If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious sweet treat, you want to make these chocolate date balls. They’re the most delicious and sinfully delightful treats that are sugar-free, vegan and completely raw! Free of all the nonsense you want to avoid.
I first got the recipe for these raw vegan chocolate date balls from a great cookbook that was gifted to us: Raw Food For Real People, by Rod Rotondi. The first batch I made were great, but I made some adjustments according to my personal tastes. I grew up in a household where baking was a way of life. My mom (still to this day) bakes cakes for a home industry, so we were always treated to cakes, biscuits and desserts of every variety. It also built up my natural delight for baking and so my sweet tooth emerged. Having come to understand and experience the perils of sugar, it’s been a very tricky ride for me en route to sugar-free living, but I’m slowly getting there.
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Because of this sweet tooth, I needed to add some additional sweetness to these raw vegan chocolate balls in the form of xylitol. Some people don’t like using xylitol because it doesn’t have much associated scientific information to back up it’s nutritional value. Quite simply put, it doesn’t have much nutritional value as it is made up of empty calories, but it is a lot better for you than sugar and is naturally produced by plants and by our bodies too. It’s also rather good for your teeth – win! So… xylitol it is for me, but you can also sweeten them up with coconut sugar or agave syrup. If you’re not phased on the vegan aspect, then raw honey will add a nice sweetness too.
Get The Recipe
- 2 cups of raw cashew nuts (original recipe called for Brazil nuts, but I prefer cashews. You could use any nuts)
- 2 cups of soft, chopped dates (I soften them in the sun for a bit before adding)
- 1/2 cup of almond butter
- 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup of carob powder
- 2 tablespoons of xylitol or coconut sugar (or less, depending on your personal taste)
- Desiccated coconut
Make These Raw Vegan Chocolate Date Balls
The recipe from the book is a little misleading as it says you simply need to put everything in a blender and blitz it. It’s not that easy. The ingredients are mostly dry, so there isn’t enough liquid in there to keep the blender going without getting stuck and burning out. We have a VitaMix, one of the best blenders in existence, and even this baby couldn’t handle it, so here is my take on how to put the recipe together.
- Put the cashew nuts in the blender to crush them up into fine pieces (don’t overdo it because the pieces add a nice, crunchy dimension to the finished product). Remove from the blender
- Put the dates into the blender and do the same, just to break down the pieces a little more. Remove them too
- The rest I do by hand as it’s near impossible for the blender to manage it. Add the nuts and dates to a large bowl and start mixing with a wooden spoon. This requires a little elbow grease
- Add the carob and raw cacao and the xylitol, coconut sugar or a sampling of agave. (Note: if you enjoy the taste of dark chocolate then you probably won’t need to add any additional sweetness, the dates will be enough)
- Mix everything up until it’s all blended into one fabulous mound of chocolate goodness, it will still be a little dry so I add about a tablespoon or two of boiling water to bind it all together
- Sprinkle the desiccated coconut out onto a serving plate
- Grab a chunk of chocolate mixture and roll it into a small ball and then roll the ball in the coconut
- Repeat this until you’ve finished the mixture, then place them all in the fridge for about an hour before devouring them
These truly are my favourite sweet treat at the moment. I keep a plate full of them in the fridge and every time I feel the need for sweetness, I go and grab one and I’m left more than satisfied! Try them for yourself and let us know how they turned out by dropping us a line on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.