Almondjoys! (v, gf)
When I was 20, I went to go study in Australia for 8 months. I was studying and living in Melbourne, which is home of the famous Queen Victoria Farmers Market. INCREDIBLE market. It was so so so fun to go to, and I bought all my produce there, including the most amazing raw almonds I’ve ever had. I love nuts. Walnuts and almonds are my favorite, but pistachios, pecans, and cashews are also amazing. Anyways, I developed a sort of obsession for these Australian raw almonds….I ate many handfuls a day. Handfuls Little did I know, my gorging would lead to me developing a nut intolerance. The HORROR. My stomach went wacky…painful wacky. I couldn’t eat nuts anymore, and I was devastated. After a year went by, I was curious and decided I would try to slowly re-introduce my favorite nuts into my diet. It worked, kind of… I was able to eat walnuts in very small portions again.. but not almonds or any other nut. About another year later, I found out I could eat roasted almonds, but not raw… and still no other nut. Fast forward to now…. the other day there were some raw almonds hanging around the house… I stared at the bag for a minute, lusting over them, before I decided “screw it!” and grabbed a small handful to eat. I practically inhaled them. Delicious. Know what happened next? A big smile across my face as I enjoyed the soft crunch and deliciousness of the raw almonds… Know what DIDN’T happen next?? My stomach revolting!! I was cured!!! (well… I hoped…) I was ecstatic, content, and filled with joy. So much so that I knew I had to celebrate…. and the first thing that came to mind, was to make ALMOND JOYS!!!
no wacky stomach+almonds+coconut+dark chocolate = JOY.
These little treats are not too sweet but plenty sweet enough, so the coconut really shines through. The rice milk really compliments the coconut well, too. They are super healthy, have great texture, and taste way better than the brandname. They were eaten up in minutes, and everyone demanded I make more. I will… soon. Seriously, they are incredible. :)
makes about 20 candies
- 2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened. can be dried or fresh)
- 1/2 cup unflavored rice milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or coconut butter – either will work, it acts as a binding agent when cool)
- 1 tbsp agave
- 20 (+/-) raw almonds
- about 8 ounces dark chocolate (I used 72%)
- Mix coconut and rice milk together in a medium bowl, set aside and let sit for about 5 minutes so coconut softens.
- Meanwhile, get out your double boiler… if you dont’ have a double boiler, you can create your own using a metal bowl and a pot. The bowl should partially (not completely) fit into the pot. Fill the pot with enough water so that when the bowl rests in the pot the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer (not a boil) and place the bowl in the pot. Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir occasionally until melted. When fully melted, turn the stove off but leave the chocolate in the bowl sitting over the hot water.
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave, add the melted oil and agave to the rice milk and coconut mixture. Stir well. The coconut oil will begin to harden when placed in with the cooler milk mixture, but that’s ok.. just start to work the mixture with your hands until fully combined.
- Place the mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to help it set. (This is imortant!!)
- Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment or wax paper. Using your hands, take a small handfull of the coconut mixture (about the size of a ping-pong ball), SQUEEZE it TIGHTLY in your fist (some juices will come out, but that’s ok) and then gently form it into a rectangular shape. Repeat.
- Gently press an almond into the top of each coconut rectangle (see photos). Place each coconut rectangle on the parchment paper, and then place the whole tray into the refrigerator for another 5-10 minutes.
- After they’ve had time to set, it’s time to coat them in chocolate! This is a little tricky… you have to be VERY gentle. You can find your own way of doing this, but I placed each one in the chocolate (bottom down), and then used a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the top and used the spoon to gently move the chocolate around until it was fully coated. Then gently scoop the candy out of the melted chocolate and place it back on the parchment paper…. repeat…
- When they’ve all been coated, place the tray BACK in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is hardened. Remove from the parchment paper, and enjoy!!! Store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator.