Coconut and Cacao are two of the new superfoods that have emerged into the public eye in recent times. The beauty of these exotic ingredients, aside from their many health claims, is that together, they can be combined to make some of the most delicious gluten, dairy and processed sugar free treats around.
These choc chip coconut bars are a wonderful alternative to the regular sugar laden slice. In fact, there is an emerging movement away from the unhealthy baked goods that we have so commonly accepted to a style of baking that uses healthy, local and seasonal alternatives as people become more educated and conscious of the dangers of simple sugars.
Saying goodbye to sugar may be a difficult departure, however the good news is that you can satisfy your tastebuds with interesting, unique ingredients that even Grandma won’t be able to compete with.
If you enjoy baking and desserts, there are healthy options available on the Supercharged blog, and website, enjoy recipes such as Lime and Blueberry Muffins and Spirulina and Sesame Balls that will keep you on your toes and transition you into a new journey of baking using ingredients that support and heal your body at a cellular level.
Coconut is one of the most satisfying ingredients for a devoted sweet tooth. Its creamy texture and subtle sweetness allows it to combine well with many flavours, making coconut products an excellent foundation for a decadent sweet snack or sumptuous dessert.
In this recipe, shredded coconut and extra virgin coconut oil are used, and the two have different powerful health benefits. Shredded coconut comes from the flesh of the coconut and is high in fibre, with about 58% of the carbohydrate content coming from fibre, making it a great addition to a weight loss program as it will leave you feeling fuller for longer.
The high fibre content of shredded coconut is also very supportive of intestinal health, as it feeds friendly bacteria that are crucial in allowing our gut flora to flourish. This helps keep digestive threats such as Candida under control. Coconut has also been found to prevent and relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other digestive disorders.
When looking for shredded coconut, it is important to read your labels and purchase organic shredded coconut where possible, free from added sugar and preservatives.
Coconut oil has amazing health benefits, and contrary to the popular beliefs that have surrounded this oil that is high in saturated fat, coconut oil is now being described as “the healthiest oil on earth”.
This is due to the fact that unlike other saturated fats that are made up of long chain fatty acids, coconut oil is made up primarily of medium chain fatty acids that do not have negative effects on cholesterol, nor do they create heart disease. Like coconut flesh, the oil has significant benefits to digestive health. Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and has been found to prevent and treat an array of health conditions. Here's some more information on Coconut Oil and Tips on how to use...
Cacao, another emerging superfood, is hailed for its high antioxidant activity, and as a wonderful source of minerals. In fact, cacao beans have been found to be the #1 source of magnesium out of any food, and contain 4 times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea.
These antioxidants promote cardiovascular health, and help protect the body from environmental and metabolic toxins that can cause cancer and degenerative diseases. Cacao has also been discovered to increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and endorphins, acting as an anti-depressant, and giving you a pleasurable sensation and sense of wellbeing.
Cacao’s high magnesium content balances brain chemistry, helps regulate blood pressure, builds strong bones, and is an essential mineral in circulation and muscle function. Magnesium is a vital mineral, yet our bodies cannot produce it naturally, therefore eating cacao nibs is a great way to help you meet your daily requirements.
Cacao can help you get all of the wonderful benefits of dark chocolate without the unfortunate drawbacks of consuming the sugar and harmful additives that are found in many chocolate products.
These gorgeous choc chip coconut bars are a convenient way to add the benefits of superfoods into your diet, and have a unique, delicious taste that the common, sugary slice just can’t compete with. I used coconut flakes for this recipe for a chunky slice, if you prefer a finer slice you can use shredded coconut. I hope you'll enjoy these delicious treats.
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or flakes
- 11/2 TBS raw cacao nibs
- 2/3 cup nut butter (almond or cashew or mixed)
- 8 drops liquid stevia or 1/3 tsp powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla alcohol free (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- In a bowl place coconut and cacao
- Melt nut butter over boiling water and add stevia, vanilla and coconut oil stirring frequently
- Remove from heat and mix it through dry ingredients
- Press into a baking dish and refrigerate until set
- Remove from fridge and slice into rectangular bars