Why You Should Start Adding Cacao To Your Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast on its own, but can be even better with cacao. First, let's go over the difference between cocoa and cacao. According to The Spruce Eats, cacao beans haven't been roasted, and cocoa is made out of roasted beans. So, cocoa is more processed than cacao because cacao is raw and doesn't have any additives. You can find cacao nibs, small pieces of less processed cacao that's chopped up, or cacao powder. Cocoa, on the other hand, is the processed version used in sweetened chocolate bars or powders. Cacao is a popular vegan food because no butter or milk has been added.

So, why should you add this bittersweet food to your oatmeal? Both cacao and oats have numerous health benefits. According to Eat This, Not That, oats make you feel full for longer, plus they are good for your gut health, are high in fiber, and are good for your heart. According to WebMD, cacao powder is high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, and protein. Health benefits include reduced heart disease and diabetes risk, lower blood pressure, and reduced inflammation. Inflammation can lead to depression, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and some cancers. 

Two tablespoons of cacao powder contain about 50 grams of caffeine, or approximately half a cup of coffee's worth, depending on the coffee. That can be a nice extra morning wake-up, but be careful if you're sensitive to caffeine. Ready to try some cacao oatmeal?

How to add cacao to your oatmeal

Overnight oats are the best because you don't have to prepare them in the morning while groggy. Try these recipes for adding cacao to your oatmeal. Use a glass container like a mason jar for your overnight oats or something else that seals. Quaker Oats recommends using one part oats and one part liquid. For example, you can use one cup of rolled oats and one cup of your favorite milk or water, whichever you prefer. You could also use yogurt instead of milk or water. This is the base of your overnight oats. You can see how versatile they are because you can add whatever you want to them. 

Add two tablespoons of raw cacao powder and stir or shake your oats to blend them. Let them sit in your fridge overnight for about eight hours. Of course, you can cook them in the morning if you prefer, but overnight oats are super easy and convenient. You can add chia seeds the night before, so they soak up the milk or water with the oats. Add fruit and nuts or nut butter for flavor, as well as extra nutrients and protein. Just wait until morning to do it, or they'll get soggy. Add some sliced bananas, slivered almonds, granola, nut butter, or chopped apples. If you like it sweet, add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Add a little flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract. Make it your own and enjoy your overnight cacao oats.