Decaf chocolate: Dark side you need to know about it
To be honest, when you read the term “Decaf Chocolate”, were you thinking of some kind of special coffee-flavored chocolate where there is no coffee?
We often disregard the fact that chocolates are made from cocoa, a source containing caffeine. As a result, there are certain amounts of caffeine in almost every kind of chocolate. The amount of caffeine usually varies from chocolates to chocolates.
For example- 100 gm of KitKat, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Amul Dark chocolates contain an amount of 14 mg, 53.57 mg, and 56.438 mg of caffeine respectively. So what are some of the chocolates that contain almost no caffeine? And here comes the idea of decaf chocolates!
What is Decaf Chocolate?
To learn about decaf chocolates, we must first know about the obvious- decaf. Decaf comes from the word decaffeinated. The word itself is pretty much self-explanatory, meaning that the caffeine has been removed from coffee beans, cocoa, tea leaves, and other caffeine-containing materials. The main ingredient of chocolates is cocoa powder, which is a rich source of caffeine. 100 gm of cocoa powder contains about 230 mg of caffeine.
How Chocolates are decaffeinated?
There are various ways of extracting caffeine from cocoa beans, of which the water extraction method is one of the most popular methods. But we need to keep in mind that the decaffeination process does not mean the complete extraction of coffee. Even after the decaf process, 1–2% of the original caffeine content, and sometimes as much as 20% still remains. But this amount is way below the line of being harmful and completely safe and healthy to consume. And when you make chocolates with decaf cocoa, you get what you have been asking for Decaf chocolates!
The white chocolates that we see around us are a great example of decaf chocolates. White chocolates are mainly made out of cocoa butter, which contains almost no caffeine. A bar of white chocolate usually has around 4-6 mg of caffeine which is very safe to consume. There are also carob chocolates, which are high in fiber and contain no caffeine. These are made from a plant of the same name. Carob choco chips are a great substitute for caffeinated chocolate chips.
Decaf Chocolate Vs Regular Chocolate Health value
The caffeine our body receives from chocolate alone is not enough to harm our body. But for those with the habit of taking caffeine from other sources, especially those with caffeine addiction, the extra amount of caffeine from chocolate can contribute a significant amount to the damage. General side effects of caffeine include sleep problems, restlessness, nausea, fatigue, and so on. Caffeine overdose worsens many pre-existing conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. It can also cause irregular heartbeat in sensitive people. High doses of caffeine are also problematic for people with diabetes, heart conditions, and epilepsy.
So the problem we have in front of us is pretty straightforward- how can we have the delicious taste of chocolates but not increase our caffeine intake? Here comes our knight in shining armor- decaf chocolates! As decaf chocolates are very low in caffeine, it limits the rise of our caffeine intake very slightly. But is that all decaf chocolate can do? Definitely not! Decaf chocolates contain antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and consequently reduce oxidative damage and can prevent diseases like heart diseases and also lowers blood pressure and cancer.
As we have mentioned earlier, decaf chocolate does not mean completely decaf. This means even if we take decaf chocolates, we are taking a little caffeine no matter what. So an excessive amount of decaf chocolates can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, etc. Decaf chocolates are slightly acidic in nature, so they might affect the enamel of our teeth if taken in regular amounts.
Popular Decaf Chocolate Brands
Toblerone! Those white-looking triangular-shaped delicious long chocolate bars that you had, are one of the most common white chocolate brands. And as we have stated already white means decaf. So Toblerone white chocolate bars are definitely a good example of good decaf chocolates.
Did you think Amul only had those delicious dark chocolates? You are definitely wrong. Amul Super Fruit White Chocolate is definitely trying to be on the top of its game, an absolute fan favorite.
Turkish brand Toren is also well known for its white chocolate. Another well-known and absolutely delicious brand is the Belgian White Chocolate Bar.
The global chocolate brand Ferrero has two different variations for you to pick from- Ferrero Raffaello Chocolate bar and Ferrero Rocher white chocolate with hazelnut.
Apart from that, Cadbury, KitKat, and Kinder have some good white chocolate. And all these amazing-tasting chocolates fall in the category of decaf! So why not take up the challenge of tasting all these delicious decaf chocolates.
How to make decaf chocolate at home
Due to the rising concerns regarding the ingredients of our daily food, decaf products have seen a rise in demand in recent times. As too much caffeine is harmful to our bodies, people are leaning towards decaf products.
There is a tea bag-like product called the “Decaf Pouch”. Just like a teabag, if you put that pouch in a caffeinated liquid, it absorbs the caffeine from it, making it decaf. By using it, we can easily take away the caffeine from cocoa powder solutions.
And by using that solution, we can easily make decaf chocolates. Cocoa butter is the main ingredient of white chocolates, which contains almost no caffeine.
So it is quite easy to make decaf chocolates by using cocoa butter. Though decaf pouches are a wonderful thing, they are still not known throughout the world and are not available in most countries. As a result, cocoa butter is our only reliable friend when it comes to making decaf chocolates.
Decaf chocolate recipes
Decaf chocolate is the prime example that eating healthy does not mean eating not delicious. Carob chocolate chips are no lesser in taste than caffeinated chocolate chips, but only superior in nutrition values. These decaf chocolate chips are high in fiber but contain no caffeine.
Other decaf chocolates, popularly known as white chocolates, can be used to make the most mouthwatering desserts. If you are a cake lover, then white chocolate cake, white chocolate & ricotta cheesecake, and white chocolate pumpkin cheesecakes are a must.
Looking for something liquid, you should definitely try a white chocolate martini. Mousses to pies, tarts to truffles, cookies to tiramisu, almost every kind of sweet dessert can be made with decaf chocolates without compromising with taste even a little bit.
So if you want to lead a healthy life without compromising with taste even a little bit, decaf chocolates are your best solution.
Caffeine has always been a faithful friend to us whenever we needed a little extra energy to go through the day or meet the pursuing deadline But too much of it was never a good thing for our health.
Decaf chocolate helps us greatly by making sure that we are taking caffeine only when we need it. Decaf can help us lead a healthier lifestyle without compromising our taste buds.
As a process, decaffeination processes have been deemed completely safe by a lot of reliable studies. Introducing a little decaf chocolate in our life can only make it better and better!