jaggery crumbed cacao squares

Fuel for the Junior and Leaving Certers

The sun typically comes out when the junior and leaving cert starts in Ireland. Bummer. These crumbed cacao squares should help make it up to them.

Stuffed with plant-based omega-3s, think of them as brain fertilisers.

Have you noticed that walnuts resemble one of the most important organs in the body? Inside your noggin there is one great big walnut. Curiously, this gnarled nut provides more brain-boosting omega-3 oils than any other nut. If walnuts are good for your brain, it makes you wonder what nature intended bananas to boost.

Chia and hemp seeds are fabulous sources of omega-3s too, so we’ve squeezed them into this recipe.


jaggery walnut squares


What else? Raw cacao and hemp are surprisingly good sources of iron, without which we can’t make haemoglobin. This stuff is responsible for transporting oxygen to our brain. Pretty important for Monday’s Gaeilge paper.

Cacao also offers a great supply of magnesium to boost circulation and to help muscles relax. Processed chocolate bars are out (nice try). We’re talking about the raw, unadulterated stuff like this and this. One whiff of raw cacao will send your brain into a rave and do funny things to your nostrils.

Goof luck everyone. Hope these help!




Jaggery crumbed cacao squares

makes 25

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1 tablespoon milled chia
3 tablespoons shelled hemp seed
3 tablespoons almond butter
Jaggery palm sugar or cacao powder to dust


You’ll need a food processor for this recipe. A mini ‘bullet’ will work beautifully too.

Start by soaking the dates in 4 tablespoons of water overnight (or for at least 4 hours). Next, blend the nuts, cacao and an optional pinch of salt until they resemble a fine crumb. Stir through the chia and hemp. Remove from your food processor’s bowl.

Now blitz the almond butter with the soaked date and any remaining liquid until relatively smooth.

Return the walnut crumb to the bowl and give it a final blast in the food processor. Scrape this sticky dough into a parchment-lined container, and freeze until set (about 10 mins). Cut into squares and dust with jaggery palm sugar if you fancy flirting with your sweet tooth. I prefer them without, but my house is divided on the matter!


jaggery cacao squares


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