Festive chocolate orange balls
I’ve been making these energy balls for about five or six years; every time they’re slightly different and when someone asks me for the recipe I smile because I have no idea of the quantities I used because I make them on autopilot (!). Depending on what ingredients we have in I pop a combination in the food processor, roll them up and they go into the freezer for portable healthy snacking occasions throughout the week.
This particular pairing of chocolate and orange got more ‘mmmmm’s’ and ‘yummmmms’ than usual so I re-made them so I could share the exact recipe with you so you can enjoy them in your casa (Spanish for home) as well.
Make a big batch because they freeze perfectly and unless you have a husband named Tom Dyer who doesn’t allow them to stay in the freezer for very long (!) because he always discovers my stash (!!), but in theory they’re a brilliant snack to have in the house for when you just fancy something sweet, but you don’t want to get down the chocolate bar route.
If you’re wondering how long they keep for in the freezer, then I can honestly say ‘I don’t know’ because they just don’t last that long in my house to be able to do a shelf life test (!) but my guess would be a month or two.
Enjoy one or two balls with a cup of tea, sit down, enjoy a moment to yourself and appreciate the flavours, the colours, the zestiness from the orange peel and the indulgent feel from the pairing of raw cacao and dates. It delivers the most chocolatey ball of heaven and served with a cup of vanilla chai tea (Pukka is my favourite brand for this tea) if you’re anything like me you’ll catch yourself having a ‘can life get any better than this?’ moment!
When you have a stash of these tucked away in your freezer you really don’t need a chocolate bar because these chocolate orange balls hit the sweet spot, they taste just as indulgent but they contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, essential fats, plant protein and antioxidants so they do your body good, whilst tasting beyond good.
Once you’ve made them a handful of times your confidence will grow, and you’ll begin to get creative with the nut, seed, dried fruit and spice combination you use and you can customise them according to what you taste buds, but more realistically if you’re anything like me, the thing that will steer the combination will be what you have in the cupboards! We always have cacao, ground cinnamon, a couple of different nuts, local honey and sometimes dates so this is usually my base, and then I’ll throw in whatever else I have.
10 dates, stones removed (preferably Medjool dates as they are much more moist, if you can’t use Medjool dates then soak regular dates in hot water for 2-3 minutes to allow them to soften and then discard the water before using)
1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Add the nuts to a food processor and blend until they resemble a breadcrumb-like consistency.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend. The mixture should now be clumping together. If it isn’t, add a touch more coconut oil.
- Roll 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture into golf ball sized balls using your hands and set aside. Repeat for the rest of the mix.
- Pop the rolled balls in the fridge for an hour/ freezer for 10 minutes or eat them as they are with a cuppa.
These were a handful of my favourite photos from our Beach Clean last weekend here on the island (Menorca). There’s a an organisation called the Menorca Preservation Fund which is looking to raise awareness and support the implementation of governmental changes that involve all things sustainability-related on the island so they organised their first beach clean in October 2018 which we Tom and I got involved with along with our amazing Menorcan Retreat retreaters who were enjoying four days of island time with us. In amongst the yoga, the hikes, the cooking workshops and the sunrise bootcamps we squeezed in a couple of hours to give back to the island and remove some of the plastic from its beaches.
I hope you LOVE the balls and they make an appearance in your lunch box or they keep you company on the sofa with a cuppa or on beach cleanups as healthy fuel to keep you and your party happy.