Yes, you read it right. Healthy!! I mean, everyone’s definition of “healthy” is different, and considering there is a chocolate ganache filling in these bad boys, they aren’t exactly akin to a banana – BUT – compared to many other treats you could give to your kiddos, these ones are a solid win.
Since discovering the naturally sweet, caramel-like glory of Medjool dates a couple of years ago, I’ve been experimenting with them as the sweetener in quite a few kid-friendly desserts. I’ve used them in my raspberry coconut balls, coconut cream larabars, and my perfect on-the-go peanut butter snack balls! I know, lots of balls.
These little baskets come together in the food processor just like the other snacks mentioned above, but there’s a little more legwork as you have to first toast the coconut, and also freeze the dough into a basket shape prior to filling them!
The “dough” (I call it dough, because what else to call it?) is composed of all sorts of healthy goodies. Dates, coconut, cashews, cocoa powder, and pecans! Not a bad nutritional profile for a dessert 😉
I like to use my silicone mini muffin mold to form the baskets in; if you’re using an aluminum mini muffin pan, be sure to grease it very, very well so you can easily pop out the baskets once they’ve set.
The baskets are composed of about 1 tablespoon of dough; I just drop the mixture in and use my fingers to create a bit of a well in the center. They will need to be frozen for about an hour and a half. Be sure to let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes or so to warm up a bit before popping them from their mold.
Now, for the naughty part – the coconut ganache!! In keeping with the coconut theme, I use warm coconut milk to melt my chopped up chocolate and I toss in some grated coconut for flavour and texture. If you can resist just plain eating the coconut ganache with a spoon, fill your tarts full with the ganache and sprinkle a little coconut on top for effect – and crunch!
I actually created this recipe waaay back in March, but didn’t get around to posting it because I was experimenting with different fillings for the basket. I’ve used coconut whipped cream, as well as chocolate-covered blueberries as a filling. Both were delicious. Since this recipe is mainly all about the actual healthy baskets, feel free to fill these guys with whatever you think would be delicious!
They’re a perfect little treat for kids, since they’re pretty healthy yet have all of the taste of a dessert. Since they’re gluten-free, they’re also a good option for those with a more restricted diet!
We’re all about to open up the gates to indulgent holiday eating, so if you need something on the lighter side, my little baskets are a great option! Plus, everyone loves a bite-sized dessert that they can pop into their mouth in one go!
Healthy Chocolate-Coconut Baskets
Yield 12 baskets
Bite-sized and gluten-free, these healthier chocolate-coconut baskets are filled with a creamy chocolate and coconut ganache. A perfect option for a lighter treat you can enjoy without all of the guilt!
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 1/4 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2.5 tbsp. cocoa powder*
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Chocolate Coconut Ganache
- 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and scatter the coconut in a single layer onto a large baking sheet. Toast the coconut for about 5 minutes, or until a light brown colour and fragrant. Remove and cool.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the cashews and pecans. Pulse the nuts until they're small and crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add the dates, coconut, cocoa powder and coconut oil and continue to pulse until the dates are blended and a soft, sticky dough begins to form.
- If using an aluminum mini muffin pan, grease the pan thoroughly with non-stick spray or coconut oil. I used a silicone pan, which requires no greasing. Using about a tablespoon of dough, drop the dough into each cavity of the muffin pan and use your fingers to create a well in the middle of the cavity, forming the dough along the sides to create a basket shape.
- Once all cavities are full, place the muffin tray into the freezer for an hour and a half. Remove the pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before popping the baskets out. If using an aluminum pan, it is helpful to run a knife along the edge of the baskets prior to removing. Arrange the baskets on a large baking sheet.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl, and pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk begins to steam, but prior to boiling, pour the coconut milk over the chocolate and allow it to sit and melt the chocolate for a few minutes before stirring into a smooth ganache. Add the shredded coconut.
- Using a spoon, fill the baskets full of ganache, and top with coconut. Place the baskets in the fridge to harden before serving, about 15 minutes.
Make ahead: Make the baskets ahead of time and store them in the freezer, in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow them to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before filling.
Filled baskets will keep at room temperature for quite a few hours, but are best stored in the fridge, up to 4-5 days.
- Dutch-processed or regular cocoa powder works fine.
- Experiment with different fillings for the baskets! Try coconut whipped cream, or chocolate-covered fruit.