By Esther Boateng
Intuitive eating normally flies out the window when I’m within sniffing distance of chocolate. Yes, chocolate is one of my trigger foods. Keep this recipe tucked up your sleeve if you want to enjoy your favorite chocolate, minus any guilty pangs. Blend your favorite chocolate with a generous scoop of nut butter, plus a few optional ingredients, and spread it over a base of ground cashew nuts mixed with coconut oil, and remember to eat s-l-o-w-l-y.
There’s no baking involved in this taste-as-you-go recipe, and there’s room to improvise with a healthy selection of optional ingredients that can improve the taste and texture of the chocolate topping and shortbread; it’s practically impossible to botch this recipe!
To make the shortbread base, I like to use vanilla extract or powder, a light dusting of cinnamon, and whatever nuts I have available: cashews, walnuts, or almonds. Sometimes I use a blend of 70% cashew nuts, and the rest is a mixture of other sprouted nuts and seeds. If you don’t want to use nuts, try sunflower, pumpkin, or watermelon seeds.
Sometimes I use a raw chocolate truffle bar; the soft texture blends easily with other soft ingredients like nut butter, and I don’t need to use any heat for it to melt. I can leave it at room temperature for a few minutes, and the chocolate will soften. I prefer chocolate that that has at least 70% cocoa.
If you’re looking for a healthier way to enjoy your favorite chocolate, this recipe is a good place to start. There’s no right or wrong way to make this shortbread. Taste as you go, and adjust to suit your unique palate, and you’ll end up with a relatively healthy sweet treat you can enjoy guilt-free.
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3-4 dried dates (or figs)
1 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Almond or Pecan Nut Butter
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract or powder
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil (optional)
- 2 chocolate bars (approx. 85g each)
1 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Three-Beet Powder
2 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Almond or Pecan Nut Butter
- 1/2 cup cashews (and/or other nuts of choice)
- 1-2 Tbsp. cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup to taste (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. raw coconut butter (optional)
- 1 tsp. bee pollen (optional garnish)
Shortbread Base Ingredients:
Chocolate Topping Ingredients:
Shortbread Base Directions:
Add the cashews to a food processor and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the rest of the ingredients: shredded coconut, salt, dates, nut butter, vanilla extract or powder, and cinnamon (if using), and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Scrape down the sides as necessary and continue to blend.
Transfer to a pan and press down with your hands or the back of a spoon until the mixture is compact.
Chocolate Topping Instructions:
Melt the chocolate by adding it to the top of a double boiler or a bowl sitting over a pot partially filled with boiling water. Use a spatula to scrape the chocolate into a room temperature bowl.
Add the cacao powder, beet powder, nut butter, the blended cashews from earlier, coconut oil, and any other optional ingredients, and mix it with a spoon until all the ingredients are combined into a paste.
Spread the paste on top of the shortbread and leave in the freezer until solid.
When ready to eat, cut into squares, and refrigerate the remainder in a covered container.
- If your shortbread looks too crumbly and you’re unsure whether it’ll hold together well, take a pinch between your fingers before removing it from the food processor. If it sticks, all is good. If it feels too dry, add another date, or a small amount of coconut oil, and continue to blend.
- After removing the mixture from the freezer, leave it a room temperature for several minutes before cutting into squares.