Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chocolate balls– simple. easy. vegan. and gluten free.


It’s hard for me to pass up anything that’s chocolate flavored. Chocolate donuts? Yes please! Brownie? Always! As a result, I’m always looking for healthier options to satisfy my chocolate and sweet tooth cravings. When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, it seemed easy enough that I should at least give it a try. Worst case – I don’t like it and never make it again. Best case – I’ve found a healthier substitute and made my contribution to the chocolate and sweet lovers world! I think they’re going to thank me. What’s even better – these are vegan and gluten free. I know a lot of people out there who belong to one of these categories for some reason or the other. So yes they’re going to thank me too!

After all this cost-benefit analysis I bought all the ingredients – actually just two. Almond butter and hazelnuts. Dates we always keep in our pantry. Then these two ingredients sat in my home for almost a month or so. Getting familiar with each other while I was busy with my life. Every day I would see the almond butter sitting at the back of the refrigerator and think to myself “Oh! I need to make the brownie bites”. Then finally I decided I need to make them before the ingredients expired.

Let me tell you – they’re so delicious! It’s hard to stop at one! It makes me feel good that there’s no added sugar. Only wholesome ingredients. Nutrition information: Protein: 3g; Fiber: 3g; Carbohydrates: 12g; Sugars: 9g; Fat: 7g. Calories: 111.


  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 12 whole medjool dates, pitted
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat. Add the hazelnuts to it in a single layer. Roast them for 10 minutes. Let cool. Rub them with your fingers to remove the skins. Don’t worry if some of them still have the skins.
  3. Reserve 20 hazelnuts. Pulse the rest in the food processor till they’re finely chopped. Keep aside.
  4. Pulse the dates in the food processor till it forms a paste. Add the almond butter, water, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Pulse till well combined.
  5. Divide the mixture into 20 portions.
  6. Roll each portion around 1 whole hazelnut (reserved in step 3). Roll the ball in your hands to smoothen the surface. Roll it next into the finely chopped hazelnuts.
  7. Chill until firm, around 30 minutes.

Note: Store in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.

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