I have only ever made raw vegan desserts. I find them, healthier, simpler and always tastier than any cooked alternative. These muffins are no exception.
They are ever so simple to make and versatile (Scroll down for the recipe)!
I am quite the chocolate connoisseur, or addict, however you would like to word it
Raw cacao is a controversial raw food. Some swear by it, some say it is a drug and you are better off having organic, cooked, dark chocolate.
This is my personal experience. Raw cacao contains anandamide. According to wikipedia, Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. The name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means ‘bliss’ or ‘delight’
Chocolate is the only food to contain anandamide. This ‘bliss chemical’ sets of feelings similar to a workout high or falling in love.
The below excerpt is taken from a great article at Natural News:
Cacao is derived from Theobroma Cacao beans, which literally means “Food of the Gods”. Cacao contains over 300 compounds including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. Magnesium helps to build strong bones and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness. Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps form strong nails and hair.
Now, I don’t know the science, but I do feel this anandamide effect to be more pleasant, less rush-y and more just a feeling of oneness and well-being, with raw cacao than with any kind of cooked cacao.
Essentially, for me, the closer the cacao is to it’s unprocessed state. The nicer the effects of eating it. So this recipe uses cacao nibs, which are simple broken cacao beans. You could use other chocolate chips, especially if you want to lower the caffeine content. You could also not use chocolate chips at all.
Where I differ from some mainstream raw food gurus is, I don’t think that this food should be eat liberally at any time of the day and by anyone. I allow my children very small amounts, and only early on in the day.
I eat raw cacao when I have not had enough sleep and need a kick to get me through the day. A tablespoon of raw cacao powder in a green smoothie is also a tasty and healthy way to use it.
I believe every natural food, if taken in moderation, can have it’s benefits.
For children, I would always substitute at least half cacao powder with raw carob powder instead. Raw carob powder is an alkalising food. Carob contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and D. It is rich in calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Carob also contains copper, iron, manganese and nickel and is a good source of fibre. It also tastes almost identical to chocolate, when properly prepared
To make you will need:
- A food processor
- muffin cases (I use these)
- 1 cup of flaked almonds (can use, for raw alternatives, raw almonds, macademia nuts, cashew nuts, or any combination of the above)
- 1/2 a cup of medjool dates, pitted and packed
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup or more of raw cacao nibs (or dried cranberries or blueberries for a totally caffeine-free version)
- A sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt
- Grind up the nuts in a food processor and nutmeg
- Add the dates in until you have a dough-y consistency, that you can mould into the muffin cases
- Drop in the cacao nibs and pulse until they are mixed in and a broken a bit more, but stop before they are pulverised
- Squash the cookie dough into the moulds
- Ready to eat! Or store in the fridge until they firm a little or you are ready to eat