Cocoa snack balls

photo: Elin B
photo: Elin B

My friend Ali, the beauty and the brains behind those sensation Au Naturel Artisan beauty and edible products (goingaunaturel.com) showed me this one. Rather, she got my husband hooked on these little pretty-good-for-you treats and I can’t make them fast enough to keep up!

There’s no set recipe, it’s kind of nice that way, you just need to follow the technique and include anything you’ve got a craving for or have on hand. You can make them into balls or bars. You can eat them while they’re still warm or you can wait for them to cool – sometimes it’s hard to wait! Once you try these you’ll see how easy and quick these are and you’ll be making your own versions all the time.

What you need:

– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 1/4 cup agave or 4 tablespoons maple syrup
– dash of vanilla
– 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder

These are approximate, I like to toss the ingredients from the container right into the sweetened coconut oil mixture:
– 1/2 cup steel cut quick oats
– 1/2 cup chia seeds
– 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (shelled)
– 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
– 1/4 cup raw almonds, slivered or crushed
– 2 pinches sea salt

You can add any seeds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans (crush nuts before adding), shaved coconut – even popcorn if you want. You can pack them with protein and make energy bars. You can make them with dried blueberries, goji berries and other superfoods for a power packed pick-up. You can really play with the flavours once you see how the sweetened coconut oil binds the ingredients together.

What you do:

On medium-low melt the coconut oil and then stir in the agave or maple syrup. Stir in the vanilla and cocoa.

Remove the pot from the heat and start tossing in pinches and small handfuls of ingredients. The oats make the balls bigger, helping the nuts and seeds to bind. You can keep adding ingredients until the mixture is thick and starts binding together. If it gets too dry, just return to heat and add a bit more coconut oil to melt – just very briefly. Keep tasting along the way. You can add a dash more sweet or more cocoa – bump up any flavour that you like.

When the mixture is nice and thick and starting to clump, you can either pour out onto a piece of wax paper on a tray or roll into balls and place on a tray.

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Put the tray in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to set.

You can eat this warm or cold. You can leave them in the freezer and the cocoa flavoured and sweetened coconut oil is chilled and hard – it’s kind of perfect for the summer heat!

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