They’re healthy. They’re sweet. They’re pretty. They’re dense and filling, so one bite will satisfy you but never make you feel guilty about eating it. And you shouldn’t hold back from making them, either, since they’re done in a matter of minutes.
Alright, enough with the fanfare (cause I’m their #1 fan): what are they? They’re my new favorite kind of raw* energy balls, made almost entirely of two of my favorite foods: dates and coconut.
I was inspired by a video by Laura Miller, a YouTube personality I recently discovered. On YouTube, I subscribed to Tastemade, her network company’s channel, and her personal channel because I think that she is, in a word, awesome.
Jump to 2:33 for the start of this recipe!
I do my fair share of watching Food Network and the Cooking Channel, but I’ve never seen a kitchen presence like hers. Half old-fashioned, half hipster, she has this charisma that makes you want to watch her, laugh at her jokes, and head to the kitchen to try out her gastronomic feats for yourself.
Laura Miller, who has no formal culinary training, is what I personally like to call “chefy.” She takes pride in using healthy, good quality ingredients; making wholesome snacks and meals out of those ingredients; and presenting a final product in a way that makes her proud and makes us at home drool.
Take these date-coconut balls, for instance. They’re so cute because they’re covered in a variety of different “toppings:” chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, and cocoa powder.
Let’s get the basics out on the table (no pun intended). A reliable food processor is your best friend for this recipe. Laura utilizes a nice, roomy one. Since I, on the other hand, only own a small food processor, I divided the measurements in half and blended my ingredients together in two batches.
Note that if you’d like to follow along with the video, Laura stands in front of a chalkboard on which she wrote out exact measurements for the energy balls.
1. Pulse 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut in the food processor until it is made into a flour-like texture.
2. Add in 10 medjool dates, pits removed of course, which you may want to soak for 10-15 minutes beforehand in order to make them more workable for the processor. (Fun fact: The dates I used come from Israel; where are yours from?)
3. Add in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp sea salt.
4. Pulse! You’ll end up with a sort of dough.
5. Spread out some chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, and more cocoa powder – or different “toppings” of your choice, of course – in different corners of your cutting board. Alternately, you can do as I did and pour these things into separate small bowls.
6. Get your hands dirty: Use your palms to roll the dough into balls.
7. Roll them in your “toppings!” With all the pop of color and texture, suddenly the balls will seem like something you might find in a candy shop.
8. Refrigerate or freeze them. In the video, Laura says she prefers to freeze them because she likes the resulting texture. I divided my energy balls into two containers, to put one in the freezer and the other in the fridge, as an experiment to see which I liked best. My preference was the fridge.
These raw energy balls – which, although it probably goes without saying, are vegan – are truly everything you want and need – well, I suppose I can only say with conviction that they’re everything I want and need. Don’t hold back – Laura and I want you to try them today!
*Vanilla extract, which is used in this recipe, is technically not raw.
Images of my energy balls taken by me!