I’ve always dreamt of making my own Nutella.
Unluckily, whenever actually pursuing this dream crosses my mind, we never have hazelnuts. And it’s not like we have peanuts either, so I could make chocolate peanut butter. Or even an adequate amount of almonds (we go through almonds like money in my house) for cocoa-almond butter.
So this time, when I got a cocoa-craving, I decided to step outside of the box. The nut-butter box. And instead, I decided to put the cacao nibs I’ve had in my pantry for months into good use.
It seems like every time I log onto Instagram, I see another amazing, healthy food or recipe idea. And a few months ago, I was inspired by a post to invest in cacao nibs, which are even better for you than dark chocolate and have zero sugar added. Cacao nibs are basically just roasted cacao beans that have been separated from their husks & broken up. And while the taste is much sharper than dark chocolate (think: dark, dark chocolate), and definitely not as sweet, they still provide a delicious chocolatey taste.
Unfortunately, due to this lack of added sugar, the taste of cacao nibs is definitely an acquired one. At least, if you’re used to chocolate tasting like the almost too-sweet milk chocolate, like I am. So, one bite and I decided that eating these “nibs” straight out of the bag was not going to be an option. And I shoved them to the very back of my pantry and shut the door.
A few days ago, I happened to be rifling through my pantry when I came across this not-so-sweet treat. So I set my mind to actually doing something with them.
Coincidentally, the reason I was searching the pantry was to find nuts for homemade nut butter. And although I didn’t have enough of any specific nut to make more than 3 tbs of nut butter, we did have a huge bag of cacao nibs.
As I began to pull out my food processor I asked myself: “What goes good with chocolate?”
The answer, of course, was: “What doesn’t go good with chocolate?” That didn’t help. Luckily, at that moment I looked up into my cabinet and saw our half-full bag of coconut flakes. Suddenly, all the cogs clicked into place. I would combine two of my favorite foods in the world (ie. coconut and chocolate) and create THE ULTIMATE COMBO!!
Are you hungry yet?
Basically, this “Cacao Coconut Butter” has a very distinct chocolate taste, just a bit sharper than dark chocolate. The coconut adds a nice softer taste, as well as a bit of what I’d almost describe as a “crunch”, depending on if the flakes used are reduced fat or full fat (smoother). Overall, this definitely reminds me of the “cookie butter” my sister scarfs down by the jar. It’s definitely sweet, but the sweetness combined with the extremely dark chocolate taste creates the best contrast & combo you’ll ever taste. In short: spread it on a cookie or piece of toast and it’s a PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH!!!
And trust me, you definitely want to be invited. 😉
Cacao Coconut Butter
- 1 c Cacao Nibs
- 1/2 c unsweetened reduced fat shredded coconut (or full fat for a creamier consistency)
- 1 tbs melted coconut oil
- 2 tbs pure maple syrup (or agave)
- 1/2 scoop vanilla (or chocolate) protein powder
- 3 tbs stevia
- hot water
Pour Cacao Nibs and unsweetened reduced fat shredded coconut in a food processor and blend for 5 minutes, or until smooth and combined. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. Add coconut oil and process for 30 seconds. Pour in maple syrup, protein powder, and stevia, then blend another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides every so often. Add hot water until smooth and creamy when blended. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 8 servings of 2 tbs)
Nutrition information calculated using reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut. If using full fat shredded coconut, the consistency will be much smoother and the nutrition information will vary. If you choose to use sweetened coconut flakes, you might want to scale back on the stevia, or sweeten to taste.