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Raw Cacao Candy Crunch

When I was little, one of my best friend’s family owned a candy store. I was always so jealous of her access to all the best candies all the time. She could have anything she wanted, whenever she wanted and when I would go visit the store with her, it was like I entered a magical wonderland. Little did I know at the time, that the majority of candy I was eating was filled with toxic ingredients like refined sugars, ingredients made from petroleum, and other very harmful ingredients. Also, I was a very sick child, making every excuse not to go to school because I had low energy, low concentration, and eczema all over my arms, legs and face.

Thank goodness I figured out that all the conventional candy and a lot of other foods I was consuming made me feel and look that way and I’ve now reversed all of that. Even though I’ve stopped eating the candy I used to, I still love candy and try to find ways to enjoy something sweet without exposing myself to all the toxic chemicals. 

This Raw Cacao Crunch Candy is one of the ways I do that. It’s deeeeelicious and nutritious! I got the idea for this recipe when I tried something just like it at a trade show recently. This candy totally cures my chocolate cravings in a fabulous healthy way. I love making desserts with raw cacao because it gives you a blast of serotonin, endorphins and other neurotransmitters which all work together to give you an overall sense of well being, bliss, pleasure and pure happiness! Try this candy and you’ll be consuming the highest concentrated antioxidant on earth and flying high! This candy makes the perfect travel snack and it would go perfect wrapped in cute little bags for those Easter baskets.

Food Babe's Raw Cacao Candy Crunch
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almonds (or any other nut of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  1. Put sugar, water, sea salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium sized skillet and warm over medium-low heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add nuts and keep stirring until the sugar mixture is very thick and the almonds are well coated, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cacao nibs.
  4. Pour onto piece of parchment paper and spread out into single layer and allow to cool completely.
  5. Break up pieces into desired sizes and store at room temperature in an airtight container.
***Please choose all organic ingredients if possible***


One note: Don’t feel pressure to only use almonds in this recipe – you can use any nut or seed you like! I plan on using pecans next, yum!

If you know someone who could use a little pep in their step, please make them some of this candy or share this recipe with them, I know they will appreciate it!



P.S. If you are looking for other healthier candy options check this post on chocolate and this post on how to avoid GMO candy. You’ll love the options!



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128 responses to “Raw Cacao Candy Crunch

  1. Vani, Why is it that you use coconut sugar? What about it makes it better than refined sugars? Also, I’ve dealt with eczema too and am wondering, did it stop when you changed your diet?

    1. Brittany – your eczema will absolutely stop once you change your diet and continually live a cleaner healthier life. But it’s not only about the food you eat, it’s what you’re putting on your skin as well. A lot of products in stores these days have so many chemicals that our bodies just don’t know what to do with. Which is why so many people have developed skin disorders and sensitivities such as eczema.

      Vani has posted about this and has some great blog posts about the body products that she uses. Just search for topics in the search bar at the top. also, search coconut sugar on her website as well. She has already written a great, informative post about the differences between coconut sugar and typical white and brown ‘refined’ sugars. Hope this Helps!

      I found this website last year and still love reading it everyday!

      1. Brittany – your eczema will absolutely stop once you change your diet and continually live a cleaner healthier life. But it’s not only about the food you eat, it’s what you’re putting on your skin as well. A lot of products in stores these days have so many chemicals that our bodies just don’t know what to do with. Which is why so many people have developed skin disorders and sensitivities such as eczema.

        Vani has posted about this and has some great blog posts about the body products that she uses. Just search for topics in the search bar at the top. also, search coconut sugar on her website as well. She has already written a great, informative post about the differences between coconut sugar and typical white and brown ‘refined’ sugars. Hope this Helps!

        I found this website last year and still love reading it everyday!

    2. Hi Brittany! Once you change your diet your eczema will most likely clear up but you may need to stick with an anti-inflammatory/clean eating diet for a while (ideally for the rest of your life) to heal your gut (you may have a leaky gut). Eczema is a type of inflammation in the body that is most likely caused by not digesting your food well and creating an immune response in the body (ie inflammation). If you sort out any digestive issues you have you will most likely heal the ‘leaky gut’ and get rid of the eczema.

      Hope that helps!

    3. Brittany, coconut sugar taste soooo much better than regular refined sugar! It has more flavor than just regular sugar. In my home country (Indonesia), people use coconut sugar in their tea, coffee, turmeric drinks, and cooking. It’s really amazing!

      As for eczema, my 4 y/o daughter suffered from severe eczema. I tried EVERY eczema creams from the stores and none of them work! So I switched her diet completely: we only consume organic fruit and vegetables, almond milk (instead of cow milk), pasture-raised eggs and chicken and beef, no more store bought snacks or cookies. The result is beyond what we imagined! Her eczema healed completely, my husband and I no longer have random migraines and back pain. What you eat really affect your body and skin. It’s hard to believe, I know 🙂

  2. This might be a silly question, but when you call for vanilla I assume you just mean vanilla extract? Sorry, still getting into the whole cooking thing and learning all the ins and outs! These sounds absolute delicious though 🙂

    1. I have the same question….is it vanilla extract? or ground vanilla powder? a vanilla bean? Or even vanilla (dare I say it) sugar? We have so many different vanilla options in Sweden. I am guessing extract but would be great to confirm….

      1. Yes, it is vanilla extract. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Love it, Vani! I’m renaming the recipe “Raw Cacao Nut Crunch”. I’ll try cashews because of their enormous magnesium content. Pecans also sound irresistible!BTW, as an innocent little boy I never was much into candy – all types of cookies satisfied my sweet tooth (favorite oatmeal-raisin-walnut). Vani, the world is a much better place with you in it! TY, for ALL that you do for a healthier planet!

  4. Hi Vani, I’ll be making this candy recipe with cashews I love them there my favorite nuts!!

  5. … Is the raw part because the cacao nibs are raw? Because if you heat anything that kinda makes it not raw, right? Regardless, this sounds amazing! totally making some this weekend!

  6. I made these the other night and the mixture never hardened. It stayed sticky and messy. Is that what’s supposed to happen?

    1. Carol – it will still stay a little sticky at first but will harden up a bit more by the next day! Hope you like it…

      1. I tried the recipe and the nuts were very sticky and still very sticky the next day. I am thinking it’s because I cooked them over too low of heat. However, the next day I I put them on a piece of foil in the oven for a little while and they crisped right up!

  7. SOS.. I made this within minutes of reading it. My liquid did not getting thicker in any way so it appears that the final product will not be sticking together. Do you have any ideas what I may have done or could do differently? I couldn’t resist still picking at it and it’s so yummy I really want to get it tight so I can share it with my boys as well! Please help!

    1. Hi Cynthia – the liquid should get extremely thick and almost hard to stir. Try cooking it a little longer and stir the whole time. Good luck!

  8. My best friend and I growing up used to pour Welch’s grape kool-aid (the kind with sugar mixed in) into dixie cups and then eat plain (no water added – kind of like our own homemade lick em sticks). We’d go through containers of that stuff!!

  9. To Susan,

    Hi Susan,
    I really don’t feel the need to justify or document what I said about how commercial potatoes are raised. I’m an old man and my family has been farming since the 1870’s. They’ve raised it all from wheat, corn, maise, rye, soybeans, cotton and peanuts.
    My uncle died from using a banned chemical pesticide. He got some on his skin and didn’t wash it off quick enough. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks, got better, returned to his farm and got that garbage on him again. The cumulative effect from it being absorbed through his skin the second time was too much for the old boy and there was no saving him.
    My dad (his brother) searched my uncle’s farm buildings and found the chemical stash and told the doctor. The doctor said that ended the mystery of my uncle’s death.
    The use of these pesticides and horrible chemicals goes on all the time, banned or not.
    I have no dog in this dust-up you guys are having with “Ted” so I’m not about to put my neck out and get threatened by attorneys. I just put that info out there for you. Take it or leave it.

    About the wheat and maise (cattle feed), yes it is GMO seed. It’s cheap, disease resistant and mold resistant. Small farmers have no choice but to use it. I don’t condone it. Buy organic is my advice.

    1. Who threatened you with attorneys? I didn’t. But you should have been prepared to back up what you said about potato farmers since it wasn’t true. Your uncle died from a “banned” substance which means he was using it illegally. There is a reason pesticides get banned. I don’t know of anybody in my area using “banned” pesticides. I knew of one in the late 80’s or early 90’s who illegally imported DDT from Mexico and got caught at the border with it. He spent some time in jail. It isn’t worth the risk, both to our and our families and employees physical safety and the fact that if caught you will spend time in jail and pay major fines. To say the use of banned pesticides goes on all the time if just absolutely false. “I just put that information out there for you. Take it or leave it.” Since it’s not really true, I’ll leave it as I hope others do too. Come on Doug.

  10. Why are you supporting Abe’s Market? They sell so many items that are GMO. I wish you would go back to Green PolkaDot Box. It is a little silly that you talk about hating GMO and other terrible ingredients and then put a banner up of someone who sells a ton of it.

    I’m not going to say anymore, just something to keep in mind.

    Thank you for your example!

  11. Wow…this is an amazing treat!! I added toasted coconut to mine…my version of an organic Almond Joy. DELISH!! Thank you Vani!!!!!

  12. Hey Food Babe

    I just read an article by a uni prof name Joe Schwarcz who tried to tear up your food activist efforts in a column in the Montreal Gazette. I had never heard of you before but due to the tone of his remarks, I decided to check you out, and become a subscriber too. The verdict is not out on GMO and eating lots of food containing items that are unpronounceable (like azodicarbonamide) is probably not a great idea, therefore I think blogs like yours are worth reading and considering. Joe doesn’t know everything. Keep on keeping on!

    1. Collette,
      So far, the verdict is in on GMO crops and they are the same safety and nutrition wise as conventional and organic. I could forward you many links but you can look it up yourself if you feel so inclined. There are many sites with an agenda against GMO that will state otherwise (and the Food Babe gets alot of her information from those sites) but you sound like a reasonable person who will take the time to look objectively. There usually are a few scathing followup posts to mine but don’t let that sway you either. The promise these crops hold to address many environmental and nutrition issues shouldn’t be ignored. I farm, grow GMO crops and very involved in ag issues on both the state and national level. Bon appetit!

      1. To Fred
        Sorry, the previous reply was meant to go Max, I pressed the wrong reply button I guess. Anyhow, just wanted to say that I think the verdict is far from out on GMO’s mainly because they’ve only been around a very short time, and it will take several generations and much more time to really see what these new modified crops are all about. Perhaps they will be fine as you suggest. But, I advocate for a much more limited roll out of this new approach in agriculture. And, again, let’s have a dialogue in which EVERYONE gets to come to the table and have their say, which is all my comment was about in the first place.

    2. dr quack Joe Schwarcz is paid by Monsanto and Johnsonand Johnson

      Dr. Joe Schwarcz of Montreal’s McGill University is a well-known media “popularizer of science,” and clearly on someone’s payroll.

      Whose: A consortium of biotechnology companies, including Monsanto (see funding information below).

      In That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles, Dr. Schwarcz writes that aspartame is perfectly safe to consume – a verdict contradicted by scores of independent studies, one that only the insane could endorse.

      Frightening to consider that Dr. Schwarcz – a paid public diplomat for Monsanto – “interprets science” for the public.

      Dr. Schwarzc has stalked and libelled anti-aspartame activists, smeared GM opponent/canola farmer Percy Schmeiser (see below). He has even harassed me, on occasion. Once, when my name was mentioned on his radio show, he screamed. Maybe he was off his Xanax …

      Dr. Joe Schwarcz – A 21st century Mr. Wizard – is making his fans sick.

      1. Thanks for the info on Dr. Schwarcz, Jurg. Interesting. I don’t see the funding info on biotech companies you mentioned. Where do I find this info? Guess I can try google …

  13. What a yummy recipe! I can’t wait to try this natural sweet treat. You’re so right- it really does matter what you put in your body. I’ve found just in the last year how much foods really can have an effect on your mood and energy, and even conditions like eczema. I blog for a company called Cayisa, you should really check out their cause- all these delicious foods on this website have to come from somewhere! Cayisa promotes community learning gardens, sustainable farming, and reforestation. Cayisa has been able to connect people to food all over America. Check out the blog at! Thanks!

  14. I just made your Raw Cacao Candy Crunch and it was delish but very sticky. Did I do something wrong?

  15. could this be made using raw cacao powder mixed into the recipe instead of the nibs sprinkled on after?

  16. A few have asked before me with no response – can you list the Nutritional Facts per serving and serving size. Thx!

  17. Seriously? I am SO jealous! This reminds me of the delicious Nicaragua Cacao drink! I cannot find cacao since I left Miami :(.

  18. “Raw”? pretty sure this doesn’t classify as “raw” when the sugar has been cooked to a clarified state.

  19. I made this recipe last weekend and it is awesome! I absolutely love it. My husband even liked it and he doesn’t like anything. My daughter even tried it and she is worse than he is! It was very easy to make and is a great sweet snack to have around.

  20. I was wondering what to do with the raw cacao nibs I bought! They are not very good by themselves. Thanks for this recipe! I used pecans and It is delicious. My only problem is that I will eat too much of it!

  21. Be careful: Whole almonds are notorious for cracking and breaking teeth!

    There should be a disclaimer!!!

  22. Hi,
    I have whole raw, roasted cacao beans on hand. Could I chop them and use in this recipe?

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