Yummy Cacao Nibs

Cacao Nibs
Coconut glazed cacao nibs & regular cacao nibs
I’ve always been a healthy eater. Foods that are nutritionally sound have always been my go-to. I know that my mum influenced me greatly in this regard, but many years have passed, and when given a choice between a slice of pizza or a hamburger, and a salad with quinoa, avocado and chickpeas, I choose the salad every time. I’m also not a big meat eater either. It just doesn’t sit right in my body. But one thing I do LOVE is CHOCOLATE. Not the dark chocolate that’s good for you, but milk chocolate. I especially love nibbling on Ghirardellis’ milk chocolate chips, which, of course, I buy for baking cookies. Yeah, right!  So recently, in my attempt to try to wean myself off of my chocolate addiction, I discovered cacao nibs and coconut glazed cacao nibs, which are essentially bits of dried, roasted and crushed cacao beans, basically raw chocolate. The packages of both kinds tout the health benefits…”natural energy & antioxidants”, and “Mayan Superfood, dietary fiber, iron and magnesium”.  Cacao nibs have an interesting texture, too. Liz Guzman, in her post entitled "What to Do with Cacao Nibs?",  describes them as “crunchy yet tender, like a macadamia nut”. Cacao nibs
cacao nibs
Cacao nibs
How do I use them? Well, the coconut glazed cacao nibs are yummy to toss in your mouth, as is. I also like to put both types on yogurt as a dessert. But recently, I incorporated cacao nibs into my homemade granola. I have died and gone to heaven! I make my granola once a week (for my granola recipe, see previous post, My Search for the Perfect Granola ), and now when it comes out of the oven, and has cooled, I mix in cacao nibs. I get my chocolate fix everyday when I eat my granola for breakfast!
Homemade granola with cacao nibs
Homemade granola with cacao nibs
I first bought cacao nibs because I wanted to make an energy bar for that time of day when you come home from work or school and are feeling ravenous. During a quick Google search, I found "No Bake Energy Bites" on the cleverly titled website Gimme Some Oven. I took the author's suggestion and substituted cacao nibs for chocolate. This recipe was really easy. The only problem is that I've yet to get the concoction to form nicely into balls as pictured on the Gimme Some Oven website. They're energy balls until you try to pick them up; then they become energy "crumbles". Both my 14-year old and I really like them, so who cares. They're delicious and filled with healthy ingredients.  

No Bake Energy Bites from www.gimmesomeoven.com

Prep: 10 Mins Ingredients
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips
  • 1/3 agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions: 1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. 2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you like. 1" seems about right. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. 3. Makes about 20-25 balls. Check out Gimme Some Oven website for other options. And, by all means, let me know if you add something delicious to yours. The fun is in the sharing, and the eating, of course!

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