Have you tried cacao nibs?
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, February 07, 2013
2/07/13 at 4:17 AM
To taste cacao nibs for the first time blindfolded, you might think you were munching on a mild coffee bean.
But in fact, you are actually eating the essence of chocolate.
And for a chocolate lover, the trendy cacao nibs can be somewhat addictive.
Cacao nibs are roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits. They add crunchiness and subtle chocolate flavor to baked goods, a crunch to salads and a deeper flavor to savory dishes.
The nibs have a crunch similar to chopped nuts and make a good topping for ice cream, yogurt and oatmeal. They can be ground to add flavoring to spice rubs for meat.
Here are three disparate recipes featuring cacao nibs.
CACAO COFFEE BANANA SMOOTHIE
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons agave
1 handful of ice
1. Add everything to the blender and pulse for 60 seconds.
- adapted from the kitchn.com
CACAO NIB LACE COOKIES
1 cup butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces ( 1/2 package) cacao nibs, such as Scharffen Berger
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar and salt just until incorporated. Mix in cacao nibs. Gradually add flour until combined. Do not over mix.
2. Using the palm of your hand, roll into 1-inch balls and flatten.
3. Place on cookie sheets and bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- from Scharffen Berger
CACAO NIBS RUB ON A TRI TIP OR SKIRT STEAK
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 (2 1/2-pound) tri tip roast
1. To make the rub: Combine all ingredients except the meat in the bowl of a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Grind until the nibs break into particles the size of large grains of sand. Use immediately or store in a tightly covered jar for up to 1 month.
2. Rinse and pat the roast dry with paper towels. Generously cover the meat with the rub and wrap in foil or plastic wrap. The roast can marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. In the meantime, fire up the grill. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking, with the coals to either side. Grill until your desired doneness.
- adapted from FoodNetwork.com
Original Print Headline: Have you tried ... Cacao nibs
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