Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nibs! 100 Days of Recipes, Day 50

Or rather, Return of the Nibs! And let me take a moment to acknowledge that I finally reached the half way point of what didn't seem to be such a grand undertaking at the beginning. I also remind you, gentle reader, that it's not necessarily a daily undertaking, and that some days will just be on the Instagram feed. But I digress...

I ran out of cacao nibs a little while ago, and didn't think much of it, until I went to make a smoothy. Out of nibs, oh well. Hmm.... not quite as wonderful as it usually is. Went to make a salad. Out of nibs, oh well. hmm... it's just missing ... something. Thought about making cookies for someone. Out of nibs - that's a deal breaker now for my chocolate chip cookies, so it finally dawned on me that I needed more nibs. I was a nibs needer. 

Cacao Nibs, from The French Broad Chocolate Lounge

I know that nibs have become one of the new foodie darling trends, so they are much easier to find than in the days of yore, when after explaining to someone what they were, you had to then explain to them WHY you wanted them. And if you didn't know, cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and broken into smaller pieces. There have been all kinds of nutritional benefits that actually date back thousands of years, both for the nibs and the dark chocolate products that are made with the cacao bean. That's all very attractive, but my own experience with nibs started with a visit to The Happiest Place On Earth, which of course is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. It was there I first tasted the 'Nibby Brownie' - dark chocolate goodness that would be a fine brownie just by itself, but the added texture and flavor boost from the nibs just puts it over the top. I tried nibs myself for the first time in a chocolate chip and dried cherry cookie, and I was hooked. When I read about the nib's 'super food' qualities, I looked for other ways to add it to things, like my smoothies and salads. When the Chocolate Lounge started selling nibs, it was an even happier day as I knew they would be sourced with as much love and care as all the products (including my mugs!) that they sell.

I toodled on down to the Chocolate Lounge yesterday, determined to end my nib drought, but when I went inside Chocolate + Milk, my heart skipped a beat - No Nibs!!! Lucky for me, the Manager, Melissa, was there and somehow she sensed my distress (not sure how, I'm sure I was so subtle!), and she called over to the Chocolate Factory and learned that they had some precious nibs. Double win - I would get my nibs AND I would get to visit the Chocolate Factory. I'm sure you can add years to your life just by walking in the door of the French Broad Chocolate Factory and inhaling deeply. Two bags of nibs in hand (along with a bar, and a bag or two of the truffle packs by the register - such chocolate pushers they are!) later, I was on my way home to revel in a nib-filled world.

All that (and it did go on!) to say, I have nibs, and the next several entires in my 100 Day Project may indeed feature ... wait for it ... nibs.

Today's entry, and one of my favorite dishes:

Fruity, nibby salad

One grapefruit, sectioned and sitting in its own juices, plus a handful of walnuts, some frozen blueberries, a handful of nibs, a drizzle of pomegranate vinegar, and a light sprinkle of large-flake salt. 

Happy Hump Day to all, and may you always have nibs.

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