Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Homemade Carob/Cocoa Covered Sprouted Almonds Recipe- Paleo, GAPS Legal, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
The other day I was in the city with my husband and kids, and while I brought along food for the family, we ended up being out for much longer than I expected, and the kids were hungry. Usually when this happens, I just stop in a supermarket and pick up a package of rice cakes, etc... but since we're temporarily not eating rice (for the 30 day paleo reset) I couldn't do that, and wondered where I'd possibly be able to find food that suited our dietary needs.
Fortunately, I found a health food store right nearby, which was selling a bunch of different paleo legal foods- and one thing I spotted there were these cocoa and carob covered sprouted almonds. I bought them, even though I officially wasn't supposed to have any cocoa powder on the thirty day diet- I only realized that after I'd bought it...
Anyhow, they were so good that I decided to try recreating them at home. I didn't have an exact recipe, but I looked at the ingredients listed on the package- almonds, dates, carob powder, cocoa powder, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla, and decided to play around with proportions until I got it perfect.
Well, already my first try was a roaring success. I made it with only carob powder, no cocoa powder, however, if you're on the GAPS diet and are allowed cocoa powder and no carob powder, feel free to use cocoa instead of carob. Whatever floats your boat.
What I like best about these is that they are just a touch sweet, so not so sugar heavy. And another issue with almonds is their phytates, which makes them less digestible unless they're first sprouted or soaked... and since these are soaked overnight, they become more digestible and have less antinutrients in them.
The biggest issue with these- they are addicting. It is hard not to eat too many in one go. I even kept on helping myself to them while they were in the oven, not even finished yet. Oh yea, that's the other issue with them. They take a long time to make- at least 24 hours from start to finish....
But they are very well worth it.
P.S. The second time I tried making these, I didn't have so many almonds but I did have other nuts, like cashews and brazil nuts, so I used a mix of them all. The brazil nuts weren't awesome in this recipe, but they were ok. But the cashews were amazing. So feel free to sub cashews for almonds in this, or do half half.
2 cups almonds
5 large dates
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons carob powder (I'll use my homemade carob powder when I finally forage more carobs)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla (I used my homemade ground vanilla)
1. Cover almonds with lots of water (I used 6 cups) and let soak 8-12 hours, then strain and rinse them off.
2. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over your pitted dates. Let it sit for 5 minutes to soften.
3. Blend up the pitted dates and 1/2-3/4 cup of the soaking water until it is fully smooth.
4. Add the carob powder, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla to the date puree.
5. Pour the mixture over your almonds, and mix it well, so it completely coats your almonds.
6. Spread out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
7. Place your cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting there is- about 100 degrees- and prop your oven door open to allow the moisture to escape. Let the nuts dehydrate this way, stirring every few hours if desired (but if you're dehydrating them overnight, its ok if you don't stir them) until they and the sauce on them are completely dry and the almonds are crisp. This should take about 8-12 hours, possibly more, depending on your oven.
8. Once dry, store in a dry place, or in the freezer. I like them best straight from the freezer.
Note- if you want to double this recipe, when you're pureeing the dates, use less water than you think you'll need, otherwise it'll end up being rather soupy and it will take extra long to dehydrate.
Have you ever had carob or cocoa covered almonds? Homemade or store bought? Does this look like a recipe you'd try out? Do you think you'd make it with carob or with cocoa?