Chunky Chocolate, Healthy Style

The Chunky Song left quite an impression on my husband and me, as young kids in the sixties. Here’s a link to a clip of the old ad, complete with the “Open Wide for Chunky” song. Cracks me up.

But seriously, they were on to something with that old-fashioned confection. It used to contain chocolate, apples, grapefruit, raisins, cashews and Brazil nuts. Yum- good stuff! And Brazil nuts’ll even give you a good dose of your daily selenium!

The recipe changed when Hershey’s company bought it- they made it with peanuts, raisins, and of course chocolate. (Not to mention a few chemicals- artificial flavors, soy lecithin, TBHQ and Citric Acid). I suspect that they found this recipe to be cheaper. More profit. The American way?!

Years later, now I want a healthy version of a Chunky! Plus, I felt bad for my husband, who never wanted to imbibe in the unsweetened (and very expensive) chocolate I was getting at Trader Joe’s.

This recipe for bittersweet chocolate is a good alternative to the recipe below, since it uses cocoa powder, which is easier to deal with. I’ve also posted a Coconut Bark recipe here. And this Cocoa Nib Fudge is a previous incarnation of the recipe below. But I tweaked the recipe, and love this new version best. If you have cocoa nibs on hand, the following recipe is perfect.

OK- it’s starting to seem like I’m a little obsessed with chocolate! Well, it does make me happy :). Maybe it makes my brain better too- they say the MCTs in coconut oil are great for us!

Oh, one catch with cocoa nibs (“cacao nibs” to be exact)– something like a Champion juicer works well to grind up those nibs. I’ve used the Vitamix dry blender, but even that doesn’t puree them completely. The Champion does a decent job of it. And that thing lasts. I purchased mine back in 1982 while working at a health food store. It still comes in handy when I’m juicing loads of juice for kombucha or for an occasional cleansing fast. It is a good investment!

I mean, I just don’t have a giant milling stone like the commercial chocolate companies have, nor the time to let the stuff whir around for hours on end. So–the Champion juicer will do for me.
Healthy Chocolate- as Bittersweet as You Want!

This makes a great alternative to other chocolate options containing refined sugar. Satisfies my chocolate cravings, and is pretty nourishing too!

Makes 2 lb.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (part butter or cocoa butter if desired)
  • 1/3 c. palm sugar (or 1/4 c. honey)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. macadamias
  • 1/2 c. dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c. raisins

Toast in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes in iron pan; stir once. Turn oven off and let finish toasting for 10-15 minutes more: > 1 1/2 c. raw cacao nibs

Process toasted cacao nibs (ideally in a Champion juicer; next best is Vitamix dry blender) until quite smooth. Add and process again (or run through Champion juicer again): > 1/2 c. melted coconut oil

In a big bowl, mix together with: > 1/4 c. palm sugar > 1/4 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. vanilla > 1 c. macadamias > 1/2 c. dates, halved > 1/2 c. raisins

Spread in loaf pan, then refrigerate overnight.

Turn the solid fudge mixture out onto cutting board (run upside-down pan under hot water if necessary). Cut into slices; will last in refrigerator for a month or two.

 

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