“Easy”? OK, maybe three out of four’s not bad, but dealing with cocoa nibs in NOT easy! My teeth are getting pretty old, so I don’t even like crunching the nibs in their natural state much anymore. And grinding those nibs into a smooth paste is also challenging. You’re probably not crazy if you don’t want to deal with them. They can be a bear to puree, unless you happen to have a Ghiradelli-style stone grinder outback. Forego the whole process and maybe just stick to this Easiest Healthy Fudge recipe I made for my mum- it just uses regular ole’ cocoa powder. (I wanted a way for her to get extra coconut oil in her diet, which might help her Alzheimer’s. I don’t know if it slowed that down any, but she did love the “fudge”…)
OK, got it? This is not for everybody. A Vitamix blender can work pretty well for grinding nibs, even if it’s super loud. But I happen to own a Champion juicer, which I’ve had since 1983. It’s pretty amazing. And it is the best thing I’ve found for pureeing those cocoa nibs. (I get this economical, 5-lb. bag myself.)
Forego the whole grinding process, and eat your nibs raw and chunky, using this Coconut Bark recipe.
- 1 1/2 c. raw cacao nibs
- 1/2 c. melted coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. macadamias, roasted, unsalted (one 8-oz. package)
- 1 c. dates, halved (Medjool are a favorite)
- Optional: 1/2 c. raisins (if you prefer a sweeter mix)
1. Toast in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes in iron pan; stir once. Turn oven off and let finish toasting for 10-15 minutes more: > 1 1/2 c. raw cacao nibs
2. Process toasted cacao nibs until quite smooth in a sturdy blender (Vitamix is good). OR- do you happen to have a Champion juicer? (Apparently, they’re not available on Amazon, but eBay has some.) Run the nibs through that, for a pretty smooth blend. Use: > 1 1/2 c. toasted cacao nibs
Add and process again with: > 1/2 c. melted coconut oil > 1/4 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. vanilla
3. In a big bowl, mix together blended mixture with: > 1 c. dates, halved > 1 c. macadamias > Optional: 1/2 c. raisins (for extra sweetness)
4. Spread in loaf pan, then refrigerate overnight.
5. Turn the solid fudge mixture out onto cutting board (run upside-down pan under hot water if necessary). Cut into slice; will last in refrigerator for a month or two.
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