Origin: South America
Cocoa powder, which comes from the cocoa bean, is highly nutritious, and it can provide numerous health benefits. Native to South America, cocoa beans have been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of disorders, including coughs and hair loss, and as a source of nutrition. During processing, cocoa beans are roasted and fermented, then processed to remove their fat content, leaving the cocoa powder, pure cocoa solids, behind. Adding pure cocoa solids to your diet offers a range of benefits because it comes loaded with health-boosting minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. The cacao tree produces clusters of pod-shaped fruits that contain seeds, or beans, used to make cocoa. The seeds are fermented to develop their flavor and color, and then they’re dried, roasted and ground into a paste. The fat, or cocoa butter, is removed from the paste, leaving the dry unsweetened cocoa powder.