Raw Vegan Cacao Date Balls

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-1-13-04-pmWhether you’re vegan, gluten-free, fully raw or just aiming to pack your diet with nutrient rich superfoods, you will surely love this healthy treat! I wanted to make this recipe more minimal and simple, so I used only Dates, Cacao, Coconut Oil and Coconut Shreds. The recipe could even be made without the coconut shreds, but they are a nice touch for the outside layer of the balls.Many people like to add almonds or cashews to the mix. Of course you can add more ingredients and experiment to your heart’s desire!

Recipe:

5-7  Dates

1 1/2 Tbsp. Cacao Powder

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp Coconut shreds

*Make sure to purchase Cacao powder rather than “Cocoa”. The brands that I like to use are Natierra or Navitas Naturals.

  1. Make sure to get pitted dates, or take the pits out yourself if you prefer.
  2. Place all of these ingredients into your food processor and blend.
  3. Blend until it becomes  smooth & dough like.
  4. Take it out and roll into balls (any size you like!)
  5. You can roll them in the extra coconut shreds, or roll them in cacao for the outside coating.

Enjoy!

Depending on how decadent you want them to be, you can experiment with the Cacao to Date ratio. In the ratio I listed above,  they came out tasting like a gourmet dessert. If you always loved licking the brownie batter as a kid, then you might like to add more cacao!  If you want them to taste more like a snack, you can add less cacao and more dates. Regardless of the amount you use, it recommended to consume no more than 40 grams or four teaspoons in a day.

The benefits of cacao are abundant. Containing the “bliss molecule” anandamide, cacao is a safe way to increase bliss and euphoria in your daily life! In fact, the name of the cacao tree is Theobroma, which comes from the greek roots Theo (God) and Broma (food) or “Food of the Gods”.

In a 1 oz. (28 gram) serving Cacao contains:

  • Antioxidants
  • Magnesium
  • Iron- 10% Daily Value
  • Calcium- 4% Daily Value
  • Fiber- 10g, 40% Daily Value
  • Protein- 8g, 16% Daily Value

For some more detailed information on the benefits of cacao, you can visit Daily Superfood Love!

benefits_of_cacao_infographic_daily_superfood_love

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Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

REMINDER! Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st I REPEAT, this SUNDAY!  I am sure that we all remembered and have extravagant plans for the fathers in your lives, but for those of us that are too busy to even remember what day it is, let’s do something special! Nothing feels better than doing something memorable for the dads that helped us fix a flat tire on our cars, taught us how to tie our shoes, and told us that we were ready to take off our training wheels (even when we thought we weren’t ready). A vegetarian/vegan meal will be different and adventurous for our dads on their special day. Cooking is always a thoughtful and caring gesture, especially when it’s made mindfully, like these recipes below. If your dad likes to order a big burger or a steak every time he goes out to dinner, these vegan sliders and portabella veggie burger recipes may just be a nice switch up for those carnivore dads.

Veggie Quinoa Slidersoriginal-201305-r-crispy-quinoa-sliders
Ingredients
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced (~3/4 cup)
  • 6 button or baby bella mushrooms, diced (~1 1/4 cups)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney (or black) beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ~1/2 cup raw walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal (divided)
Instructions
  1. Slowly sauté, the onion to a large skillet seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  2. When the onions are soft turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add beans and mash. You’re looking for a rough mash. Taste and add another pinch of salt, or pepper if needed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, chili powder and stir. Lastly, add the walnuts a little at a time until the mixture is thick and malleable enough to form into patties. Pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool and preheat your oven to 375. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  5. Once chilled, form into small patties.
  6. Arrange on the baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil and another pinch of black pepper. Bake at 375 for a total of 40-45 minutes, flipping around the 20-minute mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary. For a quicker option, form into thinner patties (1/4 inch) and brown in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat lightly coated with olive oil. Cook until brown on both sides – 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve on small buns or atop mixed greens with desired toppings.

Or check out this delicious portabella burger recipe from Lori over at wonderful and yummy Kitchen Whisperer 🙂

Portabella Veggie Burger

Ingredients
  • 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided
  • 1 cup minced broccoli, fresh only
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 XL eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl Panko or Gluten Free Panko
  • 1 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire *for full vegetarian style use one that does not contain anchovies
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan *Look for vegan Parmesan cheese if you do not eat animal products or nutritional yeast for extra health benefits
  • Olive oil
 Instructions20140205-veggie-burger-toronto
  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are OK).
  2. Add in the mushrooms, the rest of the beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.
  3. Mix just until coated.
  4. Add in the eggs, cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.
  5. Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2 Tbl of oil.
  6. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a Tbl more of bread crumbs.
  7. Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
  8. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce

Not only will these meals be delicious, they will be beneficial to our dads’ heart health and keep them feeling young and energized!

Tip: don’t mention the word vegetarian or vegan to those meat loving dads – that sometimes sways their opinion before even tasting. Have them taste and then surprise them 🙂