Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Many Uses of the Cocoa Nib

I’ve already written about how cocoa nibs are used in beer brewing, and how they are used to make chocolate bars. But, there are a lot of other uses for them. Nibs make an excellent addition to savory and sweet recipes.

Nibs are bits of dried, roasted, and crushed cocoa beans. If you like the taste of dark chocolate, then nibs might be up your alley. Nibs have an extremely strong chocolate taste without any sweetness. Basically, nibs = dark chocolate that hasn’t been ground and sweetened yet. These small pieces of cacao beans have a texture similar to macadamia nuts and have a complex, bitter cocoa flavor.

Another big upshot for nibs is that they are really good for you. Dark chocolate is very high in antioxidants and you can’t get darker than cacao nibs. Nibs are also high in magnesium, chromium, and vitamin C. All of this comes with a strong cocoa flavor without any of the calories associated with sweetened chocolate.

There are a lot of great recipes that use nibs. Many cooks add them to cookies, brownies and other baked goods in place of, or alongside, chocolate chips. Nibs can also be put in ice cream and mixed into shakes and smoothies. Nibs can even be mixed with coffee for a great meat rub! They are great crunchy toppings for salads and can be used to liven up sauces and glazes.

Nibs can also make a great snack. You can candy nibs by making simple syrup, tossing, and baking them. You can also melt some chocolate couverture and cover the nibs to make an amazing snack (this is my personal favorite way to eat nibs).

So, check out our Ecuadorian cacao nibs and make some awesome stuff!