I’ve been reading Crystal and Ryan’s blog, Cafe Cyan, ever since Crystal commented on one of my posts long ago, I checked out her site and thought, “pictures of food! Sweet!”. Well, the other day I came across their post about energy orbs and was curiously intrigued.
I’ve never really had the pleasure of eating dates much so I was a little hesitant about the ingredients, but they looked so yummy and seemed highly recommended so I decided to give them a shot and googled for the recipe and found it on Compassionate Consumption. She likes to call them “Bucky Balls”. I like that name better too, geeky AND tasty! Dave has taken to calling them Power Balls, just like the lottery!
I’ve included the recipe with my comments and additions:
- 1.5 C pitted dates
- 1.5 C toasted walnuts
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- .5 C – .75 C unsweetened finely shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Soak the dates in hot water for about ten minutes. Drain well.
Place walnuts on dry baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-6 min or until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove nuts immediately from pan to stop cooking process and allow to cool for 5 min. I just put them directly from the pan into my food processor to cool there.
In food processor, grind the toasted nuts until the consistency of a course grain (almost a powder). Add the dates, vanilla and cocoa powder. Puree well; the mixture should be the consistency of a thick cookie dough. Careful not to burn out your processor’s motor, this stuff is thick. If necessary, mix for a few seconds, scrape dough from sides and mix again.
Put coconut in a shallow bowl. Scoop tsp sized chunks of the puree and roll between your palms into .5 inch orbs. Roll balls in coconut to coat. Store in the fridge where they’ll keep for about two weeks. You can eat them right away, but I prefer the texture after they’ve been fridged for a while.
I’ve long searched for a healthier snack for those days when I’ve just got the munchies and these did the trick. They were very easy to make (the most time-consuming part is rolling the balls), have an absolutely delightful gooey texture, they’re tasty, and good for you too!
I first got the walnuts and dates at Whole Foods and boy did that set me back a bit, but then I realized I could get both at Costco where they are much much cheaper (about 2.5 times less for the dates). Now, I’ve got a huge 3.5 pound tub of dates and plan on making these power balls regularly. I’ve yet to experiment with different nuts or figs, prunes, etc instead of dates, but I assume it can be done and will likely end up giving them a try soon.
Apparently, the recipe is originally from the Go Vegan Cookbook. Didja catch that all my vegan friends? If you haven’t discovered energy orbs, try them, they are super fantastic! Be sure to let me know how they turn out for you.