What are cacao balls?
Cacao balls are also known as bliss balls, cacao protein balls, cacao energy balls, raw vegan energy balls, and just raw cacao balls. Whatever you choose to call them these raw sweet treats are delicious.
- Cacao balls are made from ingredients which are nutritious and satisfying,
- They are naturally sweetened and don’t contain refined sugar.
Recipes vary but generally they contain some, or all of the following ingredients in varying quantities:
- pitted dates
- almonds and walnuts
- raw organic cacao powder or cocoa powder
- coconut oil
- shredded coconut
- chia seeds
Why choose Cacao Balls?
As we get older the muffin top above our jeans gets harder to shift, doesn’t it? Just keeping it at bay is a problem for me.
Which is why any kind of sweet treats that are made with ingredients which are nutritious rather than just plain fattening, are really appealing.
We love these Cacao Balls – date energy balls that are packed full of goodness so I’ve updated this post to include more information.
Sometimes, well alright then, often I get the mid-afternoon slump and really need something sweet to get me going again.
Do you ever get that afternoon ‘slump’ too when nothing but an immense boost of inspiration or chocolate is likely to fire you up?
But I know that sweet treats are the very worst for middle age flab, and the age old saying:’ A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’, rings through my mind.
Why Cacao Protein Balls are Good to Eat
These Raw Cacao Energy Balls are full of nutrient-packed nuts, and coconut and are naturally sweetened with sultanas and dates.
Not even a tiny bit of refined sugar in these treats!
Cacao is pretty good for you, which makes these sweet cacao protein balls all the more scrumptious.
“Cacao is not the same as chocolate. Like cocoa powder and chocolate, it comes from the cacao bean, but cacao is made from unroasted, cold-pressed beans and without added sugar. This helps it preserve a very impressive nutrient profile, says herbalist and holistic nutritionist Rachelle Robinett.
“Cacao is very nutrient dense,” says Robinett. It’s high in antioxidants as well as nutrients like magnesium (which can help reduce stress), potassium, and iron. Cacao is also high in healthy fats to help us stay satiated and energized, she adds.
Another perk to cacao is its alkaloid content. Alkaloids are the alkaloids in cacao, Robinett says, “interact with different neurotransmitters in our body and help us feel good.”Well and Good
Raw Cacao Energy Balls are Packed Full of Nuts
We used almonds and walnuts in this recipe but I imagine you could use other nuts of your choice too, along with some different seeds if you’d like to.
I also decided to use cocoa powder instead of cacao, which will give basically the same result if you can’t buy cacao.
“Cacao powder is made by cold pressing non-roasted cacao beans.
Cocoa powder is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures.”Cacao vs Coco
Say Goodbye to the Biscuit Tin
The worst thing I’ll do when I’m in need of a sweet treat is head for the biscuit tin. So these days we have very miserable, plain looking biscuits in that tin, and they taste a little bit like cardboard with some added sugar.
What I crave is a Mars Bar, or Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, or some Lindt. Oh don’t get me started.
So my lovely daughter came to the rescue the other day.
“Mum,” she said, “I’ve found an awesome recipe by Melissa Ambrosini for some healthy little chocolate thingummys that are going to be just the thing when we’re craving something sweet.”
“Oh lovely,” I said without a lot of enthusiasm because anything without sugar was surely not going to hit the spot.
Not even a dollop of honey in them either.
Anyway we made these cute little truffle like balls and they were delicious. You could almost smell and taste the goodness oozing out of them.
Keep a Supply of Cacao Protein Balls in the Fridge or Freezer
When you need a little bit of something sweet, these are a much healthier option to reach for than a bar of chocolate.
So now, I try whenever possible to keep a stash of Cacao Balls in the fridge or freezer for when I have a sweet moment and need a healthy fix.
Ok, who am I kidding. “Stash in the fridge or freezer”, my foot. The gremlins have eaten them long before then! You should be able to keep them in the freezer for up to a month.
If you’d like to try them, and you can’t pop round here for a cup of tea, here’s the recipe. It’s easy peasy.
Pin This: Cacao Balls – Date Energy Balls
Raw Vegan Energy Balls – A Little Bit of Cacao Ball Bliss – Here’s How
Prep Time : 10 Minutes
Cacao Balls – Ingredients
- 1 cup pitted dates – Medjool Dates are best
- 1 cup almonds and walnuts
- 1/3 cup raw organic cacao powder (I used cocoa powder)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tbs chia seeds
How to Make Cacao Balls – Method
- Soak dates in warm water for 15 minutes to soften
- Add nuts, cacao, shredded coconut, coconut oil, and chia seeds to a food processor and mix.
- Add dates to the mix and whizz up together.
- If mixture is too dry then add a tbs of filtered water or more coconut oil
- Let the mixture sit for 10 mins
- Roll the mixture into bite sized balls
- Roll the balls in shredded coconut
- Store in the fridge to harden a little.
Do you have any favourite healthy, sweet snack recipes you could share with us?
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