Monday, October 10, 2011
Fig, Nut, and Cocoa Snack Balls
aka Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free Delicious Balls of (Chocolate) Energy Deliciousness.
I've recently transitioned to a lifestyle with no dairy, no wheat, no corn (amongst a list of other foods like peanut butter, coffee, and eggplant... yikes). As the girl who would usually eat everything, sure I used to wake up lethargic or miserable-feeling at times, but little did I know that it was the gluten, sugar, and dairy. It took three days of juices to have a small aha moment -- and then this new transition.
I feel amazing -- and even more interesting, my cravings for chocolate and sugar have diminished (though when I'm tired, I crave rice, ricecakes, and almond butter. Whoa).
This past weekend was a crazy one -- from my first run (ok, jog/walk) in three months since injuring my hip, to kayaking, swimming, floating, and getting caught in a near-death experience in a massive thunderstorm -- but an unforgettable one. The epitome of summer in 36 hours. But in between our activities, I could have used a little sweet and nutty (chocolaty?!) pick me up. Yes, I resisted the brownies and ice cream and cookies (I didn't resist. I didn't want, honestly) but that craving came back to bite me this evening when making a no-cook recipe. Blame it on my light dinner and my 15-minute jog this am (yay!). Granola meets brownies meets peanut butter cups -- but with no added sugar, dairy, wheat. Could I do it? Yup.
These little balls of energy are easy to meet and even better to eat. You could make them with dates and peanuts or pistachios, but those are both on my no list. Figs are a favorite of mine, and they remind me of Fig Newtons (I just like the filling). Throw in some almond butter for protein and unsweetened cocoa powder for added antioxidant power and you've got a dessert your kids will love, don't require you to turn on the oven or any other appliance, and will satsify your hankering for something sweet.
1 cup Calimyrna figs, moist and trimmed
1 cup almond butter, room temperature or warmed if possible
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil, if needed
1 teaspoon agave syrup, if desired
In a Cuisinart, chop figs until finely diced. Add the almond butter and cocoa and blend well. Season with a pinch of salt, and add olive oil if you need the mixture to be more soft. Add optional agave. Blend well and chill. Roll 1 tablespoon-sized balls in between palms. Chill or freeze and serve.
Makes about 20-25 balls