Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Raw Cocoa-Nut Bites
Confession #1: I'm trying to quit eating refined sugar.
Confession #2: It isn't going very well. Mostly, I don't think wine should count as sugar, because it is very clearly fruit.
I'm a candy-crazy, cake baking, cocktail loving lady who started most mornings with sickly sweet cup of coffee but, after we resolved to create some healthier habits, I quit sugar cold-turkey. The first few days were rough and I'd be lying if I said everyday was perfectly sugar-free, but my sweet cravings and consumption are way down.
Still, some days a girl just needs a chocolate fix. Like when her husband refuses to actually sort the laundry and a tin of lip balm (his) ruins a whole load of clothes. Or Tuesdays which are generally my least favorite day of the week. I know, you know what I'm saying. Thank goodness for dates and dark cocoa powder.
Dates are the fruit of date palm that is incredibly high in sucrose making them naturally sweet, while being high in fiber, vitamin A, and iron. They sort of look like bugs, sorry, dates, you just aren't cute.
We recently purchased a bunch of dark + high fat cocoa powders for testing at work. I took home leftovers of this black cocoa from King Arthur. It is obsession worthy, so intensely chocolate flavored that it is almost spicy. A little bit goes a long way. And I'm counting on it making amazing wafer cookies, becauseI'm sure I'll be back on the sugar bandwagon soon.
These bites are an easy delicious way to get a little sweet fix, you won't feel as guilty when youindulge in a glass (or three) of wine. They're also incredibly versatile - don't have cashews? Use almonds! Hate coconut? Skip it and roll these guys in some extra cocoa powder.
And not that I'm a big Valentine's fan, but I think these would make a great gift dressed up in a little tin. Especially if you're trying to grovel for washing your Burt's Bees with my two favorite striped tees, just sayin'.
Raw Cocoa-Nut Bites
makes 16 bites
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup pitted dates, chopped*
4 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pulse the cashews to a fine crumb in a food processor or blender. Add the dates, 2 tablespoons coconut, cocoa, vanilla and salt and process until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture stick together when pressed. Scoop into tablespoon-size balls and roll in the remaining coconut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*A pair of kitchen shears works very well for chopping sticky dates. It also helps catch any neglected pits - because even pitted dates are not 100% pit free.
For more date sweetened treats check out:
Sara Forte's Peanut Butter Bites
Bri's Unicorn Punch