Healthy Hazelnut & Cacao Energy Balls
The complex flavor of these vegan, gluten-free, no-bake energy balls may remind you of chocolate brownies or cake; however, you will not experience the energy slump that comes about when eating a sugar-dense dessert.
- 1 cup sprouted quick-cooking oats (using sprouted oats highly recommended, but can use regular kind*)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (can sub with equal amount almonds, lightly toasted or raw)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder (or sub with equal amount pure cocoa powder)
- 2 tbsp sun butter (can sub with equal amount almond butter)
- 3 medjool dates (seeded, or any other variety)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp maple syrup**
- 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan salt (preferably coarse crystals, optional)
Lightly toast, about 2-3 minutes, the hazelnuts over medium heat in an iron skillet. Alternatively, you can also toast hazelnuts in a toaster oven. Skip this step if using raw.
Start out by processing oats in a food processor***. Add toasted hazelnuts and process till the mixture attains coarse consistency.
Add dates, sun butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cacao powder, and Pink Himalayan Salt, and unsweetened shredded coconut. Process till the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
Take the mixture out in a plate and form into balls. Enjoy as a snack or dessert.
*If using regular oats, if it best to enjoy these healthy hazelnut and cacao energy bars infrequently as high amount of phytates in oats can hinder the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
**vegetarian option-can sub with equal amount honey.
****I have not tried it yet, but you can also use a blender to make this recipe.
Make it heart healthy: Skip the unsweetened shredded coconut and Pink Himalayan salt.
Make it diabetes friendly: Omit the unsweetened shredded coconut and replace maple syrup with 3 dates+ 1tbsp sun butter or almond butter.
Serving: 1oz (1 ball)Calories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 42mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 112IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 2mg