Sunday, December 19, 2010

Joyous Almond Cups

Whenever I make these peanut butter cups I always end up making these Almond Joy-esque cups as well.  I use the same mini cupcake pan, the same spot in the freezer to freeze the two layers, and we end up with two flavors of cups to choose from for a sweet, but nourishing treat.  This recipe is my version after being inspired, as usual, by a recipe from Kimi over at The Nourishing Gourmet.

Even more so than the peanut butter cups, these joyous almond cups have a lot of coconut oil incorporated into the recipe.  Coconut oil has many benefits.  Coconut oil has a lot saturated fat.  But don't fear.  This saturated fat is good for you.  Yes you read that right.  The saturated fat in coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids, 50% of which are the fatty acid lauric acid.  Medium chain fatty acids are more easily digested, reducing strain on the liver, pancreas, and digestive system.  Coconut oil benefits a sluggish thyroid by this same logic: it takes less energy to digest coconut oil, freeing up your thyroid to heal and function better.  Coconut oil helps with energy levels and weight loss.  Coconut oil heals you from the inside out.

So when you wonder why I go through all the trouble of researching coconut oil, finding different kinds of coconut oil, and then incorporating it into my diet despite my lack of love for it's flavor, this is why.  I feel better when I have it in my daily diet.  I know the science behind it and am more than happy to have it's help healing my body.

Now let's get back to the treat part.  I make these either with or without chopped almonds.  Sort in the vein of sometimes feeling like a nut...But when I do add the nuts I make sure they are from my soaked and dehydrated stash.  Soaking nuts overnight in salt water helps neutralize the naturally-occuring enzyme inhibitors present in most nuts.  Then dehydrating them returns them back to their crispy state.  The almonds I used in this recipe were soaked, dehydrated, and then toasted for 20 minutes at 300 degrees just to bring out their flavor a little before I chopped them and added them in.

Joyous Almond Cups
coconut base:
1/2 cup gently melted coconut oil
1/4 cup gently melted raw honey
1 1/4 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds, preferably soaked and dehydrated, then toasted for 20 min. at 300 degrees

chocolate topping:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons raw honey
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon coffee liqueur

1. Make coconut base: Combine melted coconut oil and raw honey.  Whisk well to combine.  Add shredded coconut and almond extract.  

2. Using a small ice cream scoop, divide among 24 mini cupcake molds.  Sprinkle each one with a little of the chopped almonds, dividing evenly.  Place in the freezer on a level surface for 30 minutes to harden.  

3. In the meantime, make chocolate topping: combine cocoa powder, honey, and coconut oil in a glass bowl set over simmering water.  Whisk until coconut oil is almost completely smooth.  Remove from heat and continue whisking, adding vanilla and coffee liqueur.

4. Remove frozen coconut bases, and spoon a little of the chocolate topping on each cup.  Place back in the freezer for another 30 minutes until frozen and set.  

5. To remove, pop out with a spoon or butter knife immediately after removing from the freezer.  Store in the freezer, or else they will melt.  To eat, I like to remove from the freezer and let sit for a few minutes to soften.  Enjoy with cold, whole raw milk, yum!


cc said...

I wish I could get myself in gear this year to try these out. I'm going to have to print out your recipes for next year! Or just for when things aren't so crazy. Mmmm, Valentine treats?

And I really need to start soaking my nuts...

k said...

That's why I didn't make these last Christmas either, but I did manage to make them for Valentine's day. YUM!