We were out to dinner recently with friends, and at the end of the meal the server brought after dinner mints for us on a little tray when she brought the check. Sadly they had ingredients in them that I couldn’t have, so I let my husband enjoy mine.
A few weeks later those cute little mints popped into my mind and I began thinking how nice an after dinner mint would taste. That got my wheels turning on how I could create some using ingredients that I can safely eat, and so I got to work!
I really wanted to make something that included some healthy ingredients instead of being just a pure sweet.
I’ve used coconut oil or nut butters in the past in “homemade” chocolate recipes. Those work well, but the chocolate needs to stay in the refrigerator, as it’ll melt quickly. For this recipe I decided to start with cacao butter as my base, to assure that they’d stay solid. Next I gave some thought as to what may enhance their health benefits!
I’ve been bumping up my intake of collagen protein as it’s said to be beneficial in many ways, including supporting healthy joints and skin, especially important as we age. I’ve been experimenting with adding it to various recipes and thought I’d give it a try in the chocolates. I also thought it would be cool to add some maca powder to them as maca is said to boost energy and endurance, something that I’m all for since I’m an avid fitness enthusiast!
Of course raw cacao for their antioxidants & deep chocolate taste, and I chose avocado oil to use as an emulsifier. I decided to sweeten them with pure liquid stevia to keep them sugar-free, and of course pure mint extract so they’d be minty-fresh!
After some trial and error, tweaking with sweetness, amount of avocado oil, and level of mint used, along with lots of enjoyable sampling along the way, I came up with a tasty treat with some added healthy benefits! A win-win!
After Dinner Chocolate Mint Collagen/Maca Cups
Full of antioxidants, healthy fats, collagen protein and Maca powder, these sweet little cups are a healthy bite disguised as a refreshing treat!
2/3 cup cacao butter (I used Navitas Organics)
1/4 cup unsweetened pure cacao powder
2 Tbs Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder
1 Tbs Collagen protein powder (I used Ancient Nutrition brand)
2 1/2 tsp avocado oil
1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
4-5 drops of pure liquid stevia
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs for (I used Natierra Superfood brand)
For 9-12 mini cups, line a mini muffin tin with foil baking liners, set aside.
Place cocoa butter in a small sauce pan and melt over low heat until melted.
Add cacao, one tablespoon at a time, stirring each until mixed in. A wire whisk works well for stirring.
Stir in Maca powder one tablespoon at a time and collagen protein, stirring all until smooth. Add in avocado oil and whisk until mixed in and emulsified.
Remove from heat, let cool slightly before adding peppermint extract (be careful, it may sizzle!), stir in, then add liquid stevia, 4 drops, then taste, if not sweet enough for your taste, add another drop. Carefully pour mixture into a glass liquid measuring cup and fill paper-lined mini muffin cups.
Place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes until just starting to get firm. Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle a few cacao nibs into the center of each cup for garnish & a nice little crunch! Return to refrigerate until firm. Keep refrigerated and enjoy right from the refrigerator!
This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and Paleo.