I’ve been getting a lot of requests for my raw candy recipes, so today’s post was a no-brainer. I’ve already talked about my killer sweet tooth, and while it’s been tamed somewhat, I’m still a sucker for a healthy, yummy treat. Or sometimes, a not-so-healthy treat, but that’s another story. I mean really, who brings Girl Scout cookies to a baby shower?! It was a dirty trick, and I fell right into it. 😐
The great thing about raw candy is that it’s quick, simple, and you’ll almost always have the necessary ingredients, because there is just one basic formula with endless possibilities. So you can use whatever you have on hand, and it will always taste great.
Basic Raw Candy Formula:
- 1 C any raw nuts (soaked and dried is best, but not necessary)
- 1 C any dried fruits
- 1 Tbls. oil for adhesion (not needed if you soak your dried fruit first)
- Spices or other flavorings (optional)
Mix all ingredients in food processor. Roll into balls, chill and serve. Keep refrigerated.
So, I could use one cup of cashews, one cup of dates (always soak dates first), a dash of vanilla extract or vanilla beans, and a few sprinkles of carob. I’d toss it all in the food processor (don’t use a blender), pulse until blended, roll into balls or press into bars, chill (not required, but gives a better texture) and serve. That’s it! Well… unless you’re me. I always roll mine in coconut or crushed almonds, but that’s just because I’m incapable of leaving well enough alone.
And get creative – try using dried strawberries and pistachios, dates and pecans (tastes like pecan pie – yum!), mangoes and macadamia nuts, figs and Brazil nuts, apples and almonds. There really are no rules and no limits. My favorite combination is almonds or cashews (or a combination of both) and sweet dried cherries with carob and a dash of vanilla and rolled in coconut (soooooo good! I’ll be making some today!). It tastes decadent, and it’s rich enough that just a little satisfies. Unlike Girl Scout cookies. In case you can’t tell, I’m still bitter.
Now, if the basic candy formula isn’t quite exciting enough for you, you may want to try this raw candy bar, which I’ve adapted from another recipe. This one should speak to you Snickers lovers out there…
Raw Caramel & Carob Candy Bars
- 4 1/2 C raw cashews, finely ground
- 6 Tbls. maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 Tbls. cold water
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 3/4 cup raw tahini
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1/8 t. sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup carob powder
- 2 Tbls. instant grain beverage crystals (some readily available brands are Inka, Roma and Pero)
- 1 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
1. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment or wax paper, or lightly grease the pan with coconut oil. In a bowl, combine the finely ground cashews, maple syrup or agave, cold water and sea salt, stirring until the mixture is very thick and just holds together. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and place the pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
2. Make the “caramel.” In a small bowl, combine the tahini, syrup and salt, mixing until smooth. Spread the “caramel” over the cashew mixture and return the pan to the freezer for 1 hour more.
3. Make the topping. In a small bowl, mix together the carob powder, instant grain beverage crystals, maple syrup, oil, water and salt until smooth.
4. Line a plate or casserole dish with wax or parchment paper or lightly grease with coconut oil. Remove the pan from the freezer and cut the mixture into bars with a sharp knife. Dip each of the bars into the chocolate mixture, then place on the prepared plate or casserole dish. Pour any excess chocolate sauce over the bars and return the plate or dish to the freezer for 1-2 hours more or until set. Serve from the freezer. Enjoy!
So, indulge your sweet tooth in a healthy way and go make some candy! And PLEASE come back to the comments and let me know what you used for the basic candy formula and how it turned out! I’m thinking it may be time to host a giveaway for the best combination. That is, if you all do your job and follow through.
Have a great weekend!