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.
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