So FYI cacao is really good for you. No I didn't not spell that wrong. Cacao, kinda like cocoa but healthier and less sugar soaked, is the raw bean which prefaces our sweet soul mate, chocolate.
Cacao subtly resembles the taste of coca, but being much bitter than even yr most dark chocolates. Surprisingly its flavor is still super malleable, providing serious YOLO status with ingredient combinations for a range of recipes.
Hence, we have this super random, surprisingly next level tasty energy bars. Flavor overkill barely missed with key ingredients being cacao, cardamom, coffee, rosemary, and pineapple. You're like, lolwut, but we promise you these taste de-lish-ous.
First off, these bars (or balls or whatever shape you make them) really are natural energy boosters. Raw cacao has shown to increase endorphins, enhance our mood, be mentally stimulating, and provide euphoria due to its chemistry: the alkaloid theobromine and neurotransmitter anandamide. Pair that with coffee and you've got a guilt free buzz to get you through the day. Plus these bars are packed with healthy carbs, from their raw nut and hemp seed crust, keepin' yr tummy happy and your body sustained.
Because making raw energy snacks can get boring, we decided to make use of our winter herb rosemary, with found quirky flavor pairings. Thus we came to the perfect trifecta of an herb, a spice, and a fruit. Rosemary pairs well with tropical fruits, and pineapple provided the right texture and super sweetness for the bitter cacao. Cardamom pairs well with sweets generally, but also coffee. So with everything together, the flavors really pop off.
Our crust, or base, is pretty basic in the realm of raw treats. And the order of which you chose to mix your ingredients is chose your own adventure. Add the coffee to your cacao or in with the crust. Leave pineapples bits as whole layer before the cacao. Either way it'll all taste good!
For the base
1 and 1/2 cups of raw soaked nuts: I used cashews, pecans and almonds are great too!
About 1 cup or less of pitted dates
About 1 cup or less dried, unsweetened pineapples
2 tbsp raw, shelled hemp seeds
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
For the cacao topping
1/2 cup cacao nibs
2 tbsp finely ground coffee
1 tbsp of cardamom, or more to taste
1 and a half tbsp of raw coconut butter
1/2 tbsp or raw honey
*for extra creaminess, add more coconut butter and/or honey. Alternatives: handful of cashews or half an avocado
1. After soaking your nuts, add them to your food process and grind until they've been finely ground.
2. Add in your dates, and then after your pineapple, until its consistency is smooth and sticky.
3. Laste add in your hemp seeds and rosemary, with only a few pulses. They don't need to be too deeply ground.
4. Take your base and press into whatever dish you're using: shallow pie pan, cupcake molds, or even just a plate.
5. Add all of your topping ingredients to the food processor. Continue to pulse until the nibs are at a desired consistency. For a much smoother, creamier topping, add more coconut butter (or listed alternatives) until its the density of a smoothie. For a crunchier bite, let up on a pulsing so that the nibs are aren't completely ground. Add more honey or a few dates if you don't find it sweet enough. However, because the base is so sweet try to leave the topping less so.
6. Pour, or spread, atop your base. Press any additional rosemary sprigs or leaves as seen fit. Freeze for a hour or refrigerate for longer. They should last for about a week! I.e. best week of yr life.