Yes, you read that right. And yes, it is possible. You may think from a scroll through my recipe posts that it’s all sweets and treats at our house. If J and T had their way, it probably would be.
Treats and sweets are the exception to the rule, the rule being things like soups, stews, tacos, veggie burgers, salad, pizza and, as of late, veggie sushi. Plants are the chameleons of the food world (and not just because they are colorful!)
We have a lot of fun with plants at mealtime, but desserts are kind of my passion project. Also the stakes are lower so I can get a little crazy since no one goes hungry if they don’t turn out (though they may get pouty….). My risky kitchen exploits payed off with this yummy whole food carob bark. I set out to make some coconut butter and ended up with this.
Why carob? I have nothing against chocolate, but when it comes to evening treats the raw stuff can be a little stimulating. In its raw state, cacao contains a decent amount of theobromine which is a mild, long lasting, mood enhancing stimulant. Super in the morning, not so super at night (and definitely not super for a 3 year old who would rather bounce on his bed than sleep in it…).
Minimal ingredients, minimal effort, and entirely made of plants. What’s not to love?
Whole Food Plant Based Carob (or Chocolate!) Bark
-3-4 cups unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut (depends on the size of your food processor. You’ll want to fill as it will blend down quite a bit.)
-4-5 tablespoons roasted carob powder (or raw cacao, or cocoa)
-Pure stevia powder, or other dry sweetener of choice (date sugar, coconut sugar, etc.)
-Optional: Pinch of salt
-Optional: Mix-ins like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, etc. (I’ve used chopped walnuts, dates, and nibs all with good results)
-Pour coconut into food processor and process until smooth and drippy, scraping down as needed.
-Add carob (or cacao or cocoa) and process again until well blended.
-Add desired amount of sweetener to taste (you’ll need less for carob since it has a natural sweetness, more for cacao or cocoa.) and pinch of salt if desired and blend again.
-Add mix-ins if desired and pulse until distributed well throughout.
-Spread mixture on parchment paper and place in freezer until hardened (15 minutes or so).
-Once hardened, move to fridge.
-Chop and store in airtight container in fridge.
For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook