We’ve had more-bars and we’ve had hippy “Easter eggs”, and I’m pleased to announce the arrival of the latest concoction to emerge from my food processor that fits into that same category of treats that are sweet but not not too unhealthy: Summery Mango-Lime-Coconut Bites. These ones (for a blessed change) do not contain dates and as a result feel very summery to me. They seem appropriate since we’ve already had to break out the sunscreen and more good weather is forecast for this week. I imagine they’d also feel like a blissful escape next November!
I followed a long and twisted path along the internet the other day and ended up at My New Roots. It’s full of beautiful photos and some lovely sounding food, all of which is very healthy and most of which I would never make. It’s too bad in a way – I think of myself as a healthy eater, and I know that I am when compared to much of the population, but then I look at the commitment some people make, and I realize there’s a lot further I could go. There’s a danger in getting too worked up about it all though, so I’ll keep to my middle ground.
Anyhow, I found this recipe and thought it sounded delicious and not too over-the-top. I made a batch today, much to Miles’s initial consternation and eventual delight. He hates the food processor with a fiery passion even though he knows that lots of yummy treats come out of it. I think he’s trying to come to terms with it though – he regularly plays with an imaginary food processor (or as he says, foo fofether), so maybe one day I’ll be able to make things without needing Mr. Chumsley to take Miles outside…
The original recipe called for soaking the cashews for 4 hours. I had no idea why, so I asked my friend Google. I was informed by numerous websites with dubious quasi-medical credentials that soaking nuts increases the availability of nutrients and decreases their inflammatory properties. That sounded good (although I have no idea if it is true or even what kind of inflammation we’re talking about), and I was a bit concerned that the recipe might be a bit dry if I skipped it, so I decided to try the soaking. If you make these without soaking the nuts, let me know how things go!
Also a note on unsweetened dried mango: it may be hard to find, but it is kind of essential to keep this in the healthy category. All the mango at our regular grocery store was sweetened, but I tracked some down unsweetened stuff at Pirate Joe’s. Try your local health food store if you don’t have easy access to Trader Joe’s (or its Vancouver version).
Summery Mango Bites
- 100g raw cashews
- 100g dried unsweetened mango
- ½ cup / 50g unsweetened dried shredded coconut, plus more to roll the balls in
- Seeds scraped out of 1/2 a vanilla bean
- Zest of 1 lime
- Pinch of sea salt
Soak cashews in warm water at room temperature for four hours. Drain and rinse.
Soak mango in warm (not boiling water) for 20-30 minutes until softened, but not mushy.
Place cashews in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it comes together in a big ball. Taste and add more lime zest or vanilla if desired (I started with 1/2 a lime and 1/4 a vanilla bean and increased to the amounts shown in the recipe). If the mixture seems wet (mine did, but I used boiling water and my mango got quite mushy), add some more coconut and pulse again to combine.
Pinch off a bit of the mixture, roll it into a ball and roll in the extra coconut to coat. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I got about 30, but the yield will depend entirely on how big you make them.