These spawned from my inability to stay away from chocolate. If there is one thing I can’t live without, it’s chocolate! So that I’m not consuming so much sugar every single day, I try to come up with alternatives that don’t contain refined sugar (instead using dates, honey, agave, maple syrup…these types of things). These mint chocolate energy balls are packed with goodness (cacao, almonds, chia seeds, coconut) and will make for a healthy snack or dessert.
No wonder people are addicted to chocolate. Not only is it delicious, but it also increases serotonin levels and creates a dopamine release. I think learning this has enabled my chocolate habit even more. Because doesn’t that just sound great? Especially in the evening once everything is done and I’m finally turning off to relax for the night, probably Netflixing.
I like to store my balls in the freezer for when late night chocolate cravings call, or when I need a snack on the run. They are a wonderful consistency frozen. When I was doing Whole30, these were my saving grace from faltering from the plan and grabbing for chocolate.
My Vitamix is wonderful for many things, but energy balls, not so much. It will normally overheat and automatically turn off for 45 minutes before the job is done. Since I don’t have a food processor, it’s the best I’ve got. And so after many battles, I’ve figured out a way to make it work. First, I grind the nuts, then I mix in the wet ingredients including the dates (they must be very soft, so I soak with hot water if necessary). By the time the dates are processed, the blender is usually close to overheating. I then move the mixture to my standing mixer and add the rest of the drier ingredients. You could also use a hand mixer, or I’m sure you could mix or knead by hand.
Cookie scoops have been one of my favourite kitchen tools I never knew I needed ’till I had them! Here, I find it’s easiest to scoop all of the balls, then roll them.Print
These are an awesome snack or treat to curb those chocolate cravings, full of goodness!
1 cup almonds
1 cup pitted dates (about 11 Mejdool)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus about 4 tablespoons for rolling
1 tablespoon tahini
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes if they are not already very soft.
Add almonds to a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until the nuts are a coarse crumble. Add the dates, and pulse again until well combined.
*If you are using a high powered blender, here is where you will need to move the date/almond mixture plus remaining ingredients to a bowl, and mix using a standing or hand mixer, or stir/knead by hand.
Using a food processor, simply add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is combined.
Scoop 1 inch balls, and form a ball by rolling with hands.
Place about 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut in a bowl. Roll each ball in the coconut.
Store in the fridge or freezer.
Keywords: energy balls, energy bites, healthy snack, snacks, chocolate, mint, mint chocolate, almonds, coconut, chia seeds, vanilla, tahini, cacao, dates, paleo, whole30, vegan