I love these muffins.
I only make raw vegan desserts. I find them healthier, simpler and tastier than any cooked alternative. These muffins are no exception.
They are simple to make and delicious. 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 we 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 off an endorphin rush 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 raw cacao to be more pleasant, less rushy and more euphoric than cooked cacao.
Essentially, 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 can also use chocolate chips, especially if you want to lower the caffeine content. Or, you can not use chocolate chips at all.
I differ from some mainstream raw food gurus in that, I don’t think this food should be eaten liberally at any time of the day or by anyone. I allow my children small amounts, and only early in the day.
I eat raw cacao when I haven’t 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, if one feels the need.
I believe every natural food, if taken in moderation, can have it’s health benefits.
For children, I would always substitute at least half cacao powder with raw carob powder. Raw carob powder is an alkalizing 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
baking tray as pictured
1 cup of flaked almonds (can use, for raw alternatives, raw almonds, macadamia 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) or…
regular or vegan chocolate chips as pictured
A sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt
Grind up the nuts in a food processor and add the nutmeg.
Add the dates in until you have a doughy consistency, that you can mold into the muffin cases or place on the baking sheet.
Drop in the cacao nibs and pulse until they are mixed in and broken a bit more, but stop before they are pulverized.
Squash the dough into the molds or onto the baking sheet.
- Ready to eat! Or store in the fridge until they firm a little or you are ready to eat them.
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