Pura Vida Cacao Almond sweet balls

My raw sweet balls obsession is back and stronger than ever! When I first dived into the world of raw foods, some three - four years ago, I didn’t have a fancy Vitamix or a dehydrator, nor a pantry stacked with hemp seeds and goji berries. I had been a vegetarian for almost a decade and a vegan for a couple of years, so it’s not like I was completely ignorant about the raw food world. But I was far from a know-it-all. And far from knowing how to make tasty raw food preparations that will satisfy my (let’s be honest, huge) appetite.

Sweet balls were one of the first raw food preparations I learned how to un-cook, and to this day they stay my very favorite ones. I am a huge dessert aficionado, and love to explore new sweet preparations. However, finding or learning how to prepare vegan desserts takes time, specially if you are new to it. Making delicious raw desserts is that much harder. From all raw foods, desserts often take longest - soaking cashews to make creams, freezing it so it stays in place.. It takes patience.

Raw sweet balls are a perfect dessert that you can make on the spot with little to no preparation time, no freezing or anything in between. They are a quick fix. Evenh better, you can make them with almost any nut, seed, dried fruit, and powder you have available. You possibilities and flavor options are endless. Try my coconut cashew sweet balls, or almond apple ones.

Because you are using fresh raw ingredients, they are already pretty healthy. But if you want to make them even healthier you can, by adding superfoods like hemp, chia, macca, and more. Beyond dessert, sweet balls are a perfect energy treat, and can replace granola and protein bars. They are a great fuel before, during and after a workout, long run or bike ride. Depending on the ingredients, they may not need refrigeration, making them a perfect snack on the go, at work, school or on trips.

I think I’ve made my case for the sweet balls.. Now let me share my latest recipe with you!

I brought delicious medjool dates with me to Costa Rica, they are a bit harder to find here, and very expensive. They are perfectly creamy, soft and sweet for all kinds of raw vegan preparations, from sweet balls to date caramel paste.

I also mixed in a new flavor of Amazing Grass superfood protein powder, Chocolate almond coconut. I got a sample to taste, and it tastes great, plus it adds a touch of that healthy green goodness (it’s filled with wheat and barley grass, alfa alfa, B complex, and more).

Costa Rica is the land of cacao! I got to pick it from the tree, eat it fresh and raw (it’s a very sweet and interesting fruit), and I enjoy the fact that I have full acess to delicious local raw cacao powder. The better the quality of your cacao, the better the balls! You can shop your nuts, cacao, vegan protein powder, and more at Lucky Vitamin.

Cacao Almond sweet balls

(Makes 5-6 medium sized balls)
{raw, vegan, gluten free, no added sugar}

  • 7-8 large medjool (or similar) dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup Brazil nut
  • 3 tbps oats (omit if fully raw as rolled oats are processed)
  • scoop of Amazing grass Chocolate almond coconut protein powder
  • 3-4 large tbsp raw cacao powder + 1 tbsp for dusting
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • pinch turmeric

Instructions:

  1. Pit your dates, and place them in a blender or food processor along with nuts. Blend on slow for a few minutes, until a thick paste forms. Process less if you want to keep the crunchiness of the nuts, and for a longer period if you want it fully smooth.
  2. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend for another few minutes. Scrape the sides if needed.
  3. The paste should be creamy and slightly oily from the natural oils that are released from the nuts. If you used dryer dates and feel like your paste isn’t creamy and sticky enough to form balls, add a table spoon of water and blend again.
  4. Take the paste out, and form into medium sized balls. Dust and roll in cacao, then place in the fridge for an hour or so for them to harden a bit. The salt really enhances the cacao flavor, and if you enjoy it, sprinkle just a tad more salt on your balls.

Enjoy!

If you try my recipe out, I would love to hear about it! Tag your posts with #girlintheraw or #GIRrecipes so I can find them and check them out.

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