WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT DATE BALLS
If you use social media, you've probably come across a date ball once or twice (a hundred times). They're cute, they come in lots of colors and they look great on top of nicecream or in a flat lay (if none of those words sound familiar to you, you are definitely not my target audience, and kudos to you for joining... you're probably my aunt.) But I don't think that's why they are so popular. What is just so fantastic about date balls is that they are protein, calcium and iron packed little nuggets of naughty tasting nutrients. You can sneak an awful lot of healthy additives into a date ball and they still just wind up tasting like caramel. The secret is the dates. They are so damn sweet they'll overpower just about anything from spirulina (which tastes like socks) to beet powder. There are so many variations to these sweet little treats, I could probably offer you about 10 flavors, but for this particular recipe I; A. stuck to what I had already on hand and B. managed to make a healthy treat into a fatty, sexy, better-for-you-than-a-truffle but not exactly a diet food indulgence. I totally have you sold, right? Well, whatever. I may be mildly irreverent to the health police that seem to preside over every comment section on the plant based corners of the internet, but health is subjective, man. If you're concerned about your figure, you should have done your research and know that macadamias are not exactly a weight loss food. If you're concerned with your soul however, ah, you have come to right place. These date balls will make your soul sing while delivering a punch of hormone regulating vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, C and E with zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus! Yay! Get on this happy train, folks. We're making date balls today, life is good, we're smiling through the pain, stop looking at me and get in the kitchen.
My tips before you get started. I just so happened to have all these fancy ingredients bumping around in my cupboard because I recently took a very fancy plant based cooking course with Plant Lab called Fundamentals of Cooking. I suspect you may have some of these, but not all, and if you are planning to buy these ingredients all at once prepare to spend like a thousand dollars at Whole Foods. If that's a-ok with you, then hello soul sister, I too do not bat an eye at spending half my paycheck on food. So, here are some perfectly good substitutions: cashews or skinned almonds for macadamia nuts, coconut oil for cacao butter (chilled and hardened), oatmeal for almond meal ... nothing for maca powder, you really need the maca powder. It's an aphrodisiac for Christ's sake, just splurge a little. The other thing you'll want to keep in mind is that the consistency is very dependent on the dates. If your dates are super juicy, you will need to add more almond meal, if they are too fiberous and sticky, would need to add in some moisture so I suggest reserving your soaking liquid for this purpose. Looks like you're ready to go, now scroll down and look at these pretty pictures I took during my process.
1 cup packed dates, pitted and soaked
1 cup salted macadamia nuts
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cocoa butter, pieces or roughly chopped
2 tsp maca powder
1 tbs coconut sugar
coconut shreds for rolling (optional)
3/4 cup vegan chocolate (I used 55% dark chocolate rounds)
- Soak dates in hot water for at least an hour.
- Combine everything in a food processor or blender with a dry mix blade. Process until a chunky sticky mixture has formed, it should begin to ball up.
- Using a table spoon, portion out the picture and roll into balls. If your mixture is very mushy, pop the balls in the freezer for 15 minutes before rolling them in coconut. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Using a double boiler or a microwave at 30 second intervals, melt the chocolate. One at a time, coat the date balls in the chocolate by rolling them around with a spoon. Place on parchment paper or a plate and return to the freezer for another 15 minutes.
Servings: About 16 Serving Size: 1 ball Calories: 150 Fat: 11.4g Sodium: 32.6mg Potassium: 105mg Carbs: 11.4 Sugars: 8.2g Fiber: 2.2g Protein: 1.5g