Saturday, July 26, 2014

Raw Organic Cacao Powder from Freedom Superfoods


Today we're going to look at another type of cocoa from the company Freedom Superfoods. Are all cocoa created equal? No, actually they aren't and this goes beyond merely being Dutched or not. This Pure Raw Cacao Powder from Freedom Superfoods is different in two ways -- it is certified organic and it is raw which in the case of cocoa means that it was not initially processed under high temperature.  As I pointed out in an article a week and a half ago, how exactly it is processed isn't standardized or legally dictated so consumer be aware.  If you order this product from the links provided you will get a small eCookbook as well so I prepared two of the recipes to test both the raw cacao powder and the booklet to see if they created treats of equal quality to using traditionally processed cocoa powder.

I made the Cocoa Cupcakes and the Natural Cocoa Brownies with ingredients I had on hand so there were some substitutions but I've been baking and testing for long enough that I'm 99% certain that my substitutions were appropriate. The raw cacao powder itself was dark in color and had a strong cocoa scent to it.  The bag stood up a bit shaky but it resealed very well meaning that it will last for a while but I'd be careful about how long you keep it in the foil bag compared to the standard tins of cocoa powder I normally receive or buy.

The Cocoa Cupcakes seemed a bit dry when I finished the dough and had to be spooned into the cupcake liners. Given what I know about cupcakes this seemed like a 6-cupcake recipe but since I don't want to let the raw cacao powder go bad I doubled it to make a dozen.  The resulting cupcakes were not exactly what I or my testers expected in a cupcake, they had a more muffin texture that was thicker and heartier but they did taste chocolatey, sweet, and a bit salty. Thus they didn't require frosting to enjoy, a big plus if you are are worried about calories because you can simply enjoy without it; you can add frosting too, I'd recommend something more bitter to bring out the chocolate even more.  The next time I try this recipe I'll add a touch more moisture and decrease the amount of salt.

The Natural Cocoa Brownies I also doubled for the same reason above.  This problem was the opposite of the cupcakes -- too wet so I ended up adding in both more raw cacao powder and flour.  I'm just not sure why you'd need so much water, oil, and milk in one brownie recipe!  The results were sadly what I expected -- horrible!  These are so moisture and even though I added in extra raw cacao powder it could overcome the lack of flavor in all of those wet ingredients. To be blunt, we dumped the entire batch minus what we tested into the trash. I cannot recommend this recipe and I won't be trying it again because it was so bad I'm not sure where to begin experimenting with changing it.  I'd use a regular brownie recipe and see how that works.

The recipes I tried were hit and miss but the greatest problem with the eCookbook is that the recipes lack pan size information.  For example how many cupcakes should that recipe make?  6, 12, 18?  Which pan do I prepare for the brownies?  8 X 8, 9 X 9, or 13 X 9?  This makes a big difference especially with cooking times and in planning what you might be baking for.  The recipes also asked for a few non-standard pantry items like flax, spelt, and coconut oil.

The raw cacao itself wasn't a problem, if I'd had time I imagine it would have performed exactly like last week's test product -- different brands, same product really.  I'll continue to use this in the future so when I do I'll be sure to mention it so you can check it out again. If you'd like to try out this raw cacao powder from Freedom Superfoods and to help out The Chocolate Cult, you can click on the image below or use the links elsewhere in this post to order it through the company's preferred link.



There you have it, Sisters and Brothers, our testing of the Pure Raw Cacao Powder from Freedom Superfoods.  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for nearly free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

2 comments:

Julie said...

The essence of Raw cocoa is that it is unroasted (to preserve the antioxidants). Fine.
That includes, as with this particular cocoa, cold-pressing, once again to keep the temperature low to preserve the antioxidants.

Then they supply it with recipes, that involve cooking! As soon as you do that then you have destroyed all those valuable anti-oxidants! So what is the point of RAW cocoa? Cooking will destroy the anti-oxidants as surely as roasting will.

If you are going to use it as a cold ingredient, good on you. But if you are going to use it for a hot drink or for any kind of cooking, the benefits are lost, and you simply have an unnecessarily expensive product.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thanks for the comment Julie.

I wouldn't personally feel comfortable trying this in a cold recipe given how it is processed given some other risks associated with raw foods in general and raw cacao specifically.

I don't know how much antioxidants are in raw versus traditionally processed cocoa powder -- that information isn't on the particular brands labels so I can't talk about those nutritional values.

Logic though suggests that if antioxidants are damaged in heating then raw would still have more if you cooked it because both it and traditional cocoa would both continue to lose it during cooking/baking yet the raw would more to begin with. Right?

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