Blissful Chocolaty Date Balls
Some days call for chocolate. It's as simple as that. Those days might have you walking to the corner store to grab a kit-kat or digging into your pantry to chomp on a handful of chocolate chips.
I suggest a better solution! One that will satisfy your chocolaty craving, strike that perfect sweet-salty balance AND provide you with fibre, protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated! You can snack on these blissful balls when you want something sweet, or stash them in your bag for a great snack when you're on the go! You can feel good about these babies...
Bonus: cacao (especially in it's raw form) is full of nutrition - iron to build your blood, antioxidants to fight free radicals, and a wide range of minerals like magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and selenium!
There are lots of recipes like this one... Just google chocolate balls or raw balls and you'll find so many interpretations. And no wonder! These simple little snacks are a dose of magic, and so incredibly easy to make.
I keep mine in the fridge. They're good for at least 5 days... If you think they'll last longer, just pop them into the freezer!
Blissful Chocolaty Date Balls
Basic recipe (see below for additions and variations):
- 1 cup Cashews, hazelnuts, pecans or your favourite nut (*I like to use raw nuts that i've soaked and dried in the dehydrator or in the oven on very low heat. This keeps most of the nutrients that are lost in the roasted nuts, but makes their assimilation easier than un-soaked raw nuts which contain enzyme inhibitors)
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla
- 1/8 plus a tiny pinch of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons of (preferably raw) cacao powder
Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times to get them roughly chopped. Then add everything else and blend on high until the mixture becomes crumbly and sticky, roughly 30 to 60 seconds.
With damp hands, squish the mixture together to make it stick, then roll into 1 inch balls. For more of a 'brownie' variation, line a glass baking dish with parchment paper and press the date mixture into the pan. Place the dish in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow it to set, then cut into squares or rectangles with a damp knife.
Try some of these great variations to change up the taste. Play with this recipe and come up with your own flavours combinations. The sky is the limit!
- Instead of 1 cup of nuts, use 3/4 cups and 1/4 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
- Add a bit more (or less) cacao to adjust the chocolaty-ness
- Omit the vanilla and add 2 teaspoons of raw, grated ginger
- Omit the vanilla and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and/or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
- Omit the vanilla and add a couple of drops of peppermint oil
- Roll balls in: shredded coconut or crushed nuts or cacao powder or hemp seeds or cinnamon... so many options!
- Add a bit a couple of tablespoons of your favourite nut or seed butter for a creamier texture and enhanced flavour (try hazelnuts... tastes like Nutella!)