Have you ever asked yourself, “Is cocoa butter vegan food?” Well, despite its misleading name, cocoa butter is vegan. That’s because cocoa butter is not butter at all; it’s made from cocoa, not milk. Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cocoa bean, which is what chocolate is made from. Cocoa butter is also found as an ingredient in many products, such as baked goods and massage creams, which may or may not be vegan. Cocoa butter also goes by the name theobroma oil; therefore, if you see that name listed in a product, it’s the same ingredient
Is Cocoa Butter Healthy?
It’s perfectly reasonable to wonder if anything with “butter” in its name is healthy. Cocoa butter is perfectly fine as long as it’s consumed occasionally in small amounts. Cocoa butter does not contain any cholesterol since it is derived solely from a plant source, but it is fat, and it’s very high in calories. Consuming too much of it can lead to weight gain and possibly other weight-related health issues. As long as you don’t eat it by the spoonful, you’ll be fine.
What Can I Use Cocoa Butter For?
Cocoa butter is often found as an ingredient in topical creams, but you can also use raw cocoa butter by itself as a topical cream. It also makes an excellent ingredient for vegan baking. It’s highly stable, stays solid at room temperature, and has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma. Try using cocoa butter as a dairy-butter substitute when baking to add richness and smoothness to your treats.
BENEFITS OF COCOA BUTTER
We have to stress to you how useful cocoa butter really is. It’s so multi-faceted, and anything that has so many benefits has to be good for you. It’s definitely something that you want to take full advantage of. For starters, butter has been used for thousands of years by people all around the world. That in itself should let you know how awesome this stuff is. Check out some of the benefits below:
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Sun exposure and pollution is damaging to the skin and fortunately, cocoa butter aids in creating a barrier on the skin. It adds an additional layer of moisture that guards your skin against harmful environmental elements.
That’s right. Cocoa butter helps to keep you looking youthful by reducing the signs of aging. The butter contains polyphenols that aid in promoting health internally and externally.
Believe it or not, saturated fats that come from plant sources assist in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cocoa is an anti-inflammatory dietary substance, which can help prevent your arteries from hardening. It can also lower your chances of a heart attack.
Cocoa butter helps to improve your hormonal balance and brain health, and also boosts your immune system. Its plant polyphenols provide antioxidant properties that combat against inflammation, brain function, and cancer.
Well, there you have it; cocoa butter is a super substance! Hopefully, you better understand why this healthy fat is so useful and a staple in vegan diets.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE COCOA BUTTER PRODUCTS
Now that you have more information regarding the benefits of cocoa butter, you should feel more comfortable using it. You can find it in supermarkets and convenience stores, but it’s also available online. Here are a few all-natural options that we love:
HEALTHWORKS CACAO BUTTER
- This butter is gluten-free, full of antioxidants, contains vitamin E and vitamin K, and is safe for vegans.
- It’s great for use in various foods to add richness. Use it in your smoothies, desserts, lotions, and soaps.
- Use it as a substitute for dairy in vegan cookies, coffee, and more.
The product is available on Amazon.
NUVIA ORGANIC COCOA BUTTER
- This product is 100 percent USDA certified and molded into wafers.
- It has a melting point of 105 degrees and it’s a wonderful substitute for dairy butter.
- Unrefined and free of additives and preservatives
Take a look at this butter here.
UNREFINED COCOA BUTTER
- Comes with a free E-book with 20 homemade skin care recipes
- Perfect for DIY moisturizers and body butters
- Reduces stretch marks, rashes, and burns
Purchase the butter on Amazon.
WILD COCOA BUTTER
- 100 percent organic, non-deodorized, and unrefined
- Ideal for making chocolate, shakes, and lip balm
- Harvested from small farms using natural and artisan methods
This product is available on Amazon.
VEGAN COCOA BUTTER RECIPES
Chocolate is irresistibly delicious and it’s only fair that vegans get to satisfy their sweet tooth like everyone else. All you need is a few ingredients to make it!
- ½ cup of organic cocoa butter
- ½ cup of raw organic cocoa powder
- ½ cup of virgin coconut oil
- ¼ to ½ cup of agave syrup (the amount you use is based on your preference of sweetness)
- Grate the cocoa butter and the coconut oil into a bowl (the contents will melt easier if they are grated).
- Put the bowl of grated pieces into a larger bowl of hot water.
- Stir the ingredients until it has a creamy texture.
- Pour the cocoa powder into the coconut oil and cocoa butter mixture. Continue to stir.
- Next, add in the agave syrup (you can skip adding a sweetener if you’d like).
- Check the taste and sweetness of the chocolate after the previous step.
- Pour the mixture into a pan or ice cube tray.
- Add in toppings like raisins or almonds for more flavor.
If you love a soothing cup of joe in the morning, but you want to stay away from unhealthy sugar, this next recipe is for you!
- Organic cocoa butter
- Extra-virgin coconut oil
- Almond butter or cashew butter
- Oat milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
- Heat the cocoa butter, almond, or cashew butter, and coconut oil together.
- Pour in brewed coffee and other contents into a blender
- Mix the coffee until it has a frothy and creamy texture.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
HOMEMADE COCOA BODY BUTTER
This next concoction can be used a couple of different ways. You can make a batch of moisturizer for your body or for easy access while cooking. Take a look at how versatile this recipe is!
- ¼ cup of shea butter
- ½ cup of cocoa butter
- ⅛ cup of sweet almond oil
- ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil
- 8 drops of your favorite essential oil
If you want to use this recipe in the kitchen, make some adjustments to this list. Substitute all of the oils for coconut oil, and don’t use the shea butter. If you want to add in a little olive oil or nut butter, feel free to do so. The ingredients you use are determined by what you plan to use the butter for. Let’s proceed.
- In a skillet, melt the shea and cocoa butter over low heat.
- Remove it from the heat and add in the oils.
- Pour the contents into an airtight container.
Grab this pre-made butter when you need to moisturize your skin or as you’re rushing to make your vegan coffee in the morning.
COCOA BUTTER POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS
As you’ve learned in this article, cocoa butter is considered a fat, so you might be hesitant to add it to your diet. But if you’re unsure if you should cook with it, there are some other factors to consider. Cocoa butter is composed of oleic acid, which is a heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. It also contains stearic and palmitic acid, which are forms of saturated fat. However, neither of them have much effect on your cholesterol. But that doesn’t mean you can eat loads of dark chocolate. The bottom line is, cocoa butter isn’t damaging to your health, but it is high in calories. So if you’re watching your figure, eat it in moderation.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON COCOA BUTTER
This article is packed with lots of information about the benefits of cocoa butter. If you were skeptical about using it, hopefully, you’re sold on it now! If so, how do you plan to incorporate the butter into your diet and lifestyle?