top of page

Cacao vs. Chocolate & A Yummy Latte Recipe

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

When I re-create a popular Starbucks drink, I'm looking to do it without the additives, preservatives, and without the unnecessary and intense sugar spike! This Salted Caramel Mocha does exactly that, and it's oh so tasty! [Also a quick note, none of this post is sponsored!]

I use the Hu Dark Chocolate Gems because of their delicious taste & three simple ingredients: organic cacao, unrefined coconut sugar, & organic fair-trade cacao butter. This also means it is dairy-free. I generally don't like chocolate syrups because usually, their first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, followed by more sugar, preservatives, milk fat, and then maybe just a little bit of cacao. [See Hershey's Chocolate Syrup or Starbucks' Salted Caramel Mocha Ingredient List -- notice the chocolate, toffee nut, and caramel syrups are mostly sugar, dairy, and preservatives...aka of no nutritional value, and made with ingredients that create a roller coaster for your blood sugar!]

Cacao is what makes real chocolate, chocolate. (A lot of the chocolate we consume, I'd argue, is's just sugar). Cacao is a small seed from a tropical evergreen tree or a Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao seeds are technically a fruit and are known to be a "superfruit" (1). Cacao is a nutrient-power house and contains significant antioxidants and flavanol content.

["Raw cocoa beans are naturally very rich in a specific sub-group of flavonoids,

known as cocoa flavanols. There is a strong body of scientific evidence that

demonstrates that regular cocoa flavanol intake can improve the function of blood

vessels, as well as positively impact a number of markers related to cardiovascular

health, like blood pressure" (2)].

The coconut oil + pure maple syrup mimics the caramel taste with a fraction of the sugar. Pure maple syrup (as well as coconut sugar, which you see in the Hu Chocolate Gems) are low glycemic. Low glycemic means your body digests it slower, resulting in it a slower rise in blood glucose and also typically insulin levels. This means your body is less likely to have a sugar crash (shakiness, headache, hunger, fatigue...etc).

So, as you can see, this Salted Caramel Mocha is delicious and it won't leave you with the negative effects of a sugar crash: hungry, tired, fatigued, and with a headache!

So, what are you waiting for?! Go give this yummy drink a try!


  • 2 oz espresso (could use coffee)

  • 8-10 oz your favorite milk, frothed/steamed/warmed

  • 1 tbsp melted Hu Dark Chocolate Gems

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

  • dash of Maldon flaky sea salt


  • Melt the chocolate, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and the sea salt in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until chocolate is melted. Stir to combine.

  • Froth/warm the milk and then pull the espresso shot.

  • Add the chocolate mixture to the espresso & stir. Then, slowly pour the frothed milk. Sip away!



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page