Here's a question we get asked a lot:


"So can you use brewing cacao for anything else besides, ya know, brewing?" 


And the answer is a resounding yes! Brewing cacao is pretty versatile in the kitchen. Mix it into smoothies for a healthy, chocolatey addition, Sprinkle it over oatmeal or yogurt. It even works great in a steak rub!


Here are some of our favorite recipes that include our brewing cacao as a key ingredient! 

Discovered something Understory Brewing Cacao goes great in? We'd love to hear about it and possibly add it to our recipe list! Send us an email with your creative concoction at or hashtag it on instagram #LessJoltMoreJoy

Cacao Banana Bread 

This easy-to-make loaf combines a home baking classic with bold chocolatey bliss! 


Ingredients (makes 1 loaf):

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao (finely ground and sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large ripe/brown bananas (4 small bananas)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted and cool)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted and cool)
  • 3/4 cup  packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • (OPTIONAL) 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • (OPTIONAL) 1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mix together the flour, finely gound and sifted cacao , baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the melted butter and oil. Stir in the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet until well combined.
  5. (OPTIONAL) Stir in ¾ cup of the chocolate chips.
  6. (OPTIONAL) Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  8. (OPTIONAL) Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips over the top of the bread.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean. Oven times vary.
  10. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with butter.

    No Bake 'CaPow' Balls: 

    Bite-sized delights with a flavorful punch! These tasty morsels are packed with nutrients from Understory Brewing Cacao, oats, flaxseed, and chia seeds. Bound together with creamy peanut butter and sweet maple syrup, and finished with a hint of vanilla and optional chocolate chips, they're guilt-free, energy-boosting treats you'll love.

    Ingredients (makes 10-12 balls):

    • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup Understory Cacao
    • 1 tbsp flaxseed
    • 1 tbsp chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
    • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional) 
    1. Pulse dry ingredients (oats, cacao, flaxseed, chia, coconut) in a mixer/blender until coarsely blended
    2. Fold in wet ingredients (peanut butter, syrup, vanilla) and chocolate chips until well combined.
    3. Roll into balls about 1-2 tbsps each.
    4. Refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to one week.

      Lisa's Chocolate Chip Cacao Cookies

      Boost your cookie game with Understory Brewing Cacao! These homemade treats blend a rich, dark cocoa flavor with a nutritional kick. Sweet, savory, and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, they're easy to bake and even easier to love. A perfect mix of unique taste and familiar comfort, plus a healthier twist!

      Ingredients (makes 15 cookies):

      • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter (softened)
      • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
      • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      • 1 egg
      • 1 1/4 cups flour
      • 1/4 cup Understory cacao grounds (finely ground and sifted)
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
      • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
      • Flaked sea salt for the top


      1. Preheat oven to 375F. 
      2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sifted cacao grounds in a bowl. Set aside.
      3. In a separate bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
      4. Beat in egg and vanilla until well mixed and smooth.
      5. Fold in dry ingredient mixture and chocolate chips until incorporated
      6. Scoop about 11/2-2 tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets evenly spaced. Sprinkle lights with flaky sea salt (optional).
      7. Bake for approximately 8-9 minutes until just barely set and soft in the middle.

        Chop's Chili Powder 

        Ingredients (Yields 4 Tablespoons):

        • 1 tablespoon Understory Cacao
        • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
        • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
        • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
        • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
        • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
        • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste for heat)
        • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


        1. Mix Spices: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
        2. Store: Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.

        This versatile chili powder blend goes great with a variety of dishes, especially homemade chili.