If you’re craving a snack that’s savory and sweet, try making your own chocolate-covered cashews. The combination of raw nuts, dark chocolate (or cacao) and spices make this an antioxidant-rich, healthy snack that satisfies chocolate cravings without sacrificing nutrition. And it’s also really, really easy to make.
On the stove, heat dark chocolate (such as vegan chocolate chips or cacao nibs) on medium heat until it starts to melt. Add dashes of sea salt, nutmeg and chili pepper or crushed red pepper and stir. Then add raw cashews and stir until all the nuts are coated in chocolate.
You can eat them right away, but it’s better if you let them cool first so the chocolate coating hardens. To keep nuts from sticking together as they cool, spread them over parchment paper on a baking sheet, then refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Why is this a healthy snack?Raw cashews have a good ratio of saturated to mono- and polyunsaturated fats, are a good source of plant protein and also contain high levels of iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and manganese. And dark chocolate contains no milk, little sugar and a good dose of antioxidants (such as resveratrol), flavinoids and monounsaturated fats. The higher the cacao content of the chocolate, the better — cacao is a precursor to important neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which makes these dark chocolate-covered cashews good brain and mood-boosting food.