Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, refined sugar free, low fructose, egg free, nut free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan people, raw foodists and followers of the Feingold (low salicylate) diet.
Pomegranate Layer –
· 2 Tbs Pomegranate Powder
· 3 Tbs Coconut Oil
· 2 Tbs Rice Malt Syrup
· 4 Tbs Desiccated Coconut
· 4 Tbs Plain Buckinis
· 10 drops Stevia
Chocolate Layer –
· 2 Tbs Raw Cacao Powder
· 2 Tbs Xylitol (or sweetener of choice)
· 2 Tbs Cacao Butter
· 2 Tbs Coconut Paste
The Creative Phase:
1. If it is summer the coconut oil will be a clear liquid. If it is not already melted or close to liquid you will need to melt it (to make it raw, sit the coconut oil in a bowl and place it on top of a larger bowl containing very hot water).
2. Mix wet and dry pomegranate layer ingredients separately, then combine.
3. Divide pomegranate mixture evenly into a 12 piece muffin tray (each hole should be about 4.5 cm across). Push mixture down firmly until flat and dense.
4. Refrigerate Pomegranate mixture whilst making chocolate.
5. Melt the cacao butter (to make it raw, sit the cacao butter in a bowl and place it on top of a larger bowl containing very hot water).
6. Combine chocolate layer ingredients. In summer if the oil from the coconut paste has separated, make sure you use the paste below or combine well first.
7. Dividing chocolate mixture evenly, spoon it on top of the pomegranate mixture until totally covering the pomegranate layer, and return to the fridge.
8. When chocolate hardens, pop out the bites and enjoy their chewy, crunchy goodness.
The Ingredient Low Down.
These ingredients are not only tasty, but packed with health benefits.
Pomegranate Powder: Full of beneficial phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals (especially potassium and vitamin C among others), pomegranate powder is one of those awesome tasting and versatile superfoods that are great to add to your diet in a variety of ways. I use the Navitas Natural brand, which you can order on iherb if you can’t find it in the shops.
Coconut (desiccated, oil, and paste): Don’t get me started! I’ve written three blog posts on the miraculous coconut, so I obviously think it’s absolutely incredible. It’s contains the ‘good’ type of fat, so enjoy.
Raw Cacao: Ok, so you know how every now and then you hear people say chocolate is good for you, to justify their Tim Tam craving? Well of course there is some truth to this, it’s just that good quality raw dark chocolate and the junk full of refined sugar, dairy and artificial gunk are like chalk and cheese. The healthy bit is the raw cacao bean, which when separated makes cacao powder and cacao butter. Raw cacao has extremely high levels of antioxidants, fiber, a wide range of minerals such as magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc and copper, as well as vitamin C and essential omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains PEAs (the love chemicals), anandamide (a feel good endorphin), as well as tryptophan and serotonin (mood enhancing nutrients), so it’s no wonder people love chocolate! Once heated though, the fats in cacao become rancid and the nutrients are damaged. So eat your chocolate raw my friends.
Buckinis: As with my coconut and cacao products, I use Loving Earth Buckinis. These crunchy little gems are actually gluten free seeds, and have no relation to wheat at all. They are activated (soaked, washed, rinsed and dehydrated at low temperatures), which improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Sweeteners (rice syrup, stevia and xylitol): I have used a variety of sweeteners in this recipe for a reason. I needed some type of sticky syrup to hold my pomegranate layer together, and in my opinion brown rice syrup is the healthiest option, predominantly because it is fructose free and low in salicylates. However, it is still essentially sugar and should be eaten in moderation. By adding some stevia it meant that I did not have to use too much syrup to get the right amount of sweetness. Stevia is probably the healthiest sweetener, but I find it’s taste not as pleasant unless combined with another sweet ingredient, so with the rice syrup it’s perfect. I used xylitol in the chocolate layer because it is one of my favourite sugar replacements. It is derived from either birch trees (my preferred option) or corn, and is low GI, contains less calories than sugar, does not feed candida in the gut, and fights tooth decay. The only thing to be aware of is that it is not good for those with IBS or people on the FODMAPS diet. Feel free to replace it with another sweetener if you prefer.
I wish you much enjoyment making and eating these yummy bites. My 6 year old son Ethan, one of the world’s fussiest sweet treat connoisseurs, has given them his tick of approval, and I hope you do too.
May you be full of beans and healthy treats,