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Yield: 18 1-inch balls | Prep Time: 15 min
We got our first real snowfall of the season last weekend. In January. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. This delayed winter has certainly eased our transition from the balmy winter temps of Vegas. I’m sure we’ll be paying for the 60 degree temps we’ve seen recently come April. No, make that May. But whatever. I’ll take it.
It was also Mila’s first real introduction to snow. She didn’t quite know what to make of it, other than the fact that it was cold and had something to do with Santa. We did all of the things people do during the first snowfall of the winter.
Made snow angels…
Built a snowman…
…and played on the swings at the beach…
Wait the beach? Yes, we live in paradise.
Upon our return to the indoors to thaw out and sip some delish organic hot cocoa that I picked up from Whole Foods the week before, I thought it would be a good time to do some baking, minus the actual “baking”. I’m talking raw.
After my first successful attempt at D.I.Y. Larabars (inspired by FitSugar), my food processor was ready for the next fruit and nut fusion, this time with a little more spunk. And so Coconut Cacao Snowballs were born.
Three words: Raw. Vegan. Delicious.
It’s true what they say about good things coming in small packages. These little balls are so jam-packed with nutrients, they’ll practically give you superpowers. Let’s start at the top:
- Almonds: Probably the most nutrient-dense in the nut family, they are a rich source of fiber and protein, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and niacin, and of course, vitamin E, an important antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals. Note: some people have a hard time digesting raw nuts, if that’s the case, soak your almonds in filtered water for about 8-10 hours, rinse and drain.
- Dates – Another great source of fiber and protein, dates are also rich in mood and energy boosting B-vitamins, iron, heart-healthy potassium, and thanks to their naturally occurring sugars, provide a great energy boost. Dates also contain antioxidants known as tannins, which have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cacao Nibs – The mother ship of chocolate, cacao is probably one of the most nutrient and antioxidant-dense foods on the planet. Yes, really. I could write a book here, but I won’t. Cacao contains neurotransmitters that are associated with a healthy mood: serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. Is it any wonder chocolate makes us happy? In addition, cacao has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, containing polyphenols – the same beneficial antioxidants found in red wine. The key to remember here is cacao (the raw completely natural and unprocessed form of chocolate) is the superhero – not the processed bar that you’re buying at the store.
- Coconut Oil – A rich source of healthy fats that has been linked to enhanced metabolism, immune system, and blood sugar stabilization, amongst other things. I’ve spoken at length about my love affair with coconut oil here. Read that rant here.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – Ditto. After all, coconut oil is a by product of coconut meat (which is what the shreds are).
Chia Seed – Another favorite of mine, chia seeds are great source of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. This is another topic near and dear to my heart that has graced the pages of For The Love Of Fiber. Read that tribute here.
These little balls make a great snack, pre/post-workout energy boost, after dinner treat, or a nice side with your morning smoothie. Or propaganda to bribe a two year old into eating her dinner. Don’t judge.
The snowballs disappeared right about the same time the snow melted – two days later.
Inspired by Joyous Health
* = good source of fiber
Use organic ingredients when possible
- 1 cup raw almonds *
- 12 pitted medjool dates *
- ¼ cup raw cacao nibs *
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut *
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. chia seed *
1. Set aside the 2 tbsp. shredded coconut in small plate. Place all ingredients into food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes, until mixture becomes similar to very fine (sticky) pebbles.
2. About a teaspoon at a time, roll into 1-inch balls and dip in shredded coconut to lightly cover entire ball.
Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 124
- Total Fat: 7 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
- Dietary Fiber: 3 g
- Sugars: 11 g
- Protein: 3 g