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What is the Difference Between Cacao Nib and Chocolate Chips? #1 Best Answer

The perennial favorite, the choc chip cookie, contains little gems of the chips that give them their name.

Did you know, though, that it is a healthier option to replace the chips with cacao nibs?

It’s also unlikely that you’ll really notice the difference, even though the nibs and chips do have some differences.

What is the difference between cacao nib and chocolate chips?

There are some differences between cacao nibs and chocolate chips, but there are also a number of similarities. Both the nibs and chips begin as cacao beans, but it is the cacao nibs that retain more of their pure form than the chocolate chips do. Cacao nibs have more enhanced health benefits than chocolate chips, although the chips are more popular in baking.

What is the Difference Between Cacao Nib and Chocolate Chips?
What is the Difference Between Cacao Nib and Chocolate Chips?

Cacao beans

Cacao nibs and chocolate chips come from the same base: cacao beans, which grow on cacao trees,

The cacao is native to the upper African Amazon region, which stretches basically 10 degrees on either side of the equator.

The cacao seed pods are about 14 inches (35 cm) long, with a maximum width of about 4.7 inches (12 cm). There are between 20 and 60 beans in each pod.

To produce cacao nibs and cocoa beans, from which the chocolate chips are ultimately made, the beans are allowed to ferment and are then dried and roasted. This turns the beans into cocoa beans.

As they are quickly cooled, the skins crack. The inner of the beans that are left are the cacao nibs. They are then ground into a paste.

This is mixed with a few ingredients to produce unsweetened chocolate. This is what chocolate chips are basically made from.

Cacao nib vs chocolate chips

Cacao nibs are small bits of the inside of dried cacao beans, which makes them part of the same bean used in chocolate production.

According to Loma Linda University, cacao nibs are the raw form of cocoa/chocolate that wasn’t heated or processed.

Chocolate chips are usually made of semi-sweet chocolate.

Cacao nibs are purer than cacao chips
Cacao nibs are purer than cacao chips

Cocoa

Cocoa is produced when the cacao nibs produced from the fermented, roasted, and dried cacao beans are ground into a paste and the cocoa butter is removed.

Cocoa is the basic ingredient of chocolate, from which chocolate chips are made.

Making chocolate

The beginning point for making chocolate is cocoa beans, which are produced from fermented, dried, and roasted cacao beans.

The inside of the beans becomes the cacao nibs. These are ground, producing a paste.

The grinding melts the cocoa butter, which is 53 % of the mass of the nibs. The liquid form of the coca is put into molds and produces pure unsweetened chocolate.

The paste can also be blended with cocoa powder, sugar, lecithin, and vanilla, which is usually the chocolate from which chocolate chips are made.

They can also be made from milk chocolate or white chocolate.

How are chocolate chips made?

The basic chocolate that the chocolate chips will be made of is poured over trays that have regular rows of small holes cut into them.

The chocolate drips through onto a tray. The diameter of the holes determines the size of the chips.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate chips can be made in the same way, but they tend to be softer chocolates.

Health benefits of cacao beans

Cacao beans have various health benefits, which means that both cacao nibs and chocolate chips exhibit these.

Because the nibs are a purer form of cacao, the level of ingredients they contain that have health benefits will be higher than those in the chocolate chips.

Cacao beans contain antioxidants, which are good for you as they help to reduce cell damage.

This assists with the reduction of the risk of heart disease and cancer. The beans are also rich in fiber, which helps with digestion.

They are also said to contain healthy fats that promote the release of the ‘happy hormone’, so they can improve your mood.

Because cacao nibs contain less sugar and other ingredients than chocolate chips, they are a healthier option.

Both the nibs and chips contain minerals that are important for the human body, including potassium, iron, and magnesium.

Making chocolate

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are made from cocoa beans. Dark, unsweetened chocolate is made when the cacao beans have been fermented, dried, and roasted.

Then they are cooled and they crack. The shells are thrown away, and the inside is the cacao nibs.

The nibs are ground, producing a paste. The grinding melts the cocoa butter, which is 53 % of the mass of the nibs.

The liquid form of the coca is put into molds and produces unsweetened chocolate.

Milk chocolate is made following the same method as unsweetened chocolate, but milk powder is added. White chocolate follows the same basic recipe but has no cocoa.

How are chocolate chips made?

The basic chocolate that the hips will be made of is poured over trays that have regular rows of small holes cut into them.

The chocolate drips through onto a tray. The diameter of the holes determines the size of the chips.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate chips can be made in the same way, but they tend to be softer chocolates.

Cacao chips are more popular and more often used in baking
Cacao chips are more popular and more often used in baking

Flavor

Although both chocolate chips and cacao nibs are essentially forms of pure chocolate, the chips have a slightly less bitter taste than the cacao nibs.

This is because of the added ingredients.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate chips are softer than cacao nibs. They melt more quickly when used in baking than both cacao nibs and are sweeter.

Frequently Asked Questions About What is the Difference Between Cacao Nib and Chocolate Chips

Are cacao beans and cocoa beans the same thing?

Although cocoa beans come from cacao beans, they are not exactly the same thing. The cocoa bean is produced when the cacao bean is allowed to ferment, then dried and roasted. When they dry, the skins split and the inside of the bean is called the cacao nib. These are ground to produce cocoa powder.

Why are chocolate chips that are used for cooking usually made from unsweetened, dark chocolate?

Dark, unsweetened chocolate contains much lower percentages of cocoa butter and additives like milk, so it does not melt as quickly and easily as milk and white chocolate. It is also relatively bitter and balances the amounts of sugar in most baking.

Conclusion About What is the Difference Between Cacao Nib and Chocolate Chips

Cacao nibs and chocolate chips begin as cacao beans.

As the beans are processed further and further, the nibs and chips move away from each other.

The nibs remain as a purer form of the fermented, dried, and roasted cacao bean, but the chocolate chips have a greater variety in applications.