For many people on restricted diets, chocolate is the hardest treat to give up. Life without chocolate is most definitely hard. It was difficult until I realized that cocoa powder was legal on GAPS when advanced enough and was fine on a Paleo diet.
That made all the difference. Suddenly, there was several companies selling pure, food grade cocoa butter and cocoa powder without any soy, dairy or sugar. Yippee! There are so many things to make with these pure cocoa ingredients!
This is another recipe I developed for Paleo Pals. I was given a packet of cacao nibs for my challenge this month, by my new Paleo Pal, Daniel, who blogs at Grizzlystrong.com. I will be posting the recipe that he developed with the item I sent him, so stay tuned for that.
Cocoa, or cacao has a long tradition of usage throughout the world. The purest chocolate comes from organic food grade cacao butter and cacao solids.
Where does cacao come from?
Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) grow in the hot climates of Africa and Central America within a 20-mile radius of the equator. Mature plants range from 20 to 25 feet in height and bear flowers that bloom directly on the wide-spreading branches. These flowers produce the fruit which may reach up to 12 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter. The fruit pods contain cocoa beans, which are cultivated, fermented, dried and roasted.
How is cacao processed?
Cacao beans are fermented to alleviate bitterness, and processed at low temperatures for maximum nutrient retention. Once extracted from the pods, the beans are rinsed with water. The whole beans are peeled and cold-pressed to form a paste. The fiber is then extracted, in order to separate the solids from the rich oil, or cacao butter.
High quality chocolate is made from both the cacao butter and the solids (powder). Cheaper brands will use other vegetable oils or shortening as the fat component of chocolate and then add artificial flavors to disguise this. Chocolate made from cacao butter will melt in your mouth because cacao butter has a melting point very close to body temperature.
Grain-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 large egg, pastured if possible
- 2 tablespoon ghee or butter (how to make ghee)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla (where to buy vanilla)
- 1/4 cup honey (where to buy honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia (or two droppers full) (where to buy stevia)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour (where to buy almond flour) (how to make almond flour)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (where to buy cocoa powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (where to buy sea salt and spices)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa nibs (where to buy cocoa nibs)
- 2 cookies sheets lined with parchment (where to buy stainless steel cookie sheets)
- Mixing bowl (where to buy mixing bowls)
- Cooling rack
- In the mixing bowl add the almond flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda and mix well
- Make a well in the center
- Add the egg, honey, softened ghee or butter, vanilla and stevia and mix well
- Start to incorporate the dry into the wet until it is all well combined
- Mix in the cocoa nibs last
- Take about half tablespoon of batter and drop onto cookie sheet leaving space in between
- Flatten cookies lightly with a fork or cover with plastic wrap and flatten with a spatula
- Repeat until all the batter is finished
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 – 12 minutes
- Let rest on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack
- These are excellent warm and they freeze well
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 18 – 20
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