These little squares delight me. There are just the right amount of sweet in a tiny little inch square bite. I wasn’t intending on making these. This creation came out of a screw up. I was planning on making raw almond butter in my vitamix and the texture was too dry. I started adding things to see what I would get, and the end result was this super tasty, sweet, nutty almond paste, the kind we use in almond croissants, or Galette des Rois in France at this time of year, but without all the nasty refines sugars. After letting it sit in the fridge for a couple days trying to think of what I could make with it, I had the idea of making little squares and dipping them in chocolate. Because, well, chocolate just helps any screw up taste better 🙂
But I’m out of raw cacao!! I have been running out of a lot of favorite staples. At first it was just a lack of time to get to the store, and then it turned into a challenge: what can I still create with what I have at home? I have some carob powder that I very rarely use as I much prefer cacao. So I decided to dip the squares in some carob.
I’ve always been a huge carob fan. It has a unique flavor and I find it delicious. I became really into it 10 years ago, before discovering raw cacao. So everything “chocolatey” I made back then was made with carob. Unlike cacao, carob has a natural sweetness to it which makes it that you can get away with much less sweetener for other sources when using it.
Carob has some great nutritional value to it. It is rich in calcium (good for bones, as well as preventing blood clotting), a good source of selenium (great for thyroid function and defending your body against oxidative harm and infection), and like cacao it is rich in antioxidants (helps protect the body from free radicals and toxins from the environment). Another good reason to use carob instead of chocolate is if you are someone who is highly sensitive to the energy boosting properties in raw cacao (I’m not one of those people, I can eat chocolate at any time of the day or night!), and you want a chocolate substitute for your nightly sweet cravings, carob will do the trick.
But if you are not a carob fan, you can make these with cacao instead (I know I would have if I had it on hand!) Blessing in disguise as I love carob and am happy to be “forced” to use as of late 🙂
Ingredients for almond paste:
- 3/4 cups raw almonds
- 2 medjool dates (I use medjool because they are so juicy and sweet)
- 2 TBS coconut butter
- 2 TBS water
- Put everything in a high speed blender
- Scrape down sides as often as needed until the mixture forms a thick paste
- put in fridge at least 1 hour to have to contents harden
Ingredients for carob dip:
- 3 TBS carob powder
- 3 TBS coconut oil
- Melt coconut oil in a double boiler or a small saucepan
- Take off heat and mix in carob powder
- set to the side to let it cool a bit so it will thicken, stir occasionally
- In the meantime make little 1 inch squares or balls with the almond paste
- Dip them in the carob (I dipped them once, then put them in the fridge for about 5 minutes, then dipped them again)
- Put in fridge to set about 10 minutes, and gobble up!
Store these in the fridge.