Saturday, December 6, 2014

Healthy Date Energy Balls or Truffles

There are tons of recipes online for raw food enthusiasts when it comes to power balls, energy balls, or date rolls.

I've cursed pinterest and those health freaks who screw with recipes. I have had to dump a processor full of decent ingredients into the compost, that did not magically transform as stated. But sometimes the fact is that they are just too nutty, too sweet, or too...healthy. 

After trying many and posting some that I have enjoyed, (like these rich Raw Chocolate Macaroons for a treat and these healthy Power Orbs for the post-Christmas recovery), I've found a middle ground.

It's been hard working on perfecting a recipe that is healthy but also satisfies my sweet tooth. I've tried perhaps too many lately, playing with the two above recipes. 

I'm not a raw food enthusiast, nor am I vegan, but I do love these raw food delights. They are so easy to make- provided you have a food processor. Within minutes, you can whizz your way to a decent batch of power-packed balls.

No oven, no sugar, no gluten. 

And suitable for all of those visitors to your Christmas over the holidays- the raw food adheree (not a real word, I know), the vegan, the vegetarian, and all the other halfways, and full-ons, in your circle.

Its main function is to give me a shot of energy mid-day when I really want coffee, chocolate, or anything else I can get my hands on. This time of year it also prevents me from eating all the goodies I've been creating for friends and family. 

Enjoy this little bite of healthy deliciousness. It is just right for snacking or giving.

Healthy Date Energy Balls (Snowballs or Truffles)

Makes about 30
For softer, sweeter results use Medjool dates. Other dates are perfectly fine but are generally drier and may require another tablespoon of coconut oil in the recipe, they will result in a firmer truffle. These are fantastic without any topping at all, but can be enhanced by rolling in coconut or melted chocolate. For raw diets: make naked or coated snowballs. 

2 cups pitted, unsulphured whole dates 
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond flour or ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa (dutch-processed is best here)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)
1 tsp vanilla
optional: 2 tbsp chia seeds

For snowballs:
Additional 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
For truffles:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (non-dairy for vegans)
1 tsp coconut oil

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until no large bits of date remain. This should take about a minute or two.
2. Using a small disher/ice cream scoop or teaspoon, scoop into balls and finish rolling by hand.
3. Place on lined baking sheet. 

For snowballs: roll in 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut.
For truffles: refrigerate or freeze for several minutes. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave for about a minute, stir to dissolve remaining chocolate bits. Using 2 teaspoons, roll balls in chocolate and return to lined baking sheet. 

4. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Store in container or plastic bag in fridge or freezer. Best served cold.