Monday, March 10, 2008
My New Obsession: Coconut Apricot Chews
Seriously -- these are awesome. You've got your fiber (coconut, apricots), your omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts), your protein (walnuts, cashews) and you've omitted the (refined) sugar! In an effort to cut more sugar out of my diet, I've been researching recipes using Stevia -- which, according to wikipedia is "a genus of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America." It's about ten times sweeter than sugar (with zero of the negative effects of sugar), so you only use very little. To me, these chews taste like a mix between a blondie and a macaroon.
I found this recipe on a stevia website, which originally called for figs, but I had none on hand so I turned it into a apricot chew. I also adapted it to my needs -- making it gluten free as well as being naturally dairy-free, vegan, and low in refined sugar. The original recipe can be found: here.
Coconut Apricot Chews
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I used organic, unsulfured, unsweetened ones)
1/2 cup water
1 cup unsweetened coconut (if you use sweetened, you can omit the stevia)
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered Stevia extract
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/3 cup gluten-free flour
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Stew the chopped apricots in the water for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the coconut to the pot, mix and set aside. Grind the walnuts in a blender, or small food processor. In the mixing bowl, place the stewed apricots and coconut, ground walnuts, salt, Stevia extract, cashew butter and flour. Mix well. Shape the cookies with your hands. Place on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes.