Just because I follow a plant-based whole foods diet doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy snacking occasionally! Sometimes a few almonds, a piece of fruit or some veggies with hummus are satisfying to me. But not always. Sometimes I want chocolate and because I’m not one to deprive myself of delicious foods, I have chocolate! 😊 Of course, not all chocolate is created equal, so I opt for the healthiest of chocolate which in my opinion is raw cacao! But it’s not like I can eat raw cacao right from the bag – yeah, that’s pretty gross unless you love the taste of 100% bitter! No that is not for me…but I love to add that superfood to fresh dates and some other wholesome ingredients to make a delicious chocolate snack that only takes 5 minutes to make. Did I mention that this snack has no refined sugar or added oils, and is proportioned perfectly? Today I will share with you how to make this nutrient-packed bite that may soon become your regular “go-to” sweet snack!
First thing is having the right equipment – yes, this is important for living a plant-based and whole-foods lifestyle. I use a food processor, but you could use a high-speed blender if you don’t have a food processor.
To begin the creation, add about 1 cup of raw almonds (or cashews, pecans, walnuts or a combination!) to make a nut flour. I’ll process the nuts for about 30 seconds in the food processor to make a fine, flour-like consistency.
Now add the remaining ingredients (in any order)
– 2 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder
– 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1 cup of fresh dates with pits removed
– 1 scraped vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring). The difference between “flavoring” and “extract” is that there is alcohol in the extract. When it is baked the strong taste is essentially ‘burned’ off, but since this is a raw food, sometimes I think the extract is too strong of a flavor and so I prefer either the flavoring or especially, the scraped vanilla bean.
– Add a pinch of sea salt to balance the chocolate flavor (this is about 1/8 teaspoon).
– I like to add about ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, but this is option if you aren’t a big cinnamon fan. Cinnamon can “trick” the brain into thinking something is sweeter. I love cinnamon so I always add it to this snack.
Blend everything in the food processor for another 30 seconds or so until a sticky batter is formed.
Roll into 1” diameter round balls and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze for over a month. I like to keep a batch in the freezer so that when I have a craving for some chocolate I can easily grab one from the freezer – let it thaw for a couple of minutes or even eat it frozen!
To me, this is such a delicious and quick snack!
Try it out and let me know how you go with it, or what variations you like to make. Food-grade essential oils, dried unsweetened fruit, or what other additions have you tried!