When I was living in Portland there was a farmer’s market around the block from where I worked. Missionary Chocolates, a vegan and gluten-free chocolate company, had a booth at the market and not a week passed where I didn’t try a new flavor. I was always so impressed by the simplicity of the ingredients in these chocolates. In thinking about making a Mother’s Day gift, it dawned on me that, although I’ve made truffles, I had never made solid homemade chocolate.
I was blown away by how easy these are to make; mix coconut oil, cocoa powder (or cacao) and your sweetener of choice and voila. Homemade chocolate. The chocolate can also be roughly chopped into chocolate chips for cookies, melted over ice cream or used for s’mores (all sugar-free, if you chose the stevia route).
WHY THEY’RE HEALTHY// Coconut oil has many health benefits, which you can read about in 5 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil. Raw cacao is loaded with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound that may lower your risk of several diseases by destroying free radicals in your cells and tissues. When compared to the antioxidant content of black tea, green tea, and red wine, raw cacao has the highest antioxidant activity and therefore the greatest potential for health benefits. Raw cacao powder is also one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, the “anti-stress” mineral. This homemade chocolate is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. They are also lower in sugar than most chocolate bars: one is 100% sugar-free, made with stevia, and the other is absent of refined sugar. //
I chose to pour my liquid chocolate into muffin liners before freezing, but feel free to experiment with different shape containers. I would suggest lining your containers with parchment paper to easily remove once frozen. You could also make an irregular shape (more like chocolate bark) by pouring the liquid chocolate onto a flat sheet of parchment paper before freezing.
I topped the homemade chocolate with a variety of toppings for color and crunch, but feel free to omit for plain chocolate bars.
- NUTS // Almonds, pistachios, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, shredded coconut.
- DRIED FRUIT // Goji berries, dried cranberries, freeze dried raspberries, dried mango, raisins, banana chips.
- OTHER // Cacao nibs, coffee beans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toffee, sea salt, rosemary (and other dried herbs).
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used pure maple syrup)
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- In a mixing bowl mix together mix together melted coconut oil, stevia or liquid sweetener and vanilla extract.
- Add in cocoa powder and salt and stir until very smooth and all cocoa clumps disappear.
- Pour into desired container (or flat onto parchment paper) and add toppings, if desired.
- Freeze until solid, about 20 minutes.
- Store in the freezer as these bars can melt at room temperature.