Eating healthy is not always easy. I have found, it is not always tasty either! Since being diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago, my recipes have changed. I have had to find substitutes for sugar and carbs. The challenge is to find substitutes that don’t taste like cardboard. That has proven easier said than done! I finally found a recipe that was not only delicious, but good for you too! My Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls make a great healthy snack!
Ah, chocolate and coconut… one of my favorite flavor combinations! This recipe for my Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls satisfies my sweet tooth. It also keeps my sugar intake down. The recipe makes approximately 18 to 20 bites of yummy goodness. Each ball, packed with some energy to help you through the day! My kids love these as much as I do. It is a great after-school snack for them and a post-workout snack for me.
Using a food processor is practically a must for whipping up this Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls recipe. There’s a whole lot of chopping and grinding going on! I’m not saying you can’t make this snack without one. It does make the process much easier.
Whoever discovered that soaking dates in warm water makes them easier to chop is my new baking BFF. If you use a lot of dates in holiday recipes, it’s a tip you don’t want to forget. Also, rub a bit of coconut oil on your hands. This makes forming the Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls easier.
Do you have a little baker, who loves to help in the kitchen? If so, I’m sure you won’t have a problem recruiting him (or her) to help you make the balls and roll them in coconut. After all, a little stickiness never hurt anyone! If possible, use pure maple syrup, as the ingredient list indicates. Nothing else comes close to the rich, over-the-top maple taste of real maple syrup.
The last step is to chill the Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes. Store them in the fridge, in an airtight container. Because dates don’t completely freeze, you can also store them in the freezer if you prefer a colder bite of yumminess. The choice is up to you! If you love this recipe, be sure to try my Nutty Chocolate and Cranberry Energy Bites! Are you diabetic? Try these No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites!
- 1 1/2 cups dates
- 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons warm water, if needed
- 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded coconut for mixing
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut for rolling
- Place the dates in a bowl of warm water for twenty minutes to soften (this makes them easier to blend!). While they're soaking, grind the walnuts in a food processor. Leave a few chunks for texture.
- Add the dates to a food processor and blend until mostly combined (but still a few walnut chunks). Add the water slowly (if needed) to keep blending. You may need to pause and scrape down the sides. The mixture will be very sticky.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
- Add in the cacao, first bit of coconut and maple syrup. Mix with a fork until everything is combined and "wet looking". The mixture will be back to being very sticky.
- Prepare for rolling: grab a large plate or cutting board and line with parchment paper. Pour the rest of the shredded coconut onto another plate. Grab the coconut oil and place a dollop on the edge f the parchment paper or in a bowl.
- Now it's time to get messy. Grease your hands with a bit of coconut oil, grab some of the date mixture and roll it into a ball (about one inch in diameter). The coconut oil helps it from sticking to your hands.
- Once rolled, place the ball into the plate of coconut and sprinkle/roll it all about pressing down to make sure it sticks. Place the coconut covered ball onto the parchment paper.
- Do this until you're out of mixture (makes 18-20 balls).
- Place the balls into the freezer to set for thirty minutes. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge to munch on and for quick grab and go snacks!
- Note: dates don't freeze completely so you can pop these tasty bites into your mouth right out of the freezer!
What is your favorite go-to healthy snack? I would love to hear in the comments below!