Raw Fruit and Nut

Hazelnuts and goji berries are one of my favourite toppings
Hazelnuts and goji berries are one of my favourite toppings

You may have picked up on the fact that my husband turns his nose up at most of the raw treats I make. That is until he tries them! And this fruit and nut bar is his favourite (no more Cadbury’s in this house!). I had made so many versions of this before he would actually try it, and once he did he was hooked and now always asks me when I’m making more. That’s one of the things I love about raw chocolate. Even the people who run in the other direction when they hear “raw [insert food name]” love these delicious and nutritious treats. A few other winners with hubby have been my raw chocolate and raspberry cheesecakeraw date, almond and coconut balls and apricot, raisin and pecan oat bars (not raw). So if you have a husband, friend or parent with a similar response, why not try one of these and let them taste it before telling them what’s in it. Then you get to be Mrs/Mr. Smugface when you tell them how good it is for them ;)

As with all of these recipes they’re super simple (I am not about making life hard for yourself in the kitchen - I just don’t have the time!). In fact you don’t even need a blender for this recipe as you can simply mix it together in a bowl. Genius.

If you’re new to making raw chocolate some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar, but they’re worth investing in as you’ll use them all the time. I buy all of my products from Whole Foods Online. They have great offers all the time and most of their products are organic which makes them even better for you. Hoorah!

When I make this I often do it in the evenings when Jasper is asleep as it means I can concentrate on it fully (boy do 6 month olds need a lot of attention!) I actually start the process while I’m making or eating dinner, then finish it off afterwards. The bit I start is melting the cacao butter as this is better done slowly so you maintain the rawness (is that a word?!). Anyway, if you’re in a rush to melt it you’re likely to use a higher heat and this can remove some of the nutrients. So how do you melt cacao butter and keep it raw?

Half fill a saucepan (or bowl) with boiling or very hot water and place a glass bowl on top, but so the bottom of the top bowl isn’t touching the water. Place the cacao butter in the top bowl and allow it to melt. Cacao butter melts at just 34-38°C so this will happen pretty quickly. Stirring it helps it along the way, or you can just leave it to do it’s magic while you’re making or eating your dinner, so it’s ready to mix with the rest of your ingredients afterwards.

Raw Fruit and Nut

Makes 12 large pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cacao butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) - this can be done directly in a saucepan on a low heat
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2-1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • Toppings: Goji berries, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds… the choice is yours!

Preparation

  1. Blend all of the ingredients except your chosen toppings in your blender, or just mix them very well in a bowl
  2. Line a tray with baking parchment and spread your chocolate out. You don’t want it too thick as you need to be able to bite into it. Anywhere from 1-3cm is about right.
  3. Add your toppings - my favourites are almonds and goji berries, or crushed hazelnuts, but you can literally try anything!
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until set
  5. When it’s set simply break it up into pieces as large or small as you like and enjoy!

This recipe is great to play around with as you can add so many different flavours. How about adding some chilli next time, or maybe some ginger? If you make this let me know what flavours and toppings you try!

I hope your friends and family enjoy this as much as mine do.