A few weeks ago I bought a raw food bar from my local organic shop, and it was Yum (with a capital Y). Being a chronic ingredient checker I of course perused the ingredients, and thought ‘hey – I could make something like this (and not pay $4.50 per incy wincy bar, too!)’
After some experimenting, here is my ‘can’t keep my fingers out of the jar’ chocolate raw food bar. It only takes about 10 minutes to make and it’s not much harder than stewing apples.
Some of the following ingredients (marked with an asterix) are optional. This is the kind of recipe where you can experiment and try out different flavours. As long as you have a mass of chocolately stuff at the end that you can shape into a square, it will work. Note that I ran out of dessicated coconut and used coconut flakes instead for the fudge in the photo. It’s still nice but I prefer the texture of dessicated.
- 2 cups of dried dates
- 4 tablespoons of water
- 130g coconut oil
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or almonds taste the best)
- 2 dried bananas, chopped into small pieces*
- 3/4 cup dessicated coconut*
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream*
- Using a lidded saucepan, simmer dates in water until soft enough to mash with a fork.
- Remove from heat and add coconut oil (if you live in a cold climate, your coconut oil will be solid but will quickly melt with the heat from the dates.)
- Add in all the other ingredients and mix together
- Blob the whole lot onto a flat surface (I use a square plate) and squish and shape into a square about 2cm high.
- Refrigerate for an hour or until set. Cut into squares and store in the fridge (very important, as the coconut oil melts easily).
What I LOVE about this recipe (apart from tasting great and saving you money) is that there is absolutely NO refined sugar in it… and you wouldn’t even know! It’s a fantastic energy booster packed full of good oils, protein, fibre and antioxidants (make sure you use organic, non heat processed cacao powder, as it has 14 times the antioxidants of red wine and 21 times the antioxidants of green tea!). Cacao powder is also high in magnesium (helps to relax muscles) and chromium (helps to balance blood sugars and reduce sugar cravings). Have a look at this page for more info http://www.realrawfood.com/cacao-food-gods. Coconut oil also has well-documented health benefits, including helping you lose abdominal fat and reduce your appetite. There are plenty of sites extolling its many virtues – here is one with a good summary: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/.
Also, if you’re avoiding dairy or gluten, there’s not even a trace in this recipe! And you can, of course, skip the nuts if they’re a problem.
If you’re making this for kids, or if you prefer milk chocolate to dark, you might want to reduce the cacao content and add more coconut cream, as the flavour of this recipe is fairly intense. That said, my nine year old daughter loves ‘mummy’s chocolate’ just as it is.
Get creative and experiment … I have plans to try it with goji berries and maca powder … more superfood goodness!