Product Review: Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
Name: Navitas Naturals
Product Tested: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Powder
Reviewer: Anonymous from Sunnyvale, California
Recipe: Mimi’s Spumoni Cake
* 1 C. unsalted butter
* 2 C. sugar
* 4 eggs
* 4 tsp. baking powder
* 3 C. flour, sifted
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 lg. can evaporated milk
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1 C. chopped nuts
* 1/4 tsp. green food coloring
* 4 Tbs. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1/2 C. dried cherries, soaked in cherry brandy or hot water for 30 minutes
* 4 drops red food coloring
* powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs in one at a time, and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating the canned milk and the flour, ending with the flour. Divide the batter into three equal parts:
Part 1 - Add chopped nuts and green food coloring. Mix well.
Part 2- Add cacao powder and mix well.
Part 3- Add drained and coarsely chopped cherries and red food coloring.
Pour pink batter into a well greased Bundt or large loaf pan, first. Add chocolate layer and then green. Do not marble. It will marble as it bakes. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with no crumbs. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then turn out and cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Recipe: Vegan Cocoa Brownies
* 1 C. all-purpose flour
* 3/4 C. granulated sugar
* 6 Tbs. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 C. water
* 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
* 1/2 C. natural unsweetened applesauce
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 3/4 C. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
* powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Pour in the water, oil, and vanilla. Stir well to mix. Add in the apple sauce.
Spread half the batter into the prepared pan; sprinkle with the chocolate chips, and cover with the remaining batter. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until top is no longer shiny and a toothpick inserted into the brownies come out with moist crumbs. Cool in pan until just warm before cutting into 2-inch squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Review: Comments on the Spumoni cake: The cacao powder mixed in well and gave the chocolate portion of the cake a very nice chocolate flavor that wasn't overpowered by the other 2 strong flavors.
For the vegan brownies” I decided to try to keep with the healthier aspects of the cacao powder and used it in these brownies. I took them to a gathering and everyone was really surprised by how rich and fudgy these brownies were. They had a great chocolate taste and this recipe came together in a flash.
Reviewer: Teresa L. Walther from Front Royal, Virginia
Recipe: Nutty Cocoa Brownies
* 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 1/4 C. sugar
* 3/4 C. + 2 Tbs. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
* 2 cold lg. eggs
* 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
* 2/3 C. walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
* 1/4 C. white chocolate chips
Combine the butter, sugar, cacao and salt in a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl on top of a simmering pan of water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the double boiler or bowl from heat and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny and well-blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan. Add pecans and white chocolate chips (optional) on top of batter.
Bake until a toothpick is slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Cut into squares.
Review: Let me tell you…the brand of cocoa you use in a recipe DOES make a difference. This is a recipe I use a lot when making brownies and this is the best they have ever tasted!!! This cacao is GREAT. My family loves them and today is Super Bowl day so they won’t last long.
Reviewer: Allison E. from Arlington Heights, Illinois
Recipe: Hot Chocolate
Review: I really enjoyed the taste of the Navitas cacao powder. I used the raw chocolate powder to make hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was rich and creamy. You could actually taste the pure chocolate flavor, and it was great. The cacao made a rich, dark chocolate cocoa, so if you prefer the slightly bitter flavor of dark chocolate, this cacao powder is a great alternative to typical hot chocolate powders. Besides tasting better than store-bought cocoa mixes, the Navitas cacao powder is rich in antioxidants and minerals, which was another plus and made drinking hot chocolate feel healthier. I’ve also found the powder to be great in making smoothies. I’ve used about a tablespoon for a variety of fruit smoothies, and I’ve loved the result every time! It gives the smoothie an added cocoa taste without overpowering the fruit taste. I will definitely continue to use this product because it is so versatile, tasty and healthy.
Reviewer: Joanna Davidson from Arlington, WA
Recipe: Real Hot Cocoa
* 1 1/2 tsp. Cacao Powder
* 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
* 1 1/2 tsp. water
* 3/4 C. milk
* Mini marshmallows or whip cream
Mix cocoa, sugar and water in a mug. Stir until smooth. Pour milk into saucepan over medium heat until milk is hot. Stir so it doesn't burn. Carefully pour hot milk into mug and stir. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream. One serving.
Recipe: Dark Cocoa Coffee
* 1 C. freshly brewed coffee of your choice
* 1 Tbs. Cacao Powder
* 1-2 tsp. sugar or sweetener
Add cocoa and sugar to warmed up mug. Add hot, freshly brewed coffee and mix well. Drink warm or stick in the refrigerator for later. If you prefer espresso, substitute one shot of espresso and 1 cup of milk in place of the coffee.
Recipe: Cocoa Butter Balls
* 2/3 C. butter, softened
* 3/4 C. powdered sugar
* 3 Tbs. Cacao Powder
* 1 Tbs. milk or water
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 2 C. oatmeal
* 1/2-3/4 C. powdered sugar for coating
Blend butter and sugar. Blend cocoa, water and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture to butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Add oatmeal and blend with hands. Form into ball, 3/4 inch in diameter. Chill mixture as necessary to make shaping easier. Place additional powdered sugar in bowl. Drop balls into sugar. Roll to coat. Place on plate; refrigerate until firm, about one hour.
Review: The hot cocoa was very tasty and gave a rich tasting cocoa. I served it to 3, including myself, and we all felt it was rich and real tasting in the cocoa flavor. It tasted real and it was not bitter nor was there an aftertaste of bitterness. I tried whip cream for a topping and it gave a somewhat different flavor but not overly sweet. We would buy this product at market as we enjoyed the taste. It was quick to make and satisfying as a drink of chocolate.
I sampled the dark cocoa coffee because I like coffee and I normally do not like cacao or any chocolate in it. This was different and I found it to be a dessert type or after dinner drink. I liked the mixture and the sugar added helped to give me sweetness without over whelming drink. I could taste the chocolate but I would have liked it to be a little richer. I tried more sugar and did not like it so I added whole milk and that seemed to satisfy the taste I wanted. I would try it again.
The cocoa butter ball recipe is an easy one to make. It was quick, very, very good and sooo easy. It reminded me of days gone by when ice box type desserts were the rage. Not one person who sampled these had a bad thing to say. I put the plate out and 6 people sampled the balls. They wanted more. I used whole milk for a richer experience and I found the recipe to be just right in proportions. The cacao powder was rich tasting, strong in flavor, and just plain good. It blended well with the other ingredients and it kept its flavor throughout the mixing process.
I will definitely buy this product if I see it on the store shelf. It surpasses any cocoa product I have tried in a long time. I wish I had more of it and in my opinion; this product is a true WINNER! Thank you for letting me sample this product. I truly enjoyed working with it and the people who sampled it enjoyed each bite.
Reviewer: Angie from Lincolnwood, IL
Recipe: Dark Chocolate Chip Cacao Cookies
* 2 C. sugar
* 2/3 C. butter, softened
* 2 lg. eggs
* 1 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
* 1 C. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix for 60 seconds. Add vanilla, baking soda, flour and cacao and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake the chocolate chip cookies for 8 to 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then move the cookies to a wire rack.
Recipe: Raw Vegan Brownies
* 1/2 C. dried dates
* 1/2 C. dried cherries
* 1/4 C. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1 C. walnuts
* 3 Tbs. agave nectar (or honey)
* 1/3 C. water
Process all in food processor until ingredients are well mixed and chopped. Press into a small square baking pan and freeze for 1 hour. Slice brownies into 12 pieces. Store in fridge.
Review: The cookies are a very healthy choice when making a dessert that is rich in chocolate flavor. My dad was a huge fan! They tasted pretty awesome. The brownies were also really healthy, and the cacao was a great addition!
Reviewer: Sophia V. from Lincolnwood, IL
Recipe: Easy Dark Hot Chocolate
* 2 tsp. sugar
* 1 tsp. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
* 1 C. milk
* 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the first three ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into a mug.
Review: I’ve never made hot chocolate with cacao powder, and I actually now prefer to make hot chocolate this way. The cacao has a rich taste that reminded me more of dark chocolate. It wasn’t bitter like some dark chocolate is, but strong and full of flavor. I definitely think anyone who likes to try healthier recipes should pick up this product. You can also bake with it, and I’m sure there are a ton of cookies, cakes and brownies that can be made with this powder. It’s pretty much just like your typical cocoa powder only darker, richer and healthier!
Reviewer: Kathryn S. from Forest Park, Illinois
Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana & Cacao Smoothie
* 1 sm. ripe banana, sliced
* 2 Tbs. peanut butter, creamy
* 1 Tbs. honey
* 1 C. cold milk
* 1 Tbs. cacao powder
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Review: I used the cacao powder in a peanut butter and banana smoothie. The cacao was a welcome addition to the drink, giving it a chocolaty taste without the overly sweet flavor of some chocolate syrups and powders. I loved the fact that I was actually getting a dose of antioxidants as I was sipping on my delicious smoothie, and I would love to try the cacao powder in hot chocolate or other hot drinks. I also plan to add some cacao powder to my next batch of brownies. I think the cacao would give baked goods a rich but guilt-free flavor.