I’m doing a little detox of sorts- a week or maybe more of eating lots of raw foods- so I was so happy to see this recipe for raw cocoa nibbles (aka “LaRaw Bars”) in Ricki Heller’s book: Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.
These raw chocolate cookies are seriously good. I stayed simple and followed the basic recipe using just almonds (I used raw almond butter), dates, and cocoa (I used Navitas Naturals raw chocolate powder), and I placed one dehydrated raspberry in the center of each…really delicious!
Raw Cocoa Nibbles
*1/2 cup (80 g.) raw almonds
*1 1/4 cups (about 150 g.) unsweetened dried dates, chopped
*2 tablespoons (20 g.) raw cacao powder or organic cocoa powder
*1 teaspoon (5 ml.) vanilla (optional)
optional add-ins (choose one of the following): 6 leaves mint, chopped; 1/4-1/2 tsp. (1-2 ml.) chili flakes; 1 Tbsp. (15 ml.) chopped candied ginger; 1 Tbsp. (15 ml.) raw cocoa nibs; 2 tsp. (10 ml.) freshly grated orange rind; 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml.) cinnamon, or play with other spices of your choice
1. In a food processor, process the almonds, dates, and cocoa until you have what looks like a fine meal. Sprinkle with vanilla and optional add-ins, if using, and continue to process until the mixture comes together as a ball that rolls around the edge of the processor bowl (this may take a while–up to 5 minutes or so; occasionally stop and scrape sides of processor to push the mixture toward the blades).
2. The “dough” is ready when, if you pinch some and press it between your fingers, it sticks together readily and looks a bit shiny. (Sometimes if the dates are dry, this doesn’t happen easily; in that case, sprinkle in up to 2 tsp. water along with the vanilla, and proceed as above). The mixture should NOT be as soft as a cookie dough, but more like clay.
3. Place a clean piece of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the mixture onto it. Using your hands, form the mixture into a log about 8 inches (20 cm.) long. Try to compress the mixture as much as possible so you have a very dense log. Wrap with the plastic and roll the log one or two times, compressing it with your hands, to squeeze out any air spaces.
4. Ricki says: "if you have a pressing need for chocolate, you can slice and eat the nibbles immediately. However, these are much better after the mixture has been refrigerated at least 2 hours or overnight, as it firms up considerably and will attain the texture of a dense fudge when cold. Makes 2 servings for me, 6 servings for normal eaters. Will keep up to one week in the fridge."
It would be very easy to overeat when making these healthy cookies, but then they won’t really be healthy anymore! So remember that even though they are completely natural and raw, they are still pretty sweet, so go easy, and limit yourself to one or two at a time.