You may have noticed the ingredient “cocoa butter” being used in certain foods or even topical skin creams. If you’re vegan you may think it’s got some dairy in it because it has the word butter. So is cocoa butter vegan and cruelty free?
Don’t worry, cocoa butter is 100% vegan and free from dairy or any animal products. The “butter” doesn’t come from any cow’s milk at all. Cocoa butter comes the seeds in the pods of the cacao tree. Chocolate is also made from the same seeds, and cocoa butter is added to give chocolate a smooth and silky taste.
How Cocoa Butter is Made
The cacao pods contain the cocoa seeds. The seeds are taken to dry, fermented, roasted, and then it’s vegetable fats are extracted via pressing. The resulting product is cocoa butter, it melts at about 35 degrees celcius and so it is the perfect vegan butter alternative and is also great as a skin cream.
Is Cocoa Butter Healthy?
It can be healthy if you eat them sparingly. It contains polyphenol which is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals. It is also free of any cholesterol since it’s a plant-based fat. But it is extremely high in fat, so if you eat it often you can easily gain weight from it.
The Different Uses of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter can be used in many kinds of foods like cookies and cakes, but it’s most well-known for it’s contribution to chocolate. Cocoa butter is used to make chocolate because of it’s natural cocoa flavor, and also it gives chocolate a nice silky texture.
In addition to food, cocoa butter can also used as a natural skin cream. Because of it’s antioxidants like polyphenol, it can be applied to the skin for a number of healthy benefits such as anti-aging, preventing dry skin and chapped lips, soothes burns and rashes, and can even be used as a shaving cream.
It’s very useful if you have stretch marks. Many pregnant women get stretch marks after giving birth, and they say that it gets less noticeable after applying cocoa butter to them.
So pick up some cocoa butter today, and you can use it next time whether you’re baking vegan cookies for your kids, or you can rub it on your hands to moisturize them on a cold and dry day.