Best pick up line ever:
Guy: “So, do you want a raisin?” Girl, “No.” Guy, “How about a date?"
Me: Yesssssss, please...
There are a gazillion different versions of these date and nut energy balls all over the internet. You can even buy them in bar form (hello, Larabar!). I've tasted my fair share of different fruit and nut combos over the years, but have always been a little unsatisfied; the texture was off or the ratio of dried fruit to nut was wonky (except the peanut butter and jelly Larabar-they perfected that one). So I rolled up my sleeves, dug out the food processor, and was determined to make my own perfect little bite.
I love my Toasted Coconut and Almond Butter too much for that nutty combination not to be a starting point. From there I had to get the amount of dates right, balancing sweetness and texture. Too few dates led to a crumbly mess and too many resulted in a sweet and sticky web. I wanted to add cocoa to replicate a real chocolate truffle, but too much could be chalky and bitter and too little left my chocolate craving unsatisfied. Lots of trial and error later, and I leave you with this recipe, something I’m pretty darn happy with. It holds together just enough to roll into little balls, but doesn't compromise on any of the flavors. The little orb is perfect for eating plain or coating with a topping of choice.
The only negative about this recipe is that it requires a food processor. Maybe a high-powered blender could work, but I haven’t tried it since it seems like you’d be stopping and scraping for ages. Please let me know if you do try it though. The mixture rolls best and sticks to the toppings when at room temperature, but they hold their shape best in the refrigerator or freezer. To up the chocolate ante, freeze them for a few hours, give them a dip in melted chocolate, sprinkle with toppings, and then return to the fridge until the chocolate sets.
Date Coco-Nut Truffles
1 cup almond butter, divided
⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I love it toasted!)
2 cups dates, pitted (about 16)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Optional toppings: finely chopped almonds, hemp seeds, goji berries, cacao powder, cacao nibs, toasted coconut
In a food processor, blend ¾ cup almond butter, coconut, dates, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sea salt until smooth paste forms. Add remaining ¼ cup almond butter and pulse to combine. Using your hands, pinch off about 1 generous teaspoon of mixture and roll into balls. Roll balls into toppings of choice and store in the fridge or freezer. Makes approximately 60 truffles.