“I wonder what would happen if I combined soaked almonds and… CHOCOLATE?!” That was one of my many culinary dreams last fall. Perhaps I should call it a scientific, therapeutic, kitchen project with the added benefit of taste-testing something chocolate.
You should probably know — I love (dark) chocolate.
With my worthy goal in mind, I fiddled and flubbed, stirred and spilled, tasted and adjusted during November. This irresistible snack (ahem, eat-all-the-time food) became an instant hit in my family. We even decided to pack the crumbles in jars and send them across the country as Christmas gifts for the extended family.
Without further ado, I present to you cocoa almond crumbles. I hope your family relishes this crunchy, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free delight as much as we do!
Cocoa Almond Crumbles
Note: These directions assume you are using a dehydrator. If you don’t have one, you can still make these crumbles. When it is time to “dehydrate,” instead turn your oven to its lowest temperature. Spread your crumbles on a few cookie sheets and place in oven. After about 30 minutes, flip the crumbles over to ensure even cooking. Come back 30 minutes later and check. See section below on taste-testing to determine when yours are done. Total cooking time could take a couple hours.
- 4 cups raw organic almonds (non-organic and roasted/unsalted could be used)
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unprocessed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
Makes approximately 2 quarts (3 to 4 dehydrator sheets, or 2 to 3 cookie sheets).
Think about two days ahead for this recipe. If you want it available for snacking by Monday morning, start the recipe on Friday night or Saturday morning. Place the almonds and salt in a large bowl. Cover completely with filtered or purified water and soak for 12 to 24 hours. Strain, rinse, then place in food processor. Pulse several times until almonds reach the desired size and consistency you want (see picture below).
Place almonds in large bowl. Add additional ingredients and stir well. If doubling or tripling this recipe, you may have to combine in a very large bowl or stock pot.
Place mixture on dehydrator sheets and spread to 1-inch layers, covering the sheets. (See note above if you don’t have a dehydrator.)
Dehydrate on 115 degrees Fahrenheit for about 24 hours.
When the 24 hours have elapsed, allow the crumbles to sit in the dehydrator until they cool to room temperature. Taste to see if they’re done. They should be crunchy — not stale or damp. If they don’t taste quite right, turn the dehydrator back to 115 degrees Fahrenheit and let the crumbles dehydrate for another 2 to 3 hours.
I’m always up for taste-testing alone. However, family members of all ages tend to find this important step very attractive. Inevitably, by the time the kids (and my husband) discover it’s taste-testing time, we lose a whole sheet of crumbles due to “family interest.” Warning: you may find the same!
We store our cocoa almond crumbles in canning jars. I leave one on the counter for as long as it lasts, so it makes for an easily accessible snack option. The crumbles can also be used as a handheld dessert or sprinkled atop homemade ice cream. Consider topping your morning yogurt with crumbles and banana slices as well! Or, maybe you want to gift these culinary gems as we did. Believe me, your gift recipients will be grateful for your efforts. Enjoy!
If you made these cocoa almond crumbles, were they a hit with you and/or your family? Did you serve as a snack, a dessert, or for breakfast? Will you be gifting someone with these delicious morsels?
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