Raw Cacao Treat Balls
¼ – ½ Cup raw cashews / almonds – chopped (almond meal is also a good and easy replacement)
2 tablespoons of agave nectar (this is super sweet but low GI, when everything is mixed together, taste the mix and add a bit more if you want it sweeter
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or the seeds of about ½ pod
handful of dates (chopped finely and soaked in water for about half an hour – discard water when adding to mix)
2-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons of organic cold pressed coconut oil (if the weather is cold, you will have to warm this to make it liquid. To do this place in a bowl and sit over a saucepan with a little bit of simmering water – it melts very quickly) Add a bit more if you think there is not enough liquid
¼ cup desiccated coconut (to roll the balls in)
Mix all the ingredients together (except for the desiccated coconut which is good to roll the balls in, although you can add some of this to the mix if you want).
You can blend it all together for a smooth consistency. I just mix it so the balls are chunky. Roll small amounts in your hands to make a ball, then roll in desiccated coconut. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (When the balls chill they will become more firm)
There are so many variations to this recipe. You can add some Tahini (this can make them stick together better), Goji berries, chopped-up dried apricots, spirulina powder, soya milk if you like a more mild flavour. Experiment with things you like and different amounts of the ingredients to make some yummy and healthy treats!
If you add some tahini and oats, you can also make a variation of this recipe into a slice. Let it chill in the fridge then cut into slices that can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge.
WHY THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOU!
Coconut oil ~ Full of essential fatty acids particularly lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. The health benefits include maintaining good cholesterol levels, weight management, increased immunity, improved digestion and nutrient metabolism, just to name a few.
Raw cacao powder ~ It’s what chocolate is made from, but still has all the benefits of this super little bean – raw cacao has 360% more antioxidants than processed beans. It contains protein, zinc, omega 3 oils, calcium, chromium, sulphur, potassium, and is one of the best known food sources of magnesium – an essential nutrient that is used in almost every biological process in our body!
Agave Syrup ~ A great alternative to regular cane sugar. It has a low GI (glycemic index) which means it is more beneficial to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It is also sweeter tasting than sugar so you don’t need to use as much (about 30% less) to achieve a sweet taste.
Nuts ~ Packed full of protein, essential minerals, essential fatty acids. They can help keep blood sugar levels stable, and are a healthy between meal snack.