Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Raw Coconut Cacao Bites and a Tropical Traditions Giveaway

Raw Coconut Cacao Fudge

 It's no secret I love everything from Tropical Traditions. Their coconut products are made from fresh organic coconuts, grown by dedicated family farms in the Phillipines. Everything is produced small batches and tested for quality, ensuring that we receive the freshest, highest quality coconut oil possible.  I feel confident that when I'm using their products, I'm supporting a good manufacturing practices and getting the most nutrition possible for my money.

One of my favorite products is their Coconut Cream Concentrate, a delightful product that goes by the name of coconut butter by other brands and in the blogosphere. I've made my own coconut butter before (shredded coconut + food processor + patience), but the texture is always a little gritty. While the dollar amount is much friendlier on homemade coconut butter, I really prefer the creamy smooth texture of the storebought. So, sometimes I splurge and buy a jar. Or, I agree to do a giveaway and take part in a little complimentary coconut goodness.

Coconut Cream Concentrate is made from the flesh and fat of raw coconuts. It is white, thick, and fragrant, full of coconut goodness. When chilled, it is very firm, almost like candy. When softened, it is creamy and smooth, like a delectable spread. It can also be mixed with hot water to create a natural coconut milk or used in soups, stews, and daals to create a wonderfully rich coconut broth. Because it is naturally sweet, Coconut Cream Concentrate is also the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth on a sugar-free diet. A little chunk on its own is a wonderfully satisfying treat, and it is brilliant included in sweet treats from pie to truffles, cookies to smoothies. Because it hardens at cool temperatures, it is great to use when you want a firm consistency in raw desserts.  

In addition to being delicious, Coconut Cream Concentrate offers all the awesome nutrition of raw coconut, including fiber, protein, medium-chain fatty acids, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and lauric acid (a naturally occurring acid with potentially antimicrobial and antiviral properties).

Please note that Coconut Cream Concentrate or coconut butter is different than coconut oil. Coconut Cream Concentrate contains fiber and fat, while coconut oil is just oil.  Since they have very different properties, the two cannot be used interchangeably. Coconut Cream Concentrate should never be used as a cooking oil, and cannot substitute coconut oil in any recipe.

Inspired by my love for Coconut Cream Concentrate, I made a recipe for you. It is kind of like fudge, kind of like candy, and totally delicious. Even better, I'm giving away a 32-oz. jar of Coconut Cream Concentrate to one lucky reader! 

How To Enter the Giveaway

UPDATE 5/19/2011: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER - see followup at end of post for winner!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below this post sharing the ways you'd like to try using Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate in your own kitchen. Make sure to include an email address in the comment form (it will not be visible on the blog) so I can contact you if you win.

Contest will end on May 18, 2011, 11:59 pm CST, and is limited to residents of the United States and Canada. Winner will be announced May 19, 2011 in an update to this blog post and by a personal e-mail from me.  I will share the winner's contact information with Tropical Traditions, who will ship the 32-oz jar of coconut cream concentrate. 

Good luck! Thanks to Tropical Traditions for this great giveaway. And, in the meantime, you may want to try this tasty raw dessert...

Raw Coconut Cacao Fudge

Raw Coconut Cacao Bites

yield about 24 squares or balls

  • heaping 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 9 large medjool dates, pitted 
  • 3/4 cup softened Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate or another brand of raw coconut butter (NOT COCONUT OIL)
  • 2 Tbsp raw cashew butter, or other raw seed/nut butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • handful unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly crushed OR a handful unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch unrefined salt

Soften the coconut butter in a double boiler until it is soft enough to smoosh with the back of a spoon.  If it is not soft, it will not mix properly with the other ingredients.

Place half the cocao nibs in a food processor and process on high on they are coarsely ground. Then add dates and remaining cacao nibs and process until a paste forms. Then add softenend coconut butter, cashew butter, salt, and cinnamon, and process on high until soft crumbs form. Then add a handful of coconut flakes and pulse a few times to combine.  The mixture may look dry, but it should be very soft and malleable when you form it.  If it crumbles when you try try to form a ball, add more cashew butter or softened coconut butter bit by bit, just until it is soft enough to form. 

Form into bite-size balls, or form into a square or rectangle about 1-inch high on a parchment covered pan or plate. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or longer. Serve the balls as is, or cut the squares into bite-size pieces. Serve!  

If your house is below 72º F and you don't mind a slightly softer fudge/truffle, these can be stored at room temperature. Any hotter than that and the coconut butter starts to get too mushy for room temperature storage!



DISCLAIMER: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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Reader Comments (93)

oh, yummy! i'd love to try this raw coconut cacao bites recipe!!! thanks for the chance to win one of the main ingredients :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkim

I LOVE coconut concentrate!!! I would especially enjoy using it in raw truffles and melted on a banana. :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

I would use this product for making the vegan mounds bars I found online. It would be give it a creamy yumminess. http://goveganmeow.blogspot.com/2011/05/vegan-mounds.html

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Bochenek

I love Tropical Traditions products. I use the coconut cream concentrate to make the quick lemon candy. It's delightful! Thanks

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Oh yum. I'd have to do some research to know what to do with this, but I could certainly start with this recipe!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Mc

I adore absolutely anything coconut. I haven't tried coconut butter before though. I'd love to use this in some sort of frosting recipe for chocolate cupcakes. :) Your recipe looks great!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterATXglutenfree

I've wondered what to do with the coconut butter I accidentally bought, and this recipe looks fantastic!! I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I have never had coconut cream, because it is expensive, but would LOVE to try it. Your cacao coconut bites sound heavenly, and would surely try them. I think it would also be great atop muffins or bread, as well!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa B.

I love everything coconut! But I've yet to try this coconut concentrate. I think I'd first start with your raw coconut cacao bites. They look delicious :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradrienne

I have never tried coconut concentrate. I would LOVE to try the recipe you posted for the fudge! Looks FABULOUS and I'm trying to find more healthy "sweets" for my family to keep us on a healthy path. Does anyone have a suggestion for where to buy inexpensive dates? I would love to start keeping dates on hand, to eat plain, and for recipes like this one!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDori

I have never used this product but would love to try it in a frosting on a banana cake.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarole

I love coconut cream. I was given a jar as a gift at the holidays-what a great gift! I used it to make dipped "fondant" gluten free dairy free deprivation free candies. I also use it to add body and creaminess to soups, stews, and my favorite sauteed escarole and white beans recipe. When my nutritionist saw that I was using it, she showed me some studies talking about it being a healthy fat, and that it seems to help with weight loss. So I gave myself permission to have a daily treat-in the interest of health and weight loss, of course-of a spoonful right out of the jar, savored slowly.
Sadly, I spooned myself down to an empty jar, which I licked clean. Hope I can soon get more!!!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Wood

Oh, yum! Maybe to whip up a quick glaze for a gf poundcake-y concoction? Or, if you can, I'd love to try whipping some and eating with fruit

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

Well first I'd start by making these coconut bits! They look so good and I can't seem to get enough coconut butter these days. Then I'd move on to add it to pretty much whatever I'm eating; my morning oatmeal, roasted veggies, and into a cake or dessert to finish it off!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

I definitely want to try this recipe with the coconut butter. I once splurged and bought some to make some recipes in my raw food cookbook, but you're right, it's soooo expensive. I would love to win some!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternicole

I am a huge fan of Artisana Coconut Butter and would love the chance to try the Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate, as I hear it is even more coconutty. I would mash it into a roasted peeled sweet potato with some raw cacao and stevia - that's one of my favorite treats. Thank you for entering me in this scrumptious giveaway. And those Raw Coconut Cacao Bites have my name all over them just as soon as I fine a substitute for the dates (I would probably use more nut butter), though I might make them for a special occasion :)

I'd actually really like to try this recipe! Sounds right up my alley.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

I love coconut oil and would love to try this coconut cream - those bars look delicious. I am trying to cut out all refined sugar so this is perfect!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I LOVE anything coconut. I would like to use this in a frosting recipe for my almond flour cupcakes. :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I'd definitely indulge in a straight spoonful, then make your coconut bits or my attempt at a Jem Chocolate knock-off. My son can't have soy so most chocolate delights need to be made at home and I'm always looking for a reason to experiment!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSahnya

Yum! Coconut has many health benefits and trying this cacao recipe or fudge recipe would be a fantastic treat! Id love to try it over fruit or in some tropical fruit smoothie! Thank you!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterashley

I would love to try the fudge recipe you shared, plus find other low-sugar desserts. As a vegan, I'd love to try adding it to recipes to add a creamy consistency without having to add dairy. I'm also wondering what it would taste like if you used it like marshmallow cream in a peanut butter sandwich - bet it would be awesome!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I love using coconut products in my gluten-free baked goods as well as toppings for oats!

Yum! I would probably make your recipe and other raw cookie type snacks.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

Yummy! I want to make these!!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZed

Your recipe looks so delicious! I use the CCC to make fudge by mixing it with honey & cocoa powder.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharmista

I would love to try this recipe. I have all ingredients but the coconut creme. Always searching for new ideas to make healthy treats for my family!! I think this looks like a winning recipe!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercolleen

Oh yum! I have the same problem with homemade coconut butter. I'm never very happy with it. I would put this on top of my hot oats in the morning or use it in this recipe. These bites look fab!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren (PB&G)

I'd love to use the coconut concentrate to make yummy treats for my son!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSkye

I want to try turning this coconut butter into a fluffy filling for chocolate almond flour cupcakes, like a healthy and way more delicious version of Hostess chocolate cupcakes. I also think it would make an amazing glaze for my almond flour snickerdoodles.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Heather

This recipe looks delicious!

I'm new to eating healthy and cooking most of my own food from scratch.

I'd love to be entered in the draw for the Coconut Cream Concentrate - I would definitely use some of it for this dessert recipe. I'd also maybe try adding some of it to soups (not sure if it would work, but I could always try) or maybe baking with it - I bet it would be good in cookies or muffins.


Sarah :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B.

Oh YUM! I would love to try making some candies or treats with this. I can't do any other sweetener and I have really wanted to try something like this. I wonder if there is a "fudge" recipe that calls for this that is CF and GF... It's making my mouth water. : )

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermisha

I would love to try adding Coconut Concentrate (butter) to my baked goods, and perhaps melted over "ice cream" :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

great recipe! but better yet - thank you for turning me on to a great multi-purpose product!

i love putting coconut milk in my soups or smoothies but being single can't get thru it fast enough at times.. this creme seems like the perfect fix PLUS i can use it to make treats :)

thank you for sharing all the uses and helping me incorporate more coconut easily with less waste!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdgabbies

Thank you for introducing me to this lovely thing! I haven't had it yet but love all things coconut. I'm 11 days into pulling back on sugar (and getting my digestion on track) so I love your site. Thank you! I want to try this heavenly Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concetrate. Perharps in a morning smoothie: CCC, Papaya, and maybe almond milk (something to liquify) and cinnamon.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Brooke

I would love to use the coconut concentrate to make this yummy raw cacao fudge! I would also like to use it in recipes that I have from a raw foods desert cookbook that calls for this ingredient.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel F

I would like to add this concentrate when I prepare soups...Thanks for this giveaway....

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNive

The first thing I would make are the Raw Coconut Cacao Bites! Those look amazing ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie Wahjudi

another recipe for coconut....wow love it...I would love to try this one.

That recipe looks so delicious! I have always wanted to try coconut cream but never have because of the price! If I won I would probably start eating it right out of the jar (I love coconut!) and then, if there is any left, try out this recipe.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie W

sounds delicious...i would love to give it a try!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNichole

love love love coconut! I especially like dates and coconut together....like in a smoothie, or perhaps I could use the coconut butter in an ice cream deliciousness! yummy yummy yay yay

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaskia

love anything with coconut in it. looking forward to trying these bites.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B

Your recipe looks scrumptious! Would love to try the coconut cream. I've never heard about it, but coconut is one of my favorite flavors and love any recipes with it!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Just reading about the coconut creme concentrate makes my mouth water for some rice dishes, especially rice pudding made with the coconut cream concentrate. um um good

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'm a coconut junkie- and I'd LOVE to give this recipe a try (especially for my toddler). Otherwise... coconut and chocolate is heaven on earth. ;)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

I would love to try coconut cream concentrate to make a healthier version of creamy fudge. I saw a recipe somewhere online that was marbled vanilla and chocolate fudge. YUM! Thanks for the chance to win!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Mmmm - I'd like to try THIS recipe. :) Looks delicious. I love Tropical Traditions, too. Great stuff.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

I love using a little dab of coconut cream in morning oatmeal (so yummy!) also in rosemary truffles ;) A little heaven on Earth!


May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessie K.

I would like to try the coconut concentrate in frosting for cupcakes.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo