Many people profess to be chocoholics, but according to many, their claims would hold no merit unless they have embraced raw cacao. Honestly, I have never considered myself a big chocolate fan, but the darker the chocolate, the more I seem to like it. However, Navitas Naturals Cacao Power was my first taste of real cacao nibs. Okay, the Cacao Power is technically the sweetened nibs (they do offer unsweetened nibs also), but I am a beginner in this whole raw cacao game, so it seemed best to start with the sweetened … and I was glad I did …
I was truly surprised by the taste of these knobby nibs. My husband agreed whole-heartedly that they tasted a lot like coffee beans with just the slightest, slightest hint of sweetness. Since I am not a fan of coffee at all, I still fall in the "not a true chocoholic" category.
Nonetheless, these nibs had a place in my desserts. I tossed them into Julie's Acai Fudge, and also enjoyed her recipe for Raw No-Bake "Brownies" (recipe below). When submerged, they added a pleasant sweetness, a deep chocolate flavor, and a nice crunch.
Though I won't be snacking on these chocolate bites alone, I can't wait to try them in more no-bake cookies, granola bars, and trail mixes!
Oh, and one last note, these are larger than average nibs (see the picture below, many are about 1/2" in diameter). I would call them "clusters." If you like snacking on nibs or if you have been seeking bigger nibs for recipes, then you will be very pleased with the size. I wanted smaller nibs for the no bake items, but luckily, they were very easy to break up int smaller bits.
Cacao Power Ingredients: certified organic cacao (Theobroma cacao), certified organic cacao nibs, certified organic sugar cane juice (Saccharum officinarum), certified organic cacao liquor (Theobroma cacao)
Julie's Raw Dark Chocolate "Brownies"
Recipe and photo from Chef Julie Morris. These brownies have a very dark chocolatey taste. My husband wasn't a big fan, but once refrigerated overnight, I found them to be wonderful.
- 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup Navitas Naturals Sweetened Cacao Nibs [Julie's original recipe calls for double this amount, but it was way too much for our tastes]
Mix: Place dates, walnuts, cacao powder and salt in a food processor and pulse until a dough has formed. [If you soften the dates first in water, this step can be done by hand]
Form: Roll brownie dough in cacao nibs and press into a 1 inch thick layer. Cut into bite-size squares. Alternately, roll into balls like a truffle. Top with extra sweetenened cacao nibs, if desired. [I mixed in the nibs, but then rolled them into balls like truffles]
Makes 12-16 small squares.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information on this product and where to purchase it, see the Navitas Naturals Website. Navitas products are also sold at a discount on Amazon.