Hello! Happy February. We are heading toward Spring and that is a good thing. Beautiful days here although I am sure there is some winter still to come. Since February has Valentine's Day I thought I would share a chocolate recipe. I confess that I eat a square or two of 72% to 85% dark chocolate every day. I love it and it is a healthy treat. Strong chocolate flavor and not much sugar. I have eaten such dark chocolate for so long that milk chocolate only tastes sweet, not like chocolate. Totally not worth it. This recipe is adapted from a Barre3 recipe called chocolate donut holes. Nuts, dates and raw, dark chocolate cocoa powder are blended together to make something like a Lara bar. Sometimes you will see these balls called truffles and in fact I posted a recipe like that last year. (My last recipe called for melted chocolate chips rather than cocoa powder.) I don't think either title (donut holes or truffles) is quite right. Whatever you call them, they are just a nice healthy, chocolatey snack.
This recipe calls for raw almonds. I think almonds are quite hard and dry and thus don't blend that smoothly. I decided to soak the almonds overnight in water, which makes them soft and easy to digest. I also removed all the skins after I soaked them. If your almonds are pretty fresh, the skins just slip right off. We always did this in Ayurveda class in school. Any toxins will be in the skins so it is good to remove them. It doesn't take that long. If you are making almond milk, this step makes for a really nice white milk since the brown part is removed. Clearly you can eat almonds un-soaked and with skins, so do whatever you have time for. I also think this recipe would be delicious made with peanuts. You can't eat peanuts raw so buy roasted, unsalted ones. Cashews would also be great. Peanuts and cashews are soft enough that I would not soak them. You could also be extravagant and use macadamia nuts. Whatever the case, if you use a salted nut, be sure to leave the salt out of the recipe.
Sorry for the short post. I am heading out of town tomorrow to see my oldest, dearest friend who is quite ill. She sadly doesn't have much more time with us and I am heartbroken. We have so much left to do together, now that her kids are grown and I am finally visiting distance. Take it from me....if you want to spend time with someone, just do it now. Don't wait for the circumstances to be just right. Life can be cruel and you may never get your chance. Even if you're facing different directions, always be in touch.
Raw Chocolate Almond Snack Balls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: none
Keywords: snack dessert gluten-free vegan vegetarian sugar-free almonds
Ingredients (32 balls)
- 1 1/2 cups of raw almonds
- 5 Tbsp cocoa powder, preferably raw and dark
- 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- shredded, unsweetened coconut, cocoa powder, chopped nuts for rolling
About 4 hours before or the night before making, put the almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to sit and soften. This step is not required but will make the dough much softer and easier to digest.
Drain the almonds. If desired, remove the peels. If your almonds are fresh they will slip right off. (This is not necessary but is a good practice.)
Put all the ingredients except the toppings into a food processor. Process until the batter comes together into a dough without any big chunks. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Use an offset spatula to scrape the sides a couple of times during the blending.
Using a melon baller or a small scoop, make small 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. (I like smaller ones like this but you can make them as big or little as you like.) Roll them between your palms to generally round them. Roll in desired toppings. You can also leave them plain and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on the top.
The balls will be soft when just formed. Store in the refrigerator.
Note: You can use unsoaked almonds, cashews or peanuts to make these. The flavor will vary.....just make 'em how you like 'em!