This past Sunday I realized that I had all the ingredients I needed to try out a new recipe that I had flagged. The recipe is the second that I’ve attempted from the Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food recipe book that I first introduced in my peach & blueberry smoothie post.
I know what you’re thinking: Are you vegan now? … No. However:
- I’m interested in learning about vegan cuisine, and
- I had planned on using it to attempt recipes for my friend who blogs at Am I Vegan Now? before she decided to move to the opposite side of the country.
(Sharon, if you’re reading this: I totally would have surprised you with these had we been living in the same city. If you try these, think “Supreeze!” as you imagine me gifting them to you).
There were three things that drew me to this recipe:
- Most importantly: Chocolate
- Chia seeds
I have been in love with the combination of chocolate and cardamom ever since I first had a bite of this Polish chocolate bar:
I had discovered these bars at a specialty food store several years back. Apparently they would only stock the bars around the holidays because they claimed that it wasn’t worth the cost of importing the bars (from Poland) regularly throughout the year. Considering this, whenever my guy would ask what I wanted for Christmas, I would respond saying that all I wanted was a box of these bars to keep me going all year long.
The same year that I went gluten-free, he stocked up on these chocolate bars and stuffed them in my stocking. Sadly, I discovered that these delicious bars had a ‘May Contain’ statement for wheat. At first, I decided to take my chances and tried a piece. And I can confirm that the ‘May Contain’ statement was valid … and I have not indulged in such deliciousness since that last bite 😦
As for the chia, I explained in my naturopath post, that my “Quack” had recommended I introduce chia seeds into my diet to increase my Omega Fatty Acids
… Just curious: hands-up if you sung “Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia” as you read the word chia?? I sing it every time I pull the package out of our pantry 😀
So, when I saw the combination of chocolate, cardamom and chia I had to try this recipe out! 🙂
Chocolate Power Balls
Makes about 16 Balls (my attempt yielded 20)
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Foods vegan chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (I opted for the 1/4)
1 tablespoon of water or orange juice
- Place nuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the rest if the ingredients and whirl until the mixture begins to form a ball.
(I don’t have a food processor, so I used my blender. I threw in all the ingredients as it directed but I started to get a perimeter of nicely chopped nuts and dates, but would jam up under the blade preventing the remainder from chopping. As a result, I had to take the blender jar off several times in order to shake and stir-up the contents. When I do this recipe again, I’d use smaller amounts in the blender and then transfer it to another bowl in order to chop the rest. I also think that the intent was for the chocolate chips to be grounded into more of a powder so that I would more easily disperse … but because there was so much volume to the recipe, very few of the chocolate chips would hit the blade. At first I thought that this was a downfall of how I had executed the recipe, but after the fact I realized that I quite like having the full chocolate chips intact. I thought I would point this fact out for anyone who might want to try out this recipe).
- Remove the mixture from the food processor and put in a large bowl. Spread some waxed paper on a cookie sheet and with clean hands, form small balls (about tablespoon-size) and place them on the cookie sheet. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour to harden.
We love these! The recipe recommended that you keep the balls in the refrigerator and consume within one week. Considering that the recipe yielded 20 balls that were made on Sunday afternoon, and it’s now only Tuesday evening and there’s only 3 left …. I don’t think that will be an issue 😉
Let me know what you think if you try out this recipe!