Almost raw chocolate chunk cashew bites

Almost raw chocolate chunk cashew bites

This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.


With the exception of a few final touches, our kitchen is finished. F I N I S H E D. We spent the better part of last night sanding 70 linear feet of trim and slapping on a second coat of paint and – just like that – it was done. Our kitchen that once felt like a shoebox that belonged in a house in the ‘burbs of the Midwest now feels spacious and functional and fits in perfectly with my funky interior aesthetic. But it didn’t even phase me. There was no relief; no moment of intense satisfaction in seeing the finished product of our blood, sweat, and tears (and there were a lot of tears). Which is probably because I was running on a mere five hours of sleep and spent the majority of my day doing what car-less people do when they actually have a car: running every errand under the sun.

Sadly, our days as car-less people are numbered. I know this because 1) Thom reminds me on what seems like a weekly basis and 2) he finally talked me into going to a car dealership yesterday afternoon. We pulled into a parking lot lined with brand new vehicles and all I could think about was what happens when a hail storm rolls through. Do they cover the cars? No, that would be impossible. Do they deal with the damage if/when it comes? Probably. But can you imagine how much it costs to insure a car dealership in Colorado? We’re no strangers to freak hail storms and when you have 200+ cars on a lot, that’s a lot of hail damage to fix. Eventually I stopped wondering about the hail and realized we were at the dealership to look at prospective vehicles. And it was then that I had a meltdown of epic proportions because I’d been denying our need for a car, for the past three months, due to the fact that our facility is only a 20 minute drive from our home in the city. For a long time I convinced myself that we could bike or bus or catch an Uber, and each time I failed to address the fact that our need for a car has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the logistics of our new business.

Our new business! Most of you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about because I’ve been pretty tight lipped on matters surrounding our new business venture but, the good news is, things are finally happening. And the other good news is that I went on Jessica Murnane’s One Part Podcast a few days ago and dropped allllll the deets about the company because I’m a firm believer that sometimes spoken words just get the job done in a more effective manner. Jess and I talked about everything from the idea that started it all to the fate of OLC (RIP) (jk), and I’m kid-on-Christmas-morning excited for you guys to hear it and to finally know what’s been going on around here. The episode will drop in early October (barring any setbacks on this end), which means my days of keeping you guys in the dark are numbered. And really, I could not be more thrilled about that because I kind of hate keeping secrets. Especially when it’s a secret that’s been such a huge part of my life.

But enough about that and on to today’s recipe because I’ve finally realized how important it is to have a bag of whole food bites on hand, at all times. I’m one of those people who’s quick to snack on whatever’s readily available – even if it’s junk (and even if I know I shouldn’t be eating it) – but if I have something wholesome, satisfying, and delicious at my fingertips, nine times out of 10 I’ll reach for the healthy option (but sometimes I reach for the bag of potato chips because POTATO CHIPS) (amiright?). These bites are simple to whip up and could just as easily be made into bars. But the best part? They’re one of the few snacks capable of keeping the hangry at bay. Even at 9PM on a Tuesday when you’re on your belly painting baseboard trim.. and you realize you still haven’t eaten dinner.

Cashew bites in da makingC H U N K SCalifia Farms <3Almost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bitesAlmost raw chocolate chunk cashew bites

Notes: If you don’t like cashews, feel free to substitute almonds, pecans, etc. (though almonds substitute best). I prefer to use unsweetened chocolate but if you can’t get your hands on a good unsweetened bar, Chocolove makes a delicious 88% bar that I use from time to time. If you want to up the protein of these bites, add a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder while blitzing the cashews and oats – just make sure you adjust the almondmilk accordingly (you’ll need to add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup). If you don’t like dates, you can replace them with 210g of raisins (jumbo flame are my fav).

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules. 

ALMOST RAW CHOCOLATE CHUNK CASHEW BITES

2 cups (245g) raw cashews
1 cup (90g) rolled oats

Pinch of fine sea salt
12-14 (210g) medjool dates
, pitted
4-6 tablespoons (56-84g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the cashews, oats, and sea salt into a fine meal (this should take 30-45 seconds) then add the dates and pulse until they’re pulverized and evenly distributed. Add the almondmilk (4 tablespoons for a firm dough and 6 tablespoons for a soft/sticky dough) (6 is what I typically use) and pulse just until combined. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the chocolate (and cacao nibs, if desired), then cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm (the bites are easier to scoop when firm). Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, drop the bites onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roll with your hands to form round balls. Freeze for 30 minutes then transfer to an air tight container. Will keep in the freezer for several months, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

Yield: 28-30 (big) bites

OLC BTS

40 Comments

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full 31 August 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Ahhh I’ve been seeing little hints here and there about your new business, and I can’t wait to get the full scoop once your podcast comes out! Whatever it is you’re up to, I know it’ll be absolutely amazing. I’m so excited for you, girl!! Sending big hugs <3

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker 31 August 2016 at 8:07 AM

    I can’t WAIT to see what this new venture is for you and hope we can catch up soon (possibly going to be in CO in November!) so you can dish all about it! I know whatever it is is going to be awesome and kick ass. Also, I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since you teased it on Snapchat, so BRB gonna go get the ingredients instead of doing work. xo

  • Reply Hanna 31 August 2016 at 8:08 AM

    I love that I know all about your new business and am so proud that you two are actually making it happen. But if OLC really does RIP I’ll fly out there and slap you silly. ;)

    I am not jk.

  • Reply Michelle @ Hummingbird High 31 August 2016 at 8:20 AM

    UM DO A KITCHEN REVEAL NOW PLZ

  • Reply Erica 31 August 2016 at 9:39 AM

    You and Jessica Murnane make the best conversation to creep in on. I’ve listened to your original interview with her far too many times (weird? probably). Can’t wait to hear the one in October!!!

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:21 PM

      Hi Erica –

      Not weird at all. ;) HUGS.

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 31 August 2016 at 9:54 AM

    You totally have my understanding : we moved from italy to california last november and we don’t own a car. I make my grocery shopping with my bike. Luckily, I have a whole foods 5 minutes far from home! But it’s a completely different life without a car.

  • Reply Julia @ Sprinkles & Saturdays 31 August 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Congrats on your kitchen and new business! I can’t wait to tune into the podcast to hear what it’s all about. These look delicious too! Love combining cashews with chocolate :)

  • Reply Kelcie 31 August 2016 at 11:26 AM

    What Michelle said. Let’s see that kitchen!!!!

    I don’t know if anyone else has put it together but from the hints you’ve been dropping on social I’m almost certain I know what you two are up to (omg. omg!). Looking forward to early October to see if I’m right! Congratulations to you both.

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:22 PM

      Hi Kelcie –

      HA! I’ve dropped a lot of hints so I’m sure you’re on the right track. ;)

  • Reply Harry 31 August 2016 at 1:12 PM

    All your news sounds so exciting. I’ll be interested to see what you’ve got going on. These cashew bites look delicious by the way. I’m a bit fan of cashews and chocolate never hurts.

  • Reply Katrina 31 August 2016 at 2:47 PM

    DONE? Yaaaaaay!! You guys have been working for so long now and I can only imagine how baller you feel. Great work! I just moved into a new kitchen and these delicious balls look like just the thing to whip up :)

  • Reply Abby 31 August 2016 at 3:50 PM

    These bites sound so yum and I’ve been on the edge of my seat for what feels like MONTHS waiting for your business news to drop! :) Question – what’s your favorite vegan protein powder? It seems everything I’ve tried tastes like chalk. :P

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:24 PM

      Hi Abby –

      I’m a fan of Vega essentials as a partial meal replacement/first breakfast and Vega performance protein for post workout recovery/bulking. I only like the chocolate flavors and always add an additional tablespoon (or two) of cacao powder (to help hide the terrible flavor of the stevia). If I’m baking or cooking with protein powder, I always use the pea variety.

  • Reply Sarah // The Sugar Hit 31 August 2016 at 4:48 PM

    I’m SO DANG KEEN to hear about your exit strategy! Plus I bet that your new bizz is going to be an incredibly inspiring, cool thang that I will want to move to Denver over. Can’t wait! Meantime, I’ll shotgun some bites please and thank you.

  • Reply The Wooden Spoon 31 August 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Now these sound GOOD. I have a hard time keeping cashews in my house (because I eat them all within minutes) but I think I could do it for this. Side note: I adore your dining room table.

  • Reply Clem @ The Vegan Cookie Fairy 1 September 2016 at 7:05 AM

    YUM. Totally gonna make some of these because I just keep snacking on biscuits in the office. Someone keep me away from the Oreos!!

  • Reply Dawn 1 September 2016 at 8:02 AM

    oh wow… listening to the podcast now… how exciting!! though I won’t be able to buy it (whatever it is??) here in Sweden right? Good luck. Phew glad you’ll keep the blog going : )

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:25 PM

      Hi Dawn –

      Nope, ya won’t! All the more reason to visit the States. ;)

  • Reply Abby | Lace & Lilacs 1 September 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Ahhhh I am SO excited to hear more about your business, Ashlae! Oh, and these photos are gorgeous. Your kitchen probably/totally is, too. LOVE and CONGRATS! <3 xo

  • Reply dana 1 September 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Can’t wait to listen to the episode AND try these gems! xoxo lady!

  • Reply Jess @Nourished by Nutrition 1 September 2016 at 3:30 PM

    I cannot wait for you to spill the deeeets! The anticipation is killing me…I guess I’m just going to have to makes these cashew bites and wait. Also, your kitchen is fabulous! I’ve been following along on snap and Instagram and this has been such a long process but it has to feel tremendously rewarding! It’s stunning! This is from so long ago but I thought I’d let you know I was dying over Thom and your towel rack. Proper folding is a must! Now relax and have a wonderful weekend! xx, Jess

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:27 PM

      Hi Jess –

      Longest. Process. EVER. So happy it’s over. As for the towel bar, HA! Thankfully Thom’s gotten better at putting the towel back properly.. or using the one on the range, instead.

  • Reply Mary 2 September 2016 at 1:31 AM

    these look so good!! is there any way you could do 2 cups oats to 1 cup cashews?

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:27 PM

      Hi Mary –

      You could, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Reply AndreAbroad 2 September 2016 at 8:38 PM

    I remember when you dropped that secret business tidbit on your last podcast with her and I’ve been dying to know what it the eff it is ever since!! Just don’t leave OLC behind! Pretty pleaseeee!

  • Reply Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen 3 September 2016 at 6:34 AM

    Congrats on the kitchen being done – such a good feeling after enduring all those weeks of renovations! Hope you share pictures soon. :)

  • Reply Lindsay 3 September 2016 at 7:25 AM

    These look absolutely delicious and looking forward to trying them!!! Also the suspense is too much!! Can’t wait to hear all about this exciting business!

  • Reply Ashley 3 September 2016 at 8:28 AM

    I made these last night and woke up this morning to the most delicious pre workout snack! I can’t believe how much these things actually taste like frozen cookie dough. Did you notice that?

  • Reply Kate 3 September 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Congratulations are due all around! These bites look like just what I need to make it through the day in a semi-healthy manner. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply Gemma 4 September 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Oh my gosh! They couldn’t look more delicious! :-) Can’t stop staring at your pictures.

  • Reply Lauren 5 September 2016 at 6:47 AM

    Your kitchen looks amazing! Where is your dining room table from? I’ve been looking to get one for 4 months but have been very picky and love this one.

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:30 PM

      Hi Lauren –

      We just paired metal sawhorse legs with an IKEA beech tabletop. It’s our stand in until I find my dream table (which I’ve been looking for, for THREE years). I tooootally understand being picky.

  • Reply Zoe 5 September 2016 at 12:19 PM

    These look delicious!

  • Reply Laine 5 September 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Congrats on your new kitchen, Ashlae. :) And can’t wait for the podcast!

  • Reply ninaframbuesa 5 September 2016 at 3:53 PM

    OMG! I am in love with cashews, these look divine!!

  • Reply Spirited Morgan @ Spirited and Then Some 6 September 2016 at 4:13 PM

    These look divine! And thank you for sharing cashew alternatives. We have just introduced them back into our house, but I always like having a few (or 100) alternatives in my back pocket just in case!

  • Reply Jayme | holly & flora 7 September 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Oooohhhhhhh, babe. I can’t wait to pop some bubbles with you and Thom very soon. I’m so super stoked for you guys and what’s ahead. I still want to make our breakfast-making date happen. I’ll bring the bubbly mimosas, and you’ll make the vegan-something-delicious-things happen. I love you and am SO excited for this next adventure. Bigtime Xs and Os your way. I can’t wait to happy dance around your table and eat some coconut lime-y treats with you. You completely ROCK!!!

  • Reply Diggin' It - Namely Marly 24 September 2016 at 8:33 PM

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  • Reply Jeanine 20 June 2017 at 8:35 AM

    I love this recipe! Looks like a wonderful option to get my chocolate fix while packing a protein punch! The only question I have is whether it is possible to make with cow’s or goat’s milk rather than Almond milk? Almond milk upsets my stomach, so I don’t want to drink it :( Thanks!

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