It’s no secret that cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods. In fact, cacao powder is so popular because it’s a powerhouse of nutrients that destroy free radicals, ward off the ill effects of aging and inflammation, get rid of cramping and pains, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

If you want to make the most of this amazing superfood, here are five easy and healthy ways to make it a regular part of your diet.

  1. Sprinkle it on your fruit snacks
    Snacking on a cup of strawberries or banana slices is a nutritious choice for keeping hunger pangs at bay. And if you add a few sprinkles of cacao powder over it, you will get more vitamins and minerals and satisfy your sweet tooth. If you want to take it up a notch, consider using a blender or food processor to turn your snack into a smoothie.
  2. Make chocolate pudding
    This is another great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get all the benefits cacao powder has to offer. I’m sure a serving of pudding can keep you full for hours, which makes it a great option for both breakfast and snacks. You’ll find a lot of adjustable recipes online that only take a few minutes to prepare. Just add cacao powder into the mix, pop it into the microwave, and wait.
  3. Create healthy snack bars
    It’s really amazing how granola bars are so easy to make. A quick online search will give you hundreds of simple and healthy recipes, many of which don’t require more than five ingredients. Just remember to reduce the moist ingredients when you add cacao powder so that the mix doesn’t end up too dry.
  4. Bake brownies
    Are brownies your guilty pleasure? They don’t have to be. There are lots of healthy variations that offer more of cacao powder’s benefits minus the unhealthy and unnecessary stuff. Some recipes even pack more protein per square of brownie than an egg.
  5. Add it to your protein shake
    Cacao powder is one of the ingredients for the best protein shake in the world. If the protein supplement you’re using has a forgettable taste and an unimpressive micronutrient profile, add cacao powder and a few other ingredients into the mix. Without a doubt, these will do wonders for its taste and nutrients.

These are a few of the many ways you can use cacao powder to make your diet more delicious and nutritious. And If you’re still not sure which powder to purchase, look for one that’s organic and has not undergone excessive amounts of processing.