no-bake cacao superfood energy bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
These bites are the bomb, they're naturally gluten-free, grain-free, egg & dairy-free, paleo, vegan and don't contain any refined sugars! They also take 10 minutes to make from start to finish, and are totally kid approved!
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Recipe type: after school snacks
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder -I love this brand from TruVibe
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 16-18 soft Medjool dates, pitted - I like the consistency of 18 dates, as the bites are moister - Make sure your dates are soft and fresh, hard dates will not work well in this recipe
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup brazil nuts, coarsely chopped - you can add in any type of nut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed - chia seeds do not add any flavor, but lend a great crunch which my kids love!
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, add in the walnuts and process until a crumbly texture is formed (about 15-20 seconds).
  2. Add in cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine.
  3. With the machine running, slowly add in the dates, a few at a time, through the feed tube, so they can fully incorporate into the mixture. Make sure that the dates are blended into the mixture before you add more. Process until all of the dates are incorporated into the mixture.
  4. The cacao mixture should resemble brownie crumbs at this point. You can test the mixture by pressing it in-between your fingers. It should easily stick together and you should be able to easily mold it into a ball, if not, then add more dates, but if you use 16-18 dates, your mixture should be perfect!
  5. Transfer the cacao batter to a medium-sized bowl and add in shredded coconut, chopped brazil nuts and chia seeds. You can't use a spoon to incorporate the coconut, chia seeds and nuts into the batter, so you will need to use your hands! Oh, but it's fun, and a great way to get your kids involved as well.
  6. Get your hands in there and mix everything together really well! It's almost like playing with play dough. You can totally eat this batter as well because there are no eggs, so nibble away.
  7. Now, you can do whatever you want with this cacao mixture You can roll it into little balls, (think chocolate truffles), roll it out and use small cookie cutters to make shapes, or press it into a parchment-lined pan, and then cut it into little bite sized pieces once cooled. You can also divide the batter in half. One time, I used half the batter for bars and then made some cute little "kid friendly" balls with the other half. I didn't put nuts or chia seeds into the "kid friendly" balls. I just kept them plain and simple and then rolled them in some unsweetened coconut, as it not only adds great texture and taste, but helps with the overall presentation. Note: The chia seeds will not add any flavor nor will they expand, all they add is a nice crunchy texture, which is really cool, and my kids happen to love the crunch!
  8. I've done it all, but my favorite way is to take the mixture and press it down into a parchment lined 8x8 pan. I like the height of the bites, and the fact that I can cut them into whatever size is needed. Plus it's just super easy to take the mixture, press it down into one pan, cover and be done with it! Line the inside of an 8-inch, or 9-inch square baking pan (or whatever pan/dish you choose) with 2 lengths of parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan.
  9. Take the cacao mixture and press it down into the parchment lined pan using your hands or a spatula.I always top the cacao mixture with a piece of parchment when molding the it into the pan, as it can be sticky. The batter will look a bit shiny due to the oil from the dates.I always sprinkle some unsweetened coconut over the top of the cacao mixture to help with the overall presentation! Cover and place the cacao mixture into the refrigerator to cool for a couple of hours, (or freezer to have them cool faster) as the bites taste better when cooled and are easier to cut.
  10. Cover and place the cacao mixture in the refrigerator to cool for a couple of hours, (or freezer to have them cool faster) as the bites taste better when cooled and are easier to cut.
  11. Once cooled, lift the parchment paper and cacao mixture out of the pan, and cut it into bite sized bars or squares.cacao bites cut into squares.
  12. Storage: Wrap the cacao bites up tightly in the parchment paper and then with a layer of tin foil, or store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. Bars will keep fresh for up to one week, but they won't last that long.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at https://marinmamacooks.com/2016/02/no-bake-cacao-superfood-energy-bites/