Last updated: August 13, 2021

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Welcome to our big cocoa nibs test 2021. Here we present all the cocoa nibs we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best cocoa nibs for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy cocoa nibs.




Summary

  • Cacao nibs are obtained from raw cacao beans and are very rich in important nutrients, such as magnesium.
  • Without additives such as sugar and fat, they are also much healthier than chocolate or other products, but have a rather tart taste.
  • As a new raw superfood, cocoa nibs have already conquered many breakfast bowls, but can also be used in other ways in the kitchen.

The Best Cocoa Nibs: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying cocoa nibs

What are cacao nibs?

Cocoa nibs are obtained from raw cocoa beans. After being shelled, they are crushed, fermented and dried. Optionally, the cacao nibs can also be roasted afterwards.

A modern superfood with ancient roots: the cocoa bean. Here still in whole pieces, cocoa nibs offer a variety of health benefits. (Image source: pixabay.com / gate74)

Cocoa nibs have been consumed in Latin America for a very long time and in recent years have made their way into Europe and the rest of the Western world as a new superfood. Cacao nibs can be enjoyed raw, roasted or sweetened and have many uses in the kitchen for baking or cooking.

How healthy are cocoa nibs?

Due to the gentle manufacturing process, many nutrients are preserved. Among other things, cocoa nibs are very rich in magnesium. They also contain a lot of iron and can have an antioxidant effect in the body. Cocoa nibs are therefore an excellent way to satisfy a craving for chocolate and start the day with the consumption of a superfood. Some cocoa nib varieties are sweetened with yacon syrup, but this sweetener is healthier than regular sugar. Cocoa nibs thus remain very healthy in any variation.

When should cocoa nibs not be eaten?

Although cocoa nibs have a number of positive health effects, in some situations you need to watch your consumption and avoid cocoa nibs completely.

Hot cocoa is the perfect reward after a cold and tiring day. With cocoa nibs, it can also be prepared in a very healthy way. However, pregnant women should refrain from consuming it. (Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels)

As cocoa nibs also contain caffeine, pregnant women should not consume cocoa nibs or other products containing cocoa. Pregnancy could be affected by the caffeine. Furthermore, if you suffer from restless sleep, you should also approach cocoa nibs with caution. They can cause restlessness.

How much do cocoa nibs cost?

There is a wide price range between the different types of cocoa nibs. The cost varies depending on the additives, the form and the cocoa bean. The range can go from about 13 to 87 euros/kg. Roasted cocoa nibs, however, usually end up at 45 euros. If you are a cocoa lover or would like to try out different varieties, the prices for cocoa nibs seem reasonable to us.
Type Price range
Cocoa nibs unroasted 13 - 87 euros/kg
Cocoa nibs roasted 34 - 45 euros/kg

For unroasted cocoa nibs, the amounts range up to 87 euros, with different manufacturers charging very different prices. Roasted cocoa nibs can be bought from 34 euros, and are comparatively expensive.

What alternatives are there to cocoa nibs?

There are different ways to consume cocoa. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to cocoa nibs.
Method Description
Cocoa powder Most cocoa powder varieties have been loaded with a lot of sugar and are highly processed. This causes many of the nutrients in the cocoa bean to be lost.
Chocolate Chocolate can be used in many different ways. However, due to the high sugar and fat content, most varieties have little to do with a superfood.
Coconut flakes Another exotic way to add excitement to dishes. The comforting taste of coconut flakes can hide the fact that there are not as many nutrients as in cocoa nibs.

There are several alternatives to add variety in the kitchen, but none of them are as healthy as cacao nibs. Cocoa nibs are not only healthier than most alternatives, but can also be processed in many ways.

Decision: What types of cocoa nibs are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to enjoy a healthy snack with the help of cocoa nibs, there are several alternatives to choose from:

  • Unroasted cocoa nibs
  • Roasted cocoa nibs

The different types of cocoa nibs each have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and how you want to consume cocoa nibs, a different type is suitable for you. The following section is designed to help you decide.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of unroasted cocoa nibs?

Cocoa nibs have become a true superfood. The unroasted variety convinces with its naturalness and simplicity. The cocoa beans are fermented after harvesting in the country of origin. This process releases certain substances and makes them available to us. After drying, the cocoa beans are shipped. Next, the cocoa beans are cleaned and broken into small pieces. The unroasted cocoa nibs are now ready and are characterised by their relatively tart taste.

Unroasted cocoa nibs are mainly characterised by their bitter taste, but they are also rich in nutrients.

A particularly large number of nutrients are retained. Unroasted cocoa nibs are relatively cheap, but quite expensive compared to chocolate or other products. They are very versatile in the kitchen, but their relatively bitter taste is not necessarily to everyone's taste.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • Very rich in nutrients
Disadvantages
  • Relatively bitter taste
  • Less variation in taste

What distinguishes roasted cocoa nibs and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Unroasted cocoa nibs are produced in the same way as unroasted cocoa nibs in the first steps. However, they are roasted before being cut into pieces. This roasting can take different lengths of time, depending on the cocoa bean and the manufacturer. This also creates different flavours, so roasted cocoa nibs are more versatile in taste than unroasted ones. Not only can the taste vary, the cocoa nibs also develop a certain aroma. Due to the more complex production process, roasted cocoa nibs are also a little more expensive than unroasted ones. In addition, they also lose some of their naturalness and minimally some of their nutrients due to the heat. Roasted cocoa nibs provide a pleasant crunchy bite due to their roasting, and can make morning breakfast bowls more exciting.

Advantages
  • Excitingly varying taste
  • Crunchy
  • Aromatic
Disadvantages
  • Less nutrients
  • Expensive

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate cocoa nibs

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible cocoa nibs. The criteria you can use to compare cocoa nibs include:

  • Type of bean
  • Additives
  • Packaging
  • Origin

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.

Type of bean

There are hundreds of different sub-varieties of cocoa beans around the world. However, they all derive in some way from the two main varieties: Criollo and Forastero. Criollo is considered the noblest of the cocoa beans, is rather mild in taste and originally comes from Venezuela. Forastero, on the other hand, is very widespread and has a very intense, bitter taste. It also comes from the virgin forests of South America. There is also a cross between the two main varieties, the so-called Trinitario cocoa bean. This combines the taste characteristics of both varieties and can nowadays be found in the Caribbean.

Additives

Cocoa nibs are usually sold without additives, but there are exciting exceptions. For example, some manufacturers offer their cocoa nibs with yacon syrup. This sweet syrup made from the tubers of the yacon plant provides a pleasantly mild sweetness and is also healthier than normal sugar. In addition, the yacon plant also comes from South America and makes the cocoa nib experience complete. The other popular sweetener is called lucuma. This sweet fruit is also grown in South America and gives the cocoa nibs not only a certain sweetness, but also a slightly fruity aroma.

Packaging

Since cocoa nibs are not used in large quantities at every meal, it is particularly important that the relatively large portions also have a long shelf life. Most manufacturers offer their cocoa nibs in resealable plastic bags. This has several advantages, such as the fact that no other containers are needed. However, if the cocoa nibs are sold in tins, or you consume them particularly slowly, then you can consider placing them in a canning jar. Some shops sell cocoa nibs without packaging. You can fill them directly into your jar and save the environment.

Origin

Nowadays, there are areas in tropical regions all over the world where cocoa beans are grown. However, the working conditions are not always fair.

The effects of the cocoa bean were already known to the ancient Aztecs. These benefits can now be enjoyed worldwide. (Image source: pixabay.com / Jing)

Especially in many African countries, workers or small farmers are exploited to produce cocoa as cheaply as possible. When buying cocoa nibs, you can look for organic certification and especially a fair trade logo. These want to help ensure that the cocoa nibs are produced more fairly. Cocoa nibs with these logos are usually more expensive than those without, but it is definitely worth it. Cocoa beans are grown in most tropical regions of the world - but not always under good conditions.

Interesting facts about cocoa nibs

Other superfoods in comparison

To give you an overview of the different superfoods, we have summarised everything in a handy table. Note that some overlap in their effects and others are unique in their range of action.

Superfood Effect
Goji berries With their high antioxidant effect, goji berries have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are also extremely rich in various vital substances and thus a classic superfood.
Chia seeds Like cocoa, also originating from South America, chia seeds are particularly popular in vegan cuisine. They are rich in protein and can also be used in baking as a versatile substitute for animal products.
Spirulina This trendy alga is sold as powder or in tablets. As a vitamin bomb, it is rich in vitamin B12 and also proteins. Popular in smoothies or shakes, this superfood also helps with weight loss.
Açai The miracle berry from Brazil is rich in antioxidant ingredients, similar to the goji berry. It also ensures that the metabolism is stimulated and thus supports fat burning.
Ginger Known in Germany longer than the other superfoods, but just as valuable. Ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect, calms the stomach and is much more affordable than more exotic superfoods.

Do cocoa nibs help with weight loss?

Cocoa nibs are good to incorporate into your diet. Because they are rich in fibre, they make you feel fuller for longer and thus help you lose weight. In addition, the caffeine contained in cocoa nibs has a stimulating effect and can get your circulation going. In addition, the high magnesium content and the many good vitamins support regeneration after sport and other exertions.

What is the shelf life of cocoa nibs?

Cocoa nibs, like other foods, have a limited shelf life. With proper storage, this is about two months. When storing, make sure that the cocoa nibs are kept in a cool and dry place, but above all protected from the sun. Most manufacturers offer their cocoa nibs in special, resealable plastic bags. These fulfil the requirements almost perfectly. However, if you notice an unpleasant smell after a certain time, we recommend that you play it safe.

Can I make cocoa nibs myself?

Theoretically, you can make cocoa nibs yourself. The biggest problem is that cocoa beans unfortunately do not grow in this country. Therefore, you have to buy ready-fermented cocoa beans. This process takes place directly after the harvest in the growing regions. After that, however, you can make cocoa nibs. You only have to peel the cocoa bean after soaking it in water. Then let it dry out and grind it. The cocoa nibs are ready!

Image source: unsplash.com / Etty Fidele

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