Raw Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

We could call these "Superfood Cups" because of all the health benefits each bite provides.

This recipe was inspired by fellow yogini-foodie, Jessie Monds.

Ingredients:

(Makes about 22 treats)

Chocolate:

1 cup raw cacao powder 1/3 cup tablespoons maple syrup 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Whisk together ingredients to combine, mixture will be smooth and ribbony. If it's too thick, add more oil and/or syrup to taste .

Nut Butter Filling:

1/4 cup almond/cashew or pepita/sunflower seed  butter

Method:

Lay out 20 mini cupcake liners on a large rimmed baking sheet. Fill each liner with 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate mixture. Fill with 1/4 teaspoon of nut/seed butter mixture, flattened out slightly into a disk shape. Top with 1 teaspoon of chocolate mixture then a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Store them in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What's more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or "good fat" found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the "feel good" amino acid"). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.