Recipe: Cocoa Nib Cookies

A friend asked me if I had any suggestions for what to do with cacao nibs that she has in her cupboard. I immediately thought of this recipe which was passed on to me by Lynne at The Big Carrot (but I am not sure who I can give credit to for the creation of the recipe). I have adapted it slightly, using less agave nectar and using 100% organic cocoa powder as a substitute for cacao powder that I didn’t have at the time (they can be used interchangeably). Keep in mind that the quality of the cocoa powder matters in terms of its antioxidants so choose 100% organic from a reputable company. You can also use a variety of non-gluten flours if you wish. I’ve made these cookies with a combo of sorghum, coconut and tapioca flours.

These are delicious but the benefits go beyond taste. Cacao nibs (partially ground cacao beans) and the cocoa powder have an abundant source of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. They are considered high on the list as brain food possibly due to the cognitive and mood enhancing Theobromine. Cacao nibs and cocoa powder, along with dark chocolate are also considered heart healthy due to the flavanols and magnesium.

12 tb. or 3/4 c coconut oil
150 ml. agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tb. water plus 1 tsp. ground flax seed
2 c spelt flour
1/2 c amaranth flour (you can grind whole amaranth if you can’t find the flour)
1 c whole bean cacao powder or organic cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c cacao nibs

Mix the flax and water together and let it sit while you thoroughly mix the oil, agave and vanilla. Now add the flax/water mixture to the oil mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture, mixed thoroughly, using your hands to form a dough that can be shaped into balls.
Depending on what type of flour you use, you may have to add more.
Drop balls of dough onto an oiled cookie sheet about an inch apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. The cookies will be moist and brownie-like.
Let them cool and they will harden a bit.

For more recipes using cacao nibs and powder – check out this site: http://www.navitasnaturals.com/recipes/cacao-recipes.html