped in chocolate. It is sinful and delicious to have everything together.
Delicious Potato Doughnuts: These tasty treats are easy to make and serve. The fudge frosting is better than cherry on cake.
Chocolate Espresso- Nut Torte: Nuts and chocolate are a great combination and they come together wonderfully well in this torte.
Our suggestion: Serve it with whipped cream or your favourite ice cream.
Molten Mocha Cake: This decadent slow-cooker cake is a mouth-watering expression of love. Rest assured whoever tastes it can feel taste your love.
Truffle-filled Cookie Tarts: Add truffles in the centre of fudgy cookies and enjoy a delicious treat during the wintry days of December. It is the perfect dessert to store in your refrigerator during Christmas as well.
Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake: Like the delightful taste of chocolate and cheesecake melting in your mouth? Indulge in the impressive yet easy to treat your family to a great dessert.
The 100% pure USP certified cocoa powder keeps much of the natural flavour, fragrance, and nutrients of the cocoa bean. Buying a quality cocoa powder not only helps you to cook with more conscious moderation but also helps you produce healthier delicacies in your kitchen!
Cocoa is a wonderful addition to your diet and there are so many recipes where you can use it as an active ingredient.
This National Cocoa Day let us celebrate the goodness of cocoa and the holiday spirit.
That’s all I have for now,
I will write to you soon.