For this recipe I combined the creamy texture of cashews, decadent dark chocolate and refreshing mint to create a dessert worthy of remembering. Cashews although they might taste like a sinfully delicious treat, but are packed with vitamins and minerals (just as are all nuts and seeds). Cashews contain a healthy amount of manganese and copper, an important component of some enzymes. These odd shaped nuts are actually the seed of the cashew apple, which is enjoyed in Brazil and the Caribbean as a delicacy. Mint, you either love it or hate it, while it can be overpowering, it can also be used to add a second dimension to many dishes! In some curry dishes mint is used to balance the flavors, and in some indian dishes the herb is used to calm the heat a little. Mint also comes in many different varieties, afar from the typical peppermint, comes spearmint, pineapple mint and catmint to name a few. Mint has also been used for many years as a herbal remedy, due to its ability to calm upset stomachs, help the body detox, help cure allergies and asthma, whiten teeth, help relieve headaches and calm the body. Mint is also commonly used in aroma therapy since it helps create such a relaxing atmosphere. This versatile herb can also be grown in most climates or indoors as it is very hardy. Coconut oil adds even more nutrition to these treats seeing that it helps with weight loss, Alzheimer's decease and not to mention helps with dry skin during the winter months! As you can see, while this dessert might taste sinful, it also has a powerful amount of nutrition, so feel free to indulge a little!
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bites
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for about 5 - 8 hours)
1/4 cup cold coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
4 - 6 tbs water
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 tsp spirulina powder (optional)
For the chocolate:
6 tbs cocoa powder (I used dark)
2 tbs raw honey or agave
2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
Soak cashews and assemble all ingredients. Add 4 tbs water, the honey or agave, and mint leaves to a high speed blender and blend on high until the mint leaves are almost liquified. Next, add in the soaked cashews, spirulina powder and coconut oil. Blend on high, using a plunger attachment (or alternately stop the blender and stir with a spoon), until everything is smooth and creamy.
Line a rectangular freezer safe dish (mine was about 5 by 7in) with parchment paper. Pour your mint filling into the dish and set it in the freezer for about 4 hours or overnight. While the filling is hardening up, prepare your chocolate layer.
For the chocolate, slowly melt the coconut oil using a small skillet, then add in the cocoa powder, one tbs at a time, and stir to combine. Finally add in your sweetener and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and creamy. To assemble, pour the prepared chocolate over the mint mixture and quickly spread around to coat the entire top. The chocolate will harden almost instantly but just to make sure, place the bites back into the freezer for anther hour or so.
Once the chocolate has hardened, cut the cheesecake bites into 1 square inch pieces with a sharp knife (don't worry if some of the chocolate pops off the tops). Garnish with fresh mint before serving, enjoy! These will keep in the freezer for about a week.
*In some of the pictures I made a chocolate layer for both sides, but I found that this made the chocolate pop off too much. If you still desire to have chocolate on both sides, simply double my chocolate recipe.
*If you do not like mint, try adding some vanilla instead of mint and some spinach to keep the color green!