I am shamelessly a chocolate fanatic. More specifically, chocolate-and-nut butter- together-aholic. I’m always looking for ways to make a healthier treat combining my sweet addictions, so I started making these a few years back at Christmas time. All it takes is a simple internet search to find hundreds of recipes for some variation on how to make these, but this recipe is mine and how I do.
The Proposal happened to be playing on TV last night while I was making these, and I tuned in right when Sandra Bullock is getting down with Betty White singing Lil’ Jon’s “Get Low” (you know… “the sweat drip down my BALLS”) …so perfectly inappropriate. So much so that I sang the three lines I actually know of that song the entire time while ballin’ up my raw dessert deliciousness. Good thing my child can’t copy my words yet, although Mommy’s rapping and gangsta white girl dance moves proved to be pretty hilarious. So, kudos, Lil’ Jon, for cheering up my teething monster 11 month old.
To make a good Nut Ball you need:
Old fashioned oats
Chopped pitted dates
Soy nut butter (or whichever nut butter you prefer, this is what I had on hand)
Vanilla or almond extract (just a tiny bit)
Coconut flakes (unsweetened)
Goji berries (optional)
Cacao nibs (optional)
A sprig or two of Mint leaves (optional)
A few tablespoons of Carob powder
A little squirt of agave or raw honey
So here is what you should know about me and cooking; I hate recipes, I hate measuring, I hate having to follow something to the book. Most things I cook I go off of an idea I saw somewhere and wing it, no or very little measuring.
So fly free my little foodie birds, because I am throwing you to the wind with this one. Er, it must be a light breeze because I’ll give you just a little guidance:
Do a small batch, starting with about 4-6 dates torn into a few pieces. Add in your oats, around ¼ cup or so- you can add more if you need to. Scoop in a few big honker spoonfuls of nut butter, remember this is the main ingredient holding your balls together. This is when I would add in the other ingredients and blend away in your food processor. The consistency should be a bit chunky but easy to form into balls when rolling them firmly with your fingers. I add the coconut both in the batch and then roll them in the coconut flakes after, too.
-Dip your fingers into water before you begin to make each ball, it helps them not stick to you. That is, if you make it to the ball making stage- I like to start eating right from the bowl…
-Go LIGHT on the vanilla/almond extract!
-If mixture is difficult to form into balls, try adding a tablespoon of water to the mix, or two or three, to moisten it up a bit more.
Lesson learned: Try to add the carob powder between the other ingredients. The issue I’ve had in the past with my small processor is when I turned it on, the powder just all stuck to the top of the mixer.
To the window…to the wall…love me mah nut balls.