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A healthy holiday treat

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

By: Betsy Hansen


the perfect healthy holiday snack

 

With the holidays quickly approaching, are you looking for a surefire treat to bring to parties, potlucks, or simply to have on-hand for last-minute visitors? We have the perfect concoction that is chocolaty, festive… and healthy! Yes, those three words are not often found in the same sentence, but for this recipe, it’s true!

 

birds eye of ingredient tray

 

These almond chocolate energy balls are packed with natural sugars and energy so you can feel good popping one of these in your mouth in the morning, noon or night. Not only are they full of nutrients, they are beautiful as well. They assemble beautifully rolled in coconut flakes, chia seeds, or just left as-is.

 

energy packed balls recipe

 

We tested out and tweaked a delicious recipe for these energy-packed balls.

Dates are the star player in this recipe. With their natural sweetness and chewy texture, they are the ideal addition to help form the spherical shape and also satiate the sweet tooth. If you are unfamiliar with cooking with dates, you’ll be hooked after using them in this recipe!

 

mixed up recipe

 

Also, a major time saver with this sweet treat: a food processor. This makes things so easy in the kitchen. You’ll use it to grind up the dates, almonds, and of course, to mix all the ingredients together. No-bake and minimal dishes translates to less clean-up and more time to spend with friends and family during the holiday season.

 

Your kids will give you kudos for whipping up a “dessert” in their eyes and your friends will be impressed with how fancy these look. Let us know what others say when you admit that these are actually healthy. We would love to hear!

No-bake Chocolate Energy Balls recipe

(Recipe inspired by No-Bake Almond Joy Balls from The Healthy Maven and No Bake Chocolate Chia Power Balls from The Honour System.)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dates
  • 2 cups almonds
  • ½ cup chia seeds (another ½ cup for toppings)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (another 1 cup for toppings)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk

 

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop up dates.
  2. Put dates in the food processor and blend.
  3. Roughly chop almonds.
  4. Separate dates in food processor. Add in chopped almonds, chia seeds, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, salt and vanilla extract. Turn on food processor for two to three minutes.
  5. Add in two Tablespoons of almond milk. Process ingredients again. Add another Tablespoon if the mixture is still dry.
  6. Roll mixture into about 24 balls.
  7. Roll ball in chia seeds, coconut flakes or leave plain.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. They will last for a few weeks when stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator or freezer.

 

 

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.