Personally, I don’t need a million uses for cocoa to prove it’s amazing. I can’t get enough chocolate! Lucky for me – and for everyone who loves chocolate as much as I do – there happen to be a wealth of great uses for cocoa that could shock you. Read below to see if there are a few uses for cocoa that you may want to try for yourself.
1. Added Flavor
One of the most obvious uses for cocoa is a chocolate snack fix. But did you know you can add cocoa powder to a variety of dishes to enhance their flavor? Mole sauce, popular in Mexican cuisine, is served with main dishes and contains cocoa powder. Don’t restrict your cocoa consumption to dessert! You can mix cocoa powder in to batters, soups, and anything that could use a rich, sweet flavor.
2. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is so amazing. It seems every year I learn another amazing use for cocoa butter. Growing up, my mother always told me that cocoa butter helps keep away stretch marks. Then, as I got older, I discovered it’s great for skin nourishment in general. Just recently I learned that cocoa butter is great for your hair as well. Much like shea butter, the same nutrients in cocoa butter that your skin loves are things your hair eats up as well.
3. Air Freshener
This may seem like an obvious use, but it’s still a good one! Cocoa smells yummy. Especially on cold winter nights, the smell of warm chocolate is one of the most soothing scents around. Make a pot of hot cocoa the old fashioned way: on the stove. Heat it slowly and allow the smell to flow through your kitchen and home. It will linger as you sip on the yummy drink. You’ll be so glad you skipped the microwave version!
4. Sweet Tooth Settler
If you’re like me, you crave chocolate a lot of the time. I’m not just talking after dinner or at three o’clock on a workday. I mean every few hours you long for something chocolaty. If this is the case, keep some cocoa powder on hand. Not to eat, mind you. Just to smell. Yep! It’s been proven that just the smell of cocoa powder can suppress cravings, cutting down on the amount of snacking you do daily. Looks like you can keep up with that New Year's diet after all!
5. Skin Refresher
Cocoa is full of antioxidants, which your skin loves. They help to clear and revitalize skin. Mix cocoa powder up into a soothing skin mask to wake up and refresh your skin cells. Grab some cocoa powder, then mix in oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt and a bit of honey for a skin mask that’s almost good enough to eat. Your skin will thank you for the tasty pampering.
6. Your Health
After a lifetime of being told not to eat too much chocolate, you may be surprised to here that cocoa can actually be good for your health. Cocoa powder has been proven to lower blood pressure, decreasing bad cholesterol and reducing the chance for heart disease. Pretty yummy stuff, huh? Now, if only we could get our doctors to prescribe more chocolate…
7. Cocoa Massage
This may be a little out there, but did you know there are cocoa massages? Cocoa powder mixed up in skin masks and exfoliating mixes much like the ones mentioned earlier in this list are used in professional, high-class spas as part of cocoa massage treatments. Most of them finish up with a truffle for you to munch as you soak in the goodness of the treatment. Pampering at its sweetest!
All this talk of cocoa has me craving chocolate! It’s a good thing there are so many amazing uses for cocoa. Have you come across any unusual uses for cocoa? What are they?