I have the great fortune of having grandparents who are very aware of the consequences of using herbicides and pesticides. They have beautiful lake front property and a decent portion of the property is dedicated to gardening. They have rows upon rows of organically grown raspberries, and us grandkids are always welcome to take as much as we can pick. Is it greedy to take 6 buckets home at a time? Not if it's only a couple rows worth!
Lance and I use a lot of fresh raspberries in smoothies, peach raspberry pie, cookies, sprouted buckwheat cereal with hemp milk and raspberries, and in sauces to go over crepes, waffles, pancakes, and muffins. We still freeze the majority and usually have enough to last the year. This year's crop was not as good due to the uncharacteristic amount of cold, rainy weather we got from April on. I am trying to pace our raspberry consumption, but it's really hard to hold back! My grandparents have had these plants for well over 30 years - I'm not sure how long they have been cultivating and expanding their raspberry patch, but I know they've been around at least as long as I have. The dogs love them just as much as we do, and it's always funny to see their bums poking out of a bunch of stalks - and in Bogey's case (their 130 pound Bernese Mountain Dog), the poor stalks get mauled and he often turns around to look at us while chewing on half the stalk, leaves and all. He must know they are a great source of vitamin C.
1 cup Raspberries (frozen is fine)
5 pitted Medjool Dates
1/4 cup water
1 TB Chia Seeds
Add the raspberries, dates, and chia seeds into a high speed blender. The chia seeds will help thicken the sauce. If you do not have a high speed blender, blend the chia seeds in a coffee grinder or spice blender before adding them to the blender. The water should be the smallest amount possible - just enough to get the blades to keep turning things over in the blender. Use the tamper tool to help things along. This is more filling than required for the chocolate recipe. I used my leftover filling in smoothies the next morning.
3.5 oz cacao butter
1.5 oz cacao powder
3 oz agave
I melt the cacao butter over the lowest heat possible on my stove top, periodically taking the pan off the burner so the temperature doesn't get too high. If you are trying to obtain a food that is closer to raw, I suppose you could melt the cacao butter in a food dehydrator over several hours at the appropriate heat. I honestly don't have the patience, and the fact that it is questionable how raw cacao is due to fermentation after harvest makes me less anxious about conserving time and energy on my part using the stove top at a very low heat. Once the cacao butter is melted, I take the sauce pan off the heat and combine the rest of the ingredients, stirring often and vigorously so the agave combines properly with the rest of the chocolate. This chocolate recipe is from a previous post, so feel free to double the batch to help use up more of the filling.
I didn't have chocolate molds, so I just used mini cupcake papers. Spoon about 1 TB of chocolate into the bottom of each cup, or enough to coat about 1/3 of an inch. Add a teaspoon of filling to each cup to form the raspberry center:
Add at least another tablespoon over the top of the filling to create a flat surface on top of the candy.