Sucking on cocoa pod seeds is another fun activity that mischievous children might do when walking home from school. Just like when they stone down or climb the mango, plum, and chenette trees located in angry people’s yards, you can spot the young happy ones stealing cocoa pods and running along the roadside smashing the fruit open and enjoying the sweet flavoured seeds covered with pulp.
The seeds are individually enclosed in a pulpy sack that is generally removed before the fermentation process of the seeds when making cocoa and chocolate. The pulp is usually considered a waste by-product in traditional cocoa production. In Trinidad and Tobago, the pulp has always been a favourite snack of our grandparents who would tell stories of climbing cocoa trees, picking the ripened yellow or orange pods and quickly descending to smash the pod on the trunk of the tree to get at the sweet pulp on the inside. It also makes a very refreshing juice.
The healthy cocoa pod
Recently, since the discovery of numerous health benefits associated with the consumption of eating cocoa pulp, a thriving nutritional beverage industry has been created centred around cocoa health drinks derived from the pulp of the fruit. The pulp is used today to make soluble powders used to make yogurts, ice creams, beverages, and dry mixes. The insoluble pulp extract is better suited for bars, baked goods, cereals, confectionery, and cosmetics.
June 2016 – Issue 22 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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By Candida Khan. For all chocolate lovers, this is for you. I am completely obsessed with chocolate. It helps me through my bad days and hard times. Dark chocolate is my favourite. What I love to do is make my “chocolate mix”. Every day, I make a small bowl of magic and I feel better immediately. It actually has many benefits. Through research, it has been discovered that dark chocolate can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, having dark chocolate every day is beneficial to your overall health!
Here is my secret for making my “chocolate mix”:
– Find all the dark chocolate you have at home
– Break off a piece (not more than 100g chocolate)
– Put it in a small bowl. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder (less than 1/3 tsp)
– Melt it in the microwave for a few seconds
It really tastes amazing. I love adding some milk chocolate to it as well, with cinnamon. It is also beneficial in changing your mood. It helps your body to release endorphins which are happy hormones! This chocolate also does not spike your blood sugar like milk or white chocolate would. The dark variety has more fibre than the other chocolates and also has iron. Remember to always go with dark chocolate!