Since about week three of lockdown I’ve been making these chocolate chip cookies that are INCREDIBLE but the amount of sugar, butter and chocolate is crazy. A chocolate chip cookie every night plus coming off the pill really isn’t a good combination for my skin! And almost every night while eating my cookie I say to myself “you really do need to find a healthier alternative to these”. Which is where these healthy and still wonderfully delicious coconut, maca & cacao date balls come in!
I make a chocolate caramel smoothie that inspired these date balls because it just hits all the right spots and it’s the perfect combination of sweet & healthy. I’m also happy to announce that since I started making these date balls I haven’t felt the urge to bake the sorcery cookies. These are the perfect late night snack, post workout treat or kiddies lunchbox addition (when kids eventually go back to school).
The Medjool dates add a natural sweetness, Maca powder adds a caramel flavour and the cacao powder & Buttanut Chocolate Macadamia nut butter bring in a bitter chocolate taste. And in my opinion, you could never go wrong with coconut. But if you’re crazy and don’t love coconut you can add protein powder and nut flours to create a similar texture without the desiccated coconut.
Learn from my mistakes:
Nuts before dates – I’ve previously made the mistake of pulsing the dates first and then adding the nuts and it just made a sticky mess with them getting stuck to the blades. So learn from my mistake and just follow the recipe.
Adding dry ingredients – No matter how great your blender is, this recipe is a weird mix of dry and sticky so it’s best to mix the wet ingredients in your blender, transfer to a mixing bowl and then stir in the dry ingredients.
The tamper is your friend – if your blender comes with a tamper, this is when you’ll need it. The tamper really helps to push the ingredients towards the blades to make sure everything is well combined. This is one of the main reasons why I love my OmniBlend!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can customise it to your ideal flavour combinations or if your kids are fussy eaters you could simply remove ingredients, textures or flavours they don’t like. You could also omit the cacao powder & add more nut butter to pair back the flavours, or you could add matcha powder instead of cacao or if like me, you love lemon, give this recipe a try.
If like me, you struggle with a sweet tooth but you’re trying to listen to your body and feed it wholesome food, two of these date balls will fill that craving. And if they don’t, just add a tablespoon of honey to the recipe. I’d love to hear what you think of these if you try them.
Vegan Coconut, Maca & Cacao Date BallsPrint This
- 10 Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup almonds (or the nuts of your choice - walnuts & cashews would be better but I only had almonds in my pantry)
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (+ extra for dusting)
- 1/4 cup warm water (if you've had to soak dry dates, use the leftover water)
- 3 tbs cocoa macadamia nut butter (I used Buttanut & you can change the variation depending on what you prefer)
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 2 tbs Maca Powder
- 1 tbs cacao powder (+ 2 tsp for dusting)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- If you only have dry dates and/or don’t have a high-powered blender soak your dates in warm water for 30 minutes to an hour to soften them.
- Add the almonds (or the nuts you prefer) to your blender or food processor and pulse till they’re roughly chopped. You don’t want this to be the texture of flour so keep an eye on it.
- Toss in the dates and pulse/blend, scrapping down the sides if necessary till the dates are well combined. Add warm (or date) water where needed.
- Pour in the coconut oil, Buttanut cocoa macadamia nut butter & blend for a few seconds. This should for a sticky dough ball.
- Transfer your date dough to a bowl and mix in the Maca Powder, cacao powder, cinnamon & desiccated coconut.
- If you mixture seems too dry and doesn’t combine well, simply add a splash of warm water. You’re looking for a similar texture to play dough, so you’re able to roll the mixture into balls.
- Once you’ve achieved the desired play dough texture, simply roll into equal sized balls and dust with either cacao powder, desiccated coconut or both.
- You can nibble on these immediately but I prefer to pop them in the fridge for about 30 minus before snacking.
- Pop your date balls into a glass container and they’ll last for about 2 weeks in the fridge.