Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raw Chocolate Pecan Energy Balls

I think one of the biggest obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle is a resistance to change. The family hears healthy and thinks "it tastes bad" or "we are going to starve and we have to give up all of our favorite foods". Healthy doesn't have to be boring or mean you have to give up what you love. It is about smart substitutions over time. Give up soda or change your latte to an iced coffee with skim milk and you will be shocked how easily you will lose some weight without "even trying". You are trying but you are finding it easy to adjust when you make the changes slowly. 
One of the hardest things for me to give up are sweets. I LOVE SUGAR but sugar does not love us or our bodies. When I gave up sugar within weeks people started commenting how much younger I looked. That was enough to keep working! When the desire for something sweet does come fruit is a great option but sometimes you want something different. This is where my energy balls come in. All the taste of a dessert but not devoid of fiber and nutrients. Win, win! Variations of this recipe have been floating around food blogs this past year in bar or ball form. Again this is about finding what you like. Add flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, whatever you love! This is just a good base to start the customization from. Raw chocolate is full of all the amazing antioxidants you need. If you can not find raw cocoa powder or don't want to pay the hefty price tag just use traditional unsweetened cocoa powder. Skip the dutch processed as that removes some of the antioxidants. 
When I started working on this recipe in my mind all I kept hearing was variations of Chef singing "My chocolate salty balls" and SNL Schweddy Balls skit. Yes, sometimes I am a 13 yo boy. I bet it is stuck in your head now too. 

Raw Chocolate Pecan Energy Balls
Adapted from Rawtarian
Approximately 24-1 inch Balls

2 Cups Whole Pitted Dates, (organic if you can find them)
2 Cups Whole Raw Pecans
3-4 Tbsp Raw Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 Tbsp Grade A Maple Syrup (do not use the fake HFC stuff at the supermarket, it needs to be real) or Agave
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Begin with the dates in the food processor and chop until small but not clumping together or pasty. Add pecans and chop until small pieces but again not a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it clumps but it not completely smooth. You want there to be some texture. Using hands form into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined plate. Chill in the refrigerator 30 mins. I prefer them cold and straight from the fridge but they can be served either way. 
Once they are chilled you can store them in Tupperware in the fridge for 5 days or freeze any excess balls for later. 



  1. I have tried a variation of this recipe, but it didn't have the syrup or coconut in it. In fact I think it was just dates and nuts, but it tasted kinda chocolatey. I loved it, and I also love the additional ingredients in your recipe, so I'm going to the store now to get the ingredients and I'll give your's a try. My problem is only eating ONE of them at a time! They are just too delicious!

    1. There were a lot of variations floating around the net this past year and I agree I like the added coconut etc. Some I found had too much cocoa for me and were rather bitter. They are hard to only eat 1! I hope you like it.