Cacao or Cocoa…or Potato or Pa-tah-to…

It’s like saying potato or pa-tah-to…tomato or ta-ma-to…

photo (55)

Chocolate experts say that cocoa should be pronounced ka-kow. When you hear cacao (ka-kow); that usually is referring to the tree itself, the pods, and the bean inside of the pods. When you hear of cocoa (ko-ko) that is usually referring to the by-product of the cacao bean; which are the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter.

Cacao nibs and cocoa powder both come from “cocoa beans”. The difference is cacao nibs are still in the “raw” state. It hasn’t been cooked or processed, whereas cocoa powder has been cleaned, roasted, and processed.

As for the taste; I just did a taste test…I am probably not a good person to ask this as I can eat both plain and not mind it at all, since I do add both organic cocoa powder as well as organic raw cacao nibs to my yogurt and smoothies. The taste doesn’t come off as unpleasant. But If I had to describe it, I would say both have somewhat “bitter” taste. But again, I don’t mind that at all. I eat a lot of things for the health benefits. And actually now I enjoy the taste of them plain.

I hope this clears up a little about the differences in raw cacao nibs and cocoa/cocoa powder/cocoa butter, all stemming from the same little bean. πŸ˜€

Lavender-Peppermint Lip Balm

Lavender and peppermint essential oils; I never run out of theses two oils. They are so good for so many concoctions that I make.

photo (47)

Butters, essential oils, and finished lip balm in tin (still warm) πŸ˜‰

Here’s a great lip balm using these two essential oils.

1 teaspoons shea butter
3 teaspoon cocoa butter
5 drops of lavender essential oil
8 drops of peppermint essential oil (don’t worry if you put a drop or two more of either oil in; I’ve put up to 10 drops of peppermint oil in this recipe)

*This makes a soft lip balm. Β If you want a harder lip balm; add 1/2 tsp of beeswax (melt down with the butters.)

*You can buy tins or jars to put the finished product in or just reuse an old lip balm container. Just wash it well (sanitize it).

*As for the ingredients; there are many places you can purchase essential oils. Just make sure they are essential oils and not scented oils. Huge difference. Stay away from scented oils/scented anything. (Toxic stuff; in my humble opinion) Mountain Rose Herbs sellsΒ many things besides essential oils. Check them out for teas too! Swanson Vitamin (on line) sells essential oils and oils such as, almond, sesame and avocado; I use for my face serums. Whole Foods has essential oils and other oils like olive oil. Β I’ve bought pure cocoa butter from them before. Just read labels. Make sure you are buying the real stuff.

How to:
Melt shea butter and cocoa butter. You can use a small pot with heat set on low. You can also use a heat proof glass dish set in a pot of boiling water. What I do is use a glass measuring cup and set it in a pot of boiling water to melt my oils, butters, any facial product, or salves that I make. Makes it easy to pour into containers.

photo (46)

Small pot filled half-full of water. Heat proof measuring cup set in pot.

After your butters are melted let cool for about 5 minutes. You don’t want the heat to evaporate all your essential oils away!

Add your drops of essential oils.

Stir and pour into container. Let cool completely before capping.
There are a virtually thousands and thousands of ways to make lip balm. Experiment on your own and have fun. Orange essential oil and cocoa butter makes for a deliciously chocolaty smelling lip balm!

photo (48)

Finished lip balm. Solidified nicely! πŸ˜€