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Cooking with cocoa nibs

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Fulfill your snack craving withCocoa nibs

If you have daily cravings for dark chocolate, you've got to try cocoa nibs. Never heard of them? These crunchy little gems are roasted and crushed cocoa beans that deliver the true essence of chocolate, without the sugar, and are delectably loaded with antioxidants.

Chicken mole

Chicken mole recipe

A savory recipe featuring the deep chocolate flavor of cocoa nibs, this chicken mole is a hearty family dinner recipe that also makes a scrumptious dish for guests. Serve with white or brown rice.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 2 poblanos, seeded, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat two tablespoons oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, broth, almond butter and cocoa nibs, stirring to combine. Simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes. Puree sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Heat remaining oil in a large saute pan over medium-heat and sear the chicken, browning both sides.
  6. Place chicken in a single layer in prepared casserole dish and pour mole sauce over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Place chicken on a serving platter, cover with sauce, and garnish with almonds.

Pumpkin cocoa nib bar recipe

Pumpkin, coconut and chocolate are a delicious trifecta of flavors in this indulgent dessert bar recipe.

Yields 24

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa nibs plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. In the bowl of a standup mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, melted coconut oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.
  3. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and blend on low speed until combined and smooth. Add cocoa nibs and blend until incorporated into batter.
  5. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Place baking dish on a wire rack to cool for one hour or until room temperature.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and solid coconut oil. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and continue to mix on low speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Spread over pumpkin bars and sprinkle with extra cocoa nibs. Cut into bars and serve.

More on chocolate

Do you know your cacao?
Chocolate and its health benefits
Menu ideas for chocolate lovers

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