Chocolate balls are a very simple, healthy and delicious way to use up leftover pulp from making Raw Almond Milk (my previous post). With only three main ingredients to combine, they are ready in just a few minutes. These chocolate balls are not overly chocolatey and sweet, but are decadent enough to make you want more. There is no added sugar and they are gluten-free too. They make a great snack or dessert and if you pack them in a nice little box they make a wonderful gift.
The star of this recipe is the almond pulp, not only for its finely ground texture but also for its invaluable health benefits. Almonds are among the most nutritious nuts (although they're technically seeds).
They provide less calories than other nuts but a higher nutrient density. What makes them stand out is that while they provide high quality, highly absorbable protein, they're also the best source of vitamin E and B2 among nuts. Almonds are also an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (along with hazelnuts they have the lowest saturated fat content). They pack an impressive amount of minerals, better even than spinach: high levels of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium. They also contain flavonoids with important antioxidant properties and phytosterols that help lower the LDL cholesterol. Soaking the amonds for a minimum of 6 hours makes them tastier and more easily digestible. The phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the nutrients are more easily absorbed.
For added heath benefits use raw cacao powder. I still had some processed organic cocoa powder so I used that. For the amazing benefits of dates please read my Raw Brownies post.
- 1 3/4 cups almond pulp (I removed the skin after soaking the almonds but you can leave it on while making the milk)
- 3/4 cup soft dates (12-13)
- 5-6 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp rum essence (or use pure rum)
Cut the dates in half, remove the pits and finely chop them (if you have a high-powder food processor you don't need to chop them). Blend until they turn into a paste; stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the processor.
Add the almond pulp, cocoa powder and rum essence and blend until well combined. Again you may need to scrape down the sides so it's all mixed well.
Transfer to a bowl and mix by hand for a minute until it all comes together. The mixture is only very slightly sticky. Form a big ball, that way you don't have to keep chasing crumbs in the bowl.
The chocolate balls taste great once made, but they're much better after being refrigerated for at least an hour. They become firmer, the flavours are more intense and their consistency is almost fudgy. To make them even more fudgy, dry the almond pulp in a dehydrator (or oven) and use a few more dates and a bit more cocoa powder.
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