I originally made this chocolate spread this time last year when I was following my strict candida cleanse. It was a life saver when I needed a hint of chocolately sweetness, and the good fats really help curb the cravings too!
It recently came back to my mind off the back of my low carb keto experiments and through seeing friends and clients struggling with cravings when giving up sugar. Though this is not strictly keto... it could likely be adapted to be so using macadamia nuts over cashews for a super low carb alternative. If you use macadamia which are super oily, you may not need the extra coconut oil.
I have also noted below a syrup swap for stevia which would create a richer, sweeter flavour over the stevia if a strict candida friendly recipe is not necessary for you. Taste as you go and add the minimal amount to reach the optimal favour for your tastebuds.
Another little trick for sweetness (i've talked about this before) is you add vanilla bean to offset any potential bitterness of the stevia, it also creates a richer, smoother, mellower taste experince- always use a good quality vanilla bean paste or powder and not an alcohol version (vanilla extract in an alcohol base is best reserved for baked recipe where the alcohol will be cooked off).
Another option is to use a small amount of flavour extract such as toffee or caramel, I sometimes use this brand of extracts.... so many choices!
I have added the recipe again with the swap options for you to try.
Recipe: Sugar-Free Chocolate spread
- ½ cup 100% pure cacao chips
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 3 cups cashews (or try macadamia)
- 1 heaped tbs vanilla powder
- 10 drops stevia* (I use NuNaturals vanilla drops for best flavour)
Melt cacao and coconut oil and then blend with the remaining ingredints in a food processor until the cashews are ground as finely as possible and you have a smooth spread.
*This would probably work even better with 2-3 tbs syrup as well/instead of the stevia for those not on a strict candida diet (note: I haven't tested it this way). The lowest carb syrup I have found is yacon syrup.
Another option I have more recently tried is a caramel butter spread... a thicker 'butter' using the caramel extract I mentioned above. This recipe ask uses beans to add bulk and fibre with reduced carbs and also less fat than the chocolate spread for those who prefer an alternative macro ratio. You could probably adapt the chocolate spread this way too if you used black beans- get experimental!
How to eat it? Spead it on crackers or just scoop from the jar. I found that when I went sugar free on the candida diet I had a tendency to go too heavy on the nuts, so this recipe really helped to moderate that high fat intake but still give the same texture as nut butter... yum!.
The crackers in these photos are low carb seed crackers made in my dehydrator. They were an adaptation of these savoury crackers using a little stevia and vanilla.
Recipe: Caramel cookie dough spread
Makes 2 heaped cups
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup almond, macadamia or cashew butter
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbs lucuma powder (optional for richer flavour)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- approx. 10 drops stevia (or sub syrup as above)
- ½ tsp caramel extract*
- pinch salt
- handful of raw cacao nibs for crunch factor (optional)
Blend everything together until smooth. Add a little extra coconut milk if you want a softer smoother butter.
*other flavour extract could be substituted, the caramel in this instance helps to create more sweetness and compliment the stevia.
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