I have to be honest, it was a little tough coming back to a cold, gray, rainy Colorado last week after our week long trip back home in California. But thankfully after several days of more thunderstorms, the sun has emerged and proven that there still is a blue sky up there – it had just been hiding for about a month! Its amazing how sunshine brews happiness, and regenerates inside of me that itch to get off the grid and get my hiking and camping game on. I’m excited to see what Colorado has in store for us this summer.
Speaking of excitement – I can hardly believe that a week from today I will be flying to New York City to attend the Saveur Blog Awards! PINCH ME. I just want to thank you all again for being so awesome and nominating Faring Well in the Best New Voice category. I never dreamed I would be attending these awards in my first year of blogging, and can hardly see straight when I think of all the amazing bloggers I am going to meet at this shin-dig. I’d also like to give a huge thank you to my crazy generous in-laws. When they heard I wasn’t going to the ceremony because we couldn’t afford it – they made it happen. I’m constantly so overwhelmed by the love and generosity from both Scott and I’s parents. I asked Scott the other day, “I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t have our amazing parents,” and he responded, “In a gutter.” It’s so true.
Back when we lived in California I use to make raw desserts all the time, and visiting home last week gave me an itch to start making them once more. So the day after we got back I whipped up a batch of these raw chocolate trail mix cookies. They were one of the first raw desserts I ever made back when I first went vegan three and a half years ago. I was so excited to discover a healthy, chocolate treat I could make when I needed my chocolate fix + a healthy energy boost. I use to snack on these in the afternoon before heading into a night of serving at the restaurant, or curl up on the couch with a small bowlful for a movie night with Scott. As a snack, or a treat, these cookies rock. They are super chocolatey, perfectly sweetened with all-natural date goodness, and have a sweet coconut and tangy cranberry aftertaste. Not to mention a much-need crunch from the pepitas (that I believe every good snack should have, I like my crunch). Make these babies and keep a batch in the freezer for when you need a little energy boost throughout the day, or a chocolate fix, and don’t feel bad about snacking on them one bit.
RAW CHOCOLATE TRAIL MIX COOKIES
Makes 16 to 18 cookies.
Tid-bits: I’ve found that cashews and almonds create the best consistency and flavor for this cookie – but feel free to substitute walnuts or pecans in here if that it what you have on hand. It is definitely essential that you use raw cacao powder to obtain the rich, chocolate flavor noted in this recipe – as well as to make sure you are getting the most nutrients from the glorious superfood that is the cacao bean. Dried cherries are good in here too if you aren’t a cranberry fan, and feel free to throw in some chia seeds or hemp seeds for an extra nutrient boost.
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup organic shredded/flaked coconut
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
pinch of salt I use pink Himalayan
10 medjool dates dried
2 tablespoons filtered water
1/3 cup organic fruit-sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup raw pepitas
Begin by adding the cashews and almonds to the bowl of a food processor and processing until they resemble a coarse meal. Add in the coconut, cacao powder, and salt. Blend for a few seconds to incorporate. Add the dried medjool dates, after pitting and slicing them in half. Run the processor on high until the dates are completely incorporated and the mixture is sticky but crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons of filtered water and pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the dried cranberries and pepitas. Run the processor on high once more until the mixture comes together as a whirling sticky ball. Scoop spoonfuls using a small cookie scoop, or a spoon, and roll into balls. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and set in the freezer for ten minutes to allow the dough to set up. Remove and press down on the tops with a fork to create little cookies. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. I like to let mine chill for a few hours before eating. Serve cold from the freezer.