These dark chocolate energy bites are just the thing for times when you need a quick “pick me up.” They’re a satisfying combination of protein, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber, all wrapped in a portable, chocolaty ball of deliciousness! Dark chocolate energy bites are chocolate truffles, healthier cousin. They are toothsome, fudgy, earthy and lightly sweet.
It may seem a little weird to post this recipe around the holidays, when everyone else is talking pies, cakes and cookies, but that’s precisely the reason you need a tasty ally to snack on. An ally that can curb hunger, cravings, and add nourishment to help you keep your head in the game.
Before I jump into the recipe, I want to give you a little background on the host of “superfood” ingredients so you can fully appreciate the goodness of these dark chocolate energy bites.
INGREDIENT DEEP DIVE
Dates are a wonderful sweetener with notes of caramel and molasses. Dates are low on the glycemic index and chockfull of soluble fiber making it less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar compared to many other types of sweeteners. Dates are also high in several nutrients and antioxidants. Yay and yum!
This recipe calls for black walnuts. Black walnuts are one of the only all-wild tree nuts consumed in the United States, while the more ubiquitous English Walnut is cultivated in orchards. Black walnut has been used by Native Americans for centuries, in cakes, breads, porridge and soup.
Black walnut is generally more nutritious than English walnut, boasting a higher level of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids and other health promoting compounds. Another huge difference between the American black walnut and the English walnut is the flavor. The flavor of black walnut is much more robust and nuanced. It is a little sweeter, with notes of cream and bourbon.
The downside to black walnut is that it’s a little harder to find than English walnut, but can often be found at natural food stores or online retailers like Amazon. I am consistently happy with Hammons black walnuts.
Cacao has a deep, bitter chocolate flavor and kick of caffeine. Cacao is a more pure, raw form of chocolate than cocoa. It is less processed and therefore contains higher levels of magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, selenium, flavonoids and other antioxidants, with no added sweetener. For lovers of bittersweet and dark chocolate, cacao is a familiar delight.
Chia seeds are all over the place and for good reason. Chia is mostly flavorless but contains a host of antioxidants, minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acid. When added to liquid, it forms a soothing mucilage and when added to dry ingredients, adds a pleasant crunch.
Not only is almond butter a respite from common peanut butter, it also claims a higher vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Truth be told, one of the healthiest nut butters is walnut. Walnut butter is hard to find but if you can get your hands on it, swap out the almond butter for walnut butter.
Walnut oil, like many walnut products, is a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3). The fat content of walnut oil is generally considered a “good fat.” Walnut oil is highly perishable and should be kept in the refrigerator after opening. Walnut oil is a delicious addition to salad dressings, “no-bake” recipes and as a finishing oil for desserts, meats, fish and vegetable dishes.
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
While sweetened coconut flakes have additional sugar added to them, unsweetened coconut flakes do not, but they still pack a punch of coconut flavor, fat, fiber, iron and protein, and are low in carbohydrates.
Don’t let all this talk of health benefits fool you into thinking the taste of these dark chocolate energy bites are inferior in flavor. Dark chocolate energy bites are a seriously delicious snack that also happens to be a nutritious treat.Print