That name is a mouthful, and these squares are also a delicious mouthful, but not too sweet, and full of only good things. Besides the bananas, loads of coconut, and almond flour, there is the Cacao. I incoporate both Cacao powder and Cacao nibs, and for anyone who doesn’t know what Cacao is, it’s chocolate in its raw form and it is a “superfood.” Cacao literally translates to the “food of the gods” in the Aztec language, Aztecuese.
Apparently, because of its “bliss enhancing” properties it is the latest party drug as well… I wanted to say a little bit about Cacao’s many health benefits, and just stumbled across multiple articles about people using it at raves in place of alcohol and hard drugs. Did I mention I love the internet? Seriously, google it. Anyways, with about 300 chemical compounds the benefits are many and there is no shortage of articles out there on the subject.
Personally, I started supplementing with it because it is the highest dietary source of iron around; ounce for ounce it even has more iron than beef, however this iron is non-heme which means it is less well absorbed than that of animal sources, but still, that’s pretty impressive. Know what else is impressive about Cacao? It has forty times the antioxidant power of blueberries and has way more than green tea and red wine. Also, it is loaded with Magnesium which has the highest rate of deficiency in the Western Diet. I already supplement with Magnesium oil and Natural Calm for stress, insomnia, and muscle aches, but not religiously, so I like this fact very much; I can supplement with these instead. I also just read that Cacao can aid weight loss, and it is high in Sulphur, the beauty mineral.
Still wondering about the bliss enhancing effects? (1) Cacao is a top dietary source of tryptophan, the amino acid precursor to Serotinin, the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness and positive mood; (2) it is the main dietary source of a compound called Anandamide, which is commonly called the “bliss molecule” because it binds to the body’s cababanoid receptors, the same ones THC binds to when you smoke/eat/vape marijuana; (3) it also contains “love drug” phenylethylamine (or PEA), a compound that acts as a releasing agent of both norepinephrine and dopamine; and (4) it also contains Theobromine, a stimulant related to caffeine that causes a mild aphrodisiac effect.
There is so much literature out there on Cacao, I’m a bit overwhelmed. I mean, I knew it was super, but this is a lot to digest; pun intended. So, I guess I need to incorporate more Cacao into my diet and you should too! I used to add the powder to my french press coffee but that fell by the wayside with my long commute, but after writing this I may have to bring it back. I do like to eat the nibs too, though they are a bit bitter tasting like the darkest dark chocolate, they do not, however, taste bitter in this recipe.
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons of cashew butter
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/3 cup of almond flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup of Cacao nibs
2 tablespoons of Cacao powder
1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is my mini chip of choice)
1/2 teaspoon of salt (Himalayan pink salt gives it a little something extra… the minerals!)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. In a bowl mash up them B-A-N-A-N-A-S, then add the other wet ingredients; coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, cashew butter, and vanilla. Mix together and set aside.
3. In another, larger mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and Cacao powder; mix to combine.
4. Add in the mix of wet ingredients and blend together.
5. Next, mix in the shredded coconut, followed by the nibs and the chips, and lastly the salt.
6. Spread the mix in a parchment-lined square baking dish (I used an 8″ x 8″).
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I took mine out at 30 and they were perfect, but I would check at 25 as ovens can vary.
8. Eat some and go to a rave.
9. Enjoy the bliss.