Monday Musings… Winter is a ball… a chocolate ball!

Okay, can I just say that although I have been off work for the last 4 days, I have been up by 6 each day and at it! I am not complaining, well a little, I would like to sleep in, but each day has held its flurry of activity that is all things winter! 

Friday I enjoyed watching the snow fall, put out some Christmas decorations, I didn’t have to travel out too much which was a break! The weekend was full of my yoga training which is always challenging but good. This weekend we talked about diet. FOOD, and of course you all know how much I enjoy my food. We had a carry in on Sunday and it was so groovy to be able to eat so much of the other dishes without worry as to whether there was dairy, meat or other things lurking that I don’t eat anymore.

It’s that time of year for sharing food. I am sure most of you all are being tempted by plates of cookies, candies and other sweet treats floating around. Today I thought I would share with you a recipe from Dreena Burton at Plant Powered Kitchen that I made at Thanksgiving. Cocoa Cookie dough balls. These were easy peasy to make and were a big hit with both the adults and kids. You can make so many different “versions” of this cookie too. Last night I made these up using the nut free version by subbing the almonds with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and as Chad Sarno would say I made them a little wicked by adding a dash of cayenne, because hello, chocolate and cayenne is a mouthful of bliss…. well for me. I encourage you that if you are making these for an adult party especially to be playful and add the cayenne to a few, you won’t be disappointed. If I left cookies out for the big “jolly guy”, these would be it!

Since a lot of you ask about where or what ingredients I use I have a few pics of the chocolate I use. When using Cocao go for the real stuff, it’s a super food and super good for you.

My favorite! makes yummy chocolate richness!
My favorite! makes yummy chocolate richness!

Chocolate chips are harder, but these are a good option for dairy free, not my fav, I like a darker chocolate, but these are what Earthfare had.IMG_0485

So there you have it. As I said I made the pumpkin seed version of these the second time around and both are quite yummy. I think I have shared before that pumpkin seeds/pepitas are full of great minerals like copper, maganese, magnesium, and iron, making them a great treat for women and the chocolate and you have a win win! They also contain Vitamin K and actually have anti inflammatory properties that help with arthritis. Okay enough of my health lecture before you are turned off completely from making these yummy delights… yes yummy and good for you! Here is the original recipe and some of my tweeks noted in italics.

Don't they look yummy!
Don’t they look yummy!

Cocoa Chocolate balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (see note for nut-free option)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • A few pinches of sea salt (about a scant 1/8 tsp)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or more dates)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp non dairy chocolate chips or cocoa nibs (optional)
  • A few teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, unrefined sugar, or a combination of both, for dusting/rolling (optional)
  • I used coconut also big hit
  • a few sprinkles of cayenne for a little wicked with your chocolate (adult version)

Instructions

  • In a food processor, process the almonds until fine and crumbly.  Then add remaining ingredients and (except the optional chocolate chips) pulse or process.  Once the mixture starts to become crumbly, process fully for a minute or two.  It will appear as if nothing is happening at first, that the mixture is just whirring around in crumbs, but soon it will start to become sticky.  When you see it start to become a little sticky, add the chocolate chips and process again.  Continue to process until it forms a ball on the blade.  Stop the machine and remove the dough. Take small coops of the dough (1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons in size) and roll in your hand.  Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough.  Toss or roll the balls in the coating, if using,, and refrigerate.  Eat and repeat often.
  • Makes 14 to 16 dough balls.
  • Allergy-Free or Bust!:  For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds, and add another 1/4 cup of rolled oats.
  • If This Apron Could Talk:  Make a double batch and freeze half.  They thaw very well.
  • Kid-Friendly:  These are excellent to pack in school lunches, with a nut-free option for you if nuts aren’t permitted in your school. For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1⁄4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds, and add another 1⁄4 cup of rolled oats.
  • Savvy Subs and Adds:  Replace vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or orange oil.

Recipe Page

So there you have it a sweet little treat you can feel good about eating and sharing… if you must with others! Just don’t tell them they are healthy and they will never know! 🙂

Peace

Coconut rolled, Cocoa rolled and Coconut sugar rolled
Coconut, Coconut sugar, and Cocoa Chocolate balls

P.S. I apologize for the font switch on the blog… I need blogging 101 classes, but hey I can share a mean recipe and other “stuff.”

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