There’s something I have recently decided: weekends are for desserts. Making desserts, I mean. Because eating desserts should happen on the weekends AND throughout the week… there is no set schedule for eating desserts. Especially when they are healthy, raw, guilt-free, full of nutrients and only natural sugars that will boost your energy and make your work outs (and your days) that much better.
If you’re thinking that I am kind of a dessert freak… It’s true, I am, and that’s why I have had to learn to healthify my favorite treats. Refined sugars, dairy, enriched wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, canola oil… all of those dirty little ingredients found in the desserts that we are used to — they weigh us down, cloud our minds and deplete our energy. Who wants to lay around like a slug after you eat dessert? And, if you have a sensitive tummy like me, they wreak havoc on your digestive system and really aren’t worth the few minutes of indulgence.
That’s why these Brownie Bliss Balls are the perrrr-fect little globules of goodness to keep laying around the house – or the freezer, in this case.
(Funny side story about freezers: my roommate Katie has been making fun of me because she noticed that I like to freeze and/or refrigerate just about everything. When she asked me about it, I told her it’s because things taste better to me when they are cold, and also because cold things feel cleaner to me. Cold rooms, cold clothing, cold food… I feel that when things are cold there is an extra oomph to them! Maybe I’m just weird, but these desserts are cold, which I love.)
These Brownie Bliss Balls were inspired by my favorite mid-afternoon snack: dates dipped in almond butter. Except the problem was, if I was going to have a sweet sugary treat, I wanted it to have chocolate in it (chocoholic over here). So then I would break out the cacao nibs, and next thing I knew I was making my simple snack into a delightful little dessert.
So naturally, I had to expand on it, and create something even better. Something as yummy and satisfying as the date and almond butter combo, with some chocolate and some extra sweet and nutty goodness added in as well. And when they’re raw (and COLD!), and made of only dried fruit, nuts and superfoods… they’re still the perfect post-work out snack and a definite healthy alternative to that after-dinner dessert you look forward to throughout the day.
– 8 pitted medjool dates
– 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
– ¼ cup walnuts
– ¼ cup almond butter
– 2 tablespoons raw honey (or agave)
– ¼ cup cacao nibs (or dairy-free chocolate chips)
– a couple sprinkles of cinnamon
- Combine the pitted dates, cacao powder, walnuts, almond butter, honey/agave and cinnamon in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. You will have to scrape the sides several times, as this concoction gets sticky and needs your undivided attention!
- Once the mixture has reached and smooth and paste-like consistency, scoop it into a bowl and pour in the cacao nibs or chocolate chips. With a spoon, mix everything the nibs are evenly distributed among the mixture.
- Wash your hands, and get ready for a bit of a sticky party on them, because you are going to roll the mixture into balls with your hands. I generally scoop out a spoonful for the size I like them to be, but you can make them bigger or smaller depending on what size you like best.
- Roll the balls in some extra cacao nibs if you want them to cover the outside. Pop the balls in the freezer, and wait about an hour for them to harden a bit. Pop them in your mouth, and enjoy!
One of the best things about this dessert is that it reminds me of the raw BROWNIE BITES I used to buy at the Venice Whole Foods. But these are made at home with love, which is even better. Happy weekend of dessert making, everyone! Hope you are enjoying as much as I am!