Friday, December 5, 2014

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Balls

I finally got some cacao nibs so I could make something with this healthy superfood. I told you about cacao in a Wisdom Wednesday post. It's the healthy form of chocolate.

Raw chocolate (cacao) is "off the chart" the highest of any food in antioxidants. Rich in minerals magnesium, iron, manganese, chromium, vanadium, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Cacao's complex nature and chemical reaction in the body allows the arteries and intestines to absorb more nutrients. It increases dopamine and other mood altering chemicals in the brain creating a sense of euphoria or bliss. Yeah, Baby! You don't get that from chocolate you picked up at the check-out stand.

The superfood nutrients are in the raw version of chocolate. Most are cooked away (except the minerals) when you heat cacao over 118° to make cocoa.

Raw cacao nibs are simply raw beans cracked into smaller pieces. To get cacao powder, I have a coffee grinder I use exclusively to grind seeds like flax. It does a great job of turning the cacao nibs into a fine powder ready to use in any recipe calling for unsweetened cocoa.

These little morsels of superfood are easy to make. Using the dry ingredients container for my Vitamix, I blended the rolled grains and cashews into a flour. Trader Joe's Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal is what I used. Use gluten-free rolled oats if you need to create a gluten-free dessert.

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Balls

yield 1 dozen

category Dessert
cuisine Healthy, Vegan
2/3 C of rolled oats or mixed grains
2/3 C of raw cashews
1 tsp of vanilla or 1 vanilla bean, minced
1 Tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp of sea salt
2 Tbsp of cacao powder (plus extra for rolling)
2 Tbsp of cacao nibs

1. Blend the cashews and rolled grains in a food processor or blender to make a flour.
2. In a bowl, add the "flour," vanilla, sweetener, salt and cacao powder. Mix to combine. Add more sweetener if desired.
3. Add water if needed to make the mixture cookie dough consistency. Then add the cacao nibs and combine.
4. Form the mixture into balls (~3/4 inch). Roll the balls in extra cacao powder on a plate to coat.
5. Eat and enjoy! Keep in fridge.

notes: • Variations: Add almond butter, diced dried cranberries

Enjoy these little superfood nuggets any time. Pop one in your mouth and chew it up relishing the complex flavors. Bursting with nutrition, you can feel the energy and taste the yumminess.

What's your favorite chocolate dessert recipe?


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