Cacao vs Cocoa vs Carob

What is the difference between these three? I couldn’t find cacao or carob in my natural foods store in my neighborhood- we don’t have a whole foods in jacksonville, fl. Is regular cocoa raw? I know people here have said if it doesn’t specify that it’s raw it’s not, so what should I be looking for and/or is there a good brand I can ask about?


  • humanimalhumanimal Raw Newbie

    cocoa is the misspelled and processed form of cacao. Cacao refers to the raw bean of the cacao plant. Carob is not derived from the cacao plant. It is another bean which does not contain the mild stimulant theobromine. Theobromine is the chemical found in the cacao bean which supplies person with energy. Most people think that the stimulus is from caffeine, but cacao really has no caffeine. carob is often used to substitute cacao in recipes. for example if you want something with a chocolate flavor later in the day, carob is great, because if you do have cacao later in the day it may be hard to rest at night. Cacao and carob come in both whole bean and powdered forms. Carob is ground whole, while the cacao is pressed to remove most of the oils and then powdered. I hope that clears everything up :)

    Lots of Love,

  • humanimalhumanimal Raw Newbie

    oh sorry I forgot to tell you about the brand. I use Navitas brand of raw cacao powder and beans. Type in Navitas on and you will be able to buy 2 16 oz. bags for a awesome price of $25.00!

    Dr. Denise
  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    The substitute for carob is not a 1-to-1 ratio. You need about 1/4 the carob if your using it as a substitute for cacao.

    Cacao really has no caffeine? Unbelievable. I had no idea.

  • Dr. DeniseDr. Denise Raw Newbie

    A little FYI... While Cacao doesn't contain Caffeine, it does contain theobromine. It's in the same family with caffeine called methylxanthines. It also includes the "caffeine" in tea which is called Theophyline. All 3 are stimulants and breakdown into paraxanthine/7-dimethylxanthine. All are metabolized by the liver and have effects on the adrenal glands. 

    If you're trying to avoid caffeine, unfortunately cacao, chocolate, tea and coffee all are on the list.

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