I am a girl who LOVES rich, decadent, dark chocolate. And despite my best efforts I almost always indulge in a little something sweet before bed every night. For me, there is definitely an emotional comfort and a simple pleasure in a small bite of chocolate before I wind down for the night. For months I have been in love with these delicious raw tarts which I buy from Whole Foods. And believe me, the Chocolate-Mint Miracle Tart is truly sinful. But because I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying new recipes, I wanted to attempt a raw dessert myself. And these Cacao + Coconut Bites are simple, easy to make and the best part is you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. So, when you find yourself without your nightly treat to satisfy that sweet tooth, these can be whipped up in no time.
The recipe does call for Coconut Oil. Which I use for almost everything, but because I know some of you have already told me that you have no idea where to start with this oil, I wanted to give you a quick run-down. Coconut Oil is a saturated fat that for the most part can be used for cooking at high heat. (But be aware, there are some that are not made for high-heat cooking). It has a consistency similar to butter at room temperate, so melt it slightly if necessary for cooking or baking. Depending on which variety you buy there may be a very slight coconut flavor, but it is so mild that it has never impacted the flavor of what I am making. It is easier to digest than most oils and studies show it is good for aiding in weight-loss, boosting immunity and helping to relieve stress. As an added benefit it is also a wonderful moisturizer and can be used on dry skin or hair. I use it on my cuticles almost nightly. (Of course, I recommend keeping a separate jar for kitchen and personal use!) I prefer the Fresh-Pressed, Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil.
RAW CACAO + COCONUT BITES
- 1 1/2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut (whole foods or other health stores carry this)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (you can use natural cocoa powder if you prefer)
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of cinnamon
- OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp of nut butter or a handful of carob chips
Combine the coconut, cocao powder and rolled oats together in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon (and nut butter or carob chips if using). Stir well until mixture is coated evenly. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes (this step is not necessary, but it does make them easier to handle). Line a serving plate with parchment paper. Make 1 inch balls using your hands and then set them on paper-lined plate. Place in freezer to cool for about 40 minutes until they have hardened. They can be kept in the refrigerator after the time in the freezer. Enjoy with a nice hot cup of mint tea before bed!