Delicious and healthy, these subtly sweet coconut cacao bites are made with six simple ingredients, coconut, cacao powder, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
Cacao vs cocoa: Is there a difference?
Most of us are probably more familiar with cocoa powder, but there is a big difference between the two.
Check out these adorable, “habit forming” bites and see why cacao powder is a whole lot better for you…
Cacao and cocoa both start the same way, as harvested beans from the plant’s seed pods.
The Big Difference
The difference occurs during processing. Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans while cocoa powder is made by roasting the beans at high temperatures.
When processing raw cacao powder, the enzymes and nutrients are left in. However, since cocoa powder is made by roasting at such high levels of heat, the enzymes are destroyed and you are left with less nutrients in your powder.
Cocoa powder is less expensive, slightly sweeter, and does have some benefits. However, cacao is one of the highest sources of antioxidants and magnesium of all foods.
You can use cacao powder and cocoa powder interchangeably. Watch out for cocoa powders that contain added sugars, dairy products, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and other fillers that companies often use to kick up the flavor.
Cacao powder can be found at markets such as Whole Foods, Sprouts and many other grocery stores.
The other star here is coconut, another “superfood” that has been used medicinally for thousands of years. As far back as the Hindu texts, coconut has been known to nourish the body, increase strength, and promote beautiful skin and hair.
You will love how quick and easy these are to make. Coconut, cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt are combined in a large bowl. That’s it!
Be sure to use finely shredded coconut, aka desiccated, not the sweet coconut flakes, such as Baker’s Angel Flake. Unsweetened coconut shreds are available at markets such as Whole Foods and Sprouts.
To get uniform goodness, we portioned the bites using a scoop, also known as a disher. Check it out below. The purple color of the scoop corresponds with the number 40. This means that you can get 40 level scoops out of one quart of product.
There are many different sizes of dishers with corresponding colors. The number always means the number of level scoops in a quart. A number 12 disher will get 12 level scoops out of a quart of ice cream. Fun, huh?
Using portion scoops or dishers make consistent products, whether it’s these coconut cacao bites, cookies, muffins, or scoops of ice cream. The portions are nice and uniform.
Once you have your cuties scooped up, place in the fridge for about a half hour. Coconut oil does this magic thing that most other oils do not. These bites firm up and hold together.
Place in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator, ready for the perfect dessert or anytime snack…moist, dense, coconut cacao glory!
We hope you enjoy these delicious bites that will nourish your taste buds and your body!
Coconut Cacao Bites
Yield 18 bites
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
Delicious and healthy, these subtly sweet coconut cacao bites are made with six simple ingredients.
2 1/2 cups unsweetened, fine shredded coconut (see recipe notes)
1 1/2 cups cacao powder
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- In a large bowl, mix coconut with cacao powder. Add maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Mix well until thoroughly combined. If mixture is too dry, it may be necessary to add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
- Scoop and portion into balls, placing on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper (see recipe notes).
- Refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Be sure to use unsweetened coconut shreds, not the sweet coconut flakes, such as Baker's Angel Flake. Unsweetened coconut shreds are available at markets such as Whole Foods and Sprouts.
- For this recipe, we used a number 40 portion scoop, also called a disher. The number 40 on the scoop means that you will get 40 level scoops out of one quart of product.