Cacao Tea

Since we’ve been living in Nicaragua I’ve been buying bags of cacao beans at the market - I’ve learnt to toast the beans which pop - a little like pop corn when they are ready. Once the beans are toasted I remove their shells/husks and inside the toasted bean crumbles into cacao nibs. I toss the nibs in the blender as part of my morning smoothie -or I crumble the cacao nibs on my greek yogurt and then pour on some honey.

The next time you think of buying a bag of cacao nibs try getting the whole bean instead - they are easy to toast - and then you get the shells too which you can use in the recipe below for tea (pro tip - my kids love shelling the toasted cacao beans - get yours to help out).

Cacao Tea Recipe

the measurements are approximate - try with less or more of everything - recipes, in my opinion, are guidelines to be meddled and played with.

Ingredients:

I/2 cup cacao shells (from toasted beans - you’ll need to toast approx. 1 cup for 1/2 cup shells)

1 stick of cinnamon

Honey to taste

3 cups water

Method:

Bring all ingredients (except honey) to a low boil for 5 - 10 minutes. Using a strainer pour the tea into mugs and add honey to taste. Enjoy.

 My kids … making chocolate in Granada, Nicaragua

My kids … making chocolate in Granada, Nicaragua

We took a trip to the old colonial city of Granada in Nicaragua. We stayed at the Mansion de Chocolate because their chocolate museum and chocolate making classes looked like something our kids would love. It turned out we all loved the class. I thought I knew a thing or two about chocolate as i’ve been making my own chocolate for the last few years. It turned out I had a lot more to learn! It turned out I’d been throwing away one of the best parts of the cacoa bean - the shells! The shells are what you use to make tea…. mmmmm

 How very very cool is a cacao tree … with the pods growing right off the trunk!

How very very cool is a cacao tree … with the pods growing right off the trunk!

 Toasting cacao

Toasting cacao