I was dying for a treat the other day. I’ve been successfully off of sugar since January 1st, which I must say has curbed my cravings of anything carby and/or sugary fairly dramatically.
Until the other day.
We were getting ready for an afternoon snowshoe hike at Jackson XC Center near our New Hampshire home and my energy was lagging. I needed a pick me up. Generally, I don’t eat sport bars. I don’t even think to buy them. So, I ended up eating an orange which is nowhere as exciting as what I had in mind.
After snowshoeing, we stopped at The Local Grocer in North Conway and I bought some raw cacao powder and almond butter. I had an idea for a protein packed/healthy fat sweet treat that would be a perfect après snowshoe bite and one that would just give me enough of a boost to keep going until dinner.
Not expecting much, I just ball parked it and tossed everything into the food processor. Then I shaped the sticky chocolate mixture into balls, dipped them in shredded coconut and posted a cute pic on my Instagram and Facebook accounts and…
I should have measured.
Recipe testing has us currently up to our eyeballs in cacao balls.
With healthy fats from the coconut oil and protein from the almond butter, plus good carbs with the addition of quick cook oats, these are delicious, rich chocolate bites that are just sweet enough with maple syrup to be satisfying and sustaining. I don’t do stevia – it gives me a whopping headache. New Englander that I am, its maple syrup or nothing.
This is the version I like best. Actually, I love them! They ring my chocolate chimes. However, I am certain (now that I’ve made a few trial runs) that you can increase or decrease the ingredients to taste and come up with something to your own liking. In my cool New Hampshire kitchen, the coconut oil is rock solid. I still think the mixture benefits from a short sit in the fridge to firm up which will make it easier to shape and coat.
As easy as they are to make, remember that they are even easier to scarf down. The premise behind them is to eat one, (OK maybe two) (or three says the husband) and that’s it. Save the rest for another day, activity or moment when you need a boost.
Meanwhile, get out there and enjoy winter!
- ½ cup quick cook oats (make sure they are GF to keep it gluten free)
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup coconut oil, in solid form
- ½ cup almond butter
- 2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 – 4 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
- In a food processor, place all ingredients except shredded coconut. Process until mixture is almost smooth and well combined.
- Scrape mixture into a small bowl. Chill for 30 to 60 minutes until the mixture is firm enough to roll into balls.
- Pinch off a tablespoon amount and roll with your clean hands into a ball. Continue with remaining mixture.
- Place shredded coconut in a small bowl and coat each cacao ball completely with coconut. Store and keep chilled in an airtight container for up to three days.