Cacao nibs: awesome smoothie boost!

I've been hearing about how fabulous raw cacao nibs (also known as cocoa nibs) are from our food editor (and culinary trend-spotter) Elisa Bosley for ages. But I never really got it until this morning. I was rushed as usual and threw some frozen fruit and smoothie essentials into the blender in hopes of having something in my belly before work. The result was a raspberry-mango-flaxseed-yogurt-vanilla rice protein smoothie. It was, to my surprise, pretty yummy.

To give it a little extra appeal, I sprinkled a teaspoon or so of raw cacao nibs on top. They really took the smoothie to the next level! Once I'd sipped all of the nibs off the top, I (what the heck!) added more. They were so delicious and crunchy. Plus, 1 oz. of raw cacao nibs has over 300% DRI of iron, a good amount of magnesium, and even some vitamin C. Apparently these nutrients are depleted during roasting and processing. I've always been a huge dark chocolate fan (and even bought a 99% cocoa content bar in Paris by mistake once, thinking it would taste good) but now I'm completely hooked on raw cacao nibs. Maybe there are a few things they wouldn't taste so good added to (macaroni and cheese?) but I can't think of many.

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