Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chocolate Chia Coconut Energy Bites


So... sometimes I do this thing. I discover a food I haven't tried (sardines, say, or kombucha), get excited, and the next time I'm at the store, I buy some. I bring it home, and it sits and sits and sits in the cupboard. Every time I open it to get something normal, the new thing stares at me, as if to say, "Excuse me, ma'am, did you just buy me for fun? I am food, you know. EAT ME! EAT ME!!!"

In the case of the sardines, this is doubly disturbing.

(Just a thought: when in doubt, don't buy at Costco.)

A while ago, I read this fabulous book about barefoot ultrarunning. It has inspired me to do a few things, namely buy these goofy-looking (but totally awesome) running shoes, make some unbelievable pancakes with rice, bananas, and yogurt mixed into the batter, and buy a bag of chia seeds, which sat and stared for more than a year before I tried them (in this smoothie).


Chia seeds are a source of complete protein, so they keep you full. They form a magical chewy gel covering (I'm sorry, it doesn't sound appetizing, but if you like tapioca, you understand) when mixed with liquids. They are full of omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber. They can be mixed into juices or baked goods easily, to add extra staying power and nutrition. And who doesn't want to incorporate an Aztec Superfood into their diet?


These energy bites are made entirely of good-for-you, whole, clean foods, and hey, and did I mention they are delicious? You know I am not going to recommend something to you that is healthy but tastes like feet. Chocolate! Sweet and chewy dates! Coconut! Good.

For breakfast or as an afternoon snack, these tiny bites will help you go forth and conquer your day! (I think that's the Aztec superfood talking...)


Chocolate Chia Coconut Energy Bites

Makes about 18 golf-ball-sized bites

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup firmly packed pitted dates
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

In a food processor, pulse the cashews until no large pieces remain, but be careful not to pulse it into dust (or cashew butter!). Add the dates and continues to process until the mixture seems to be uniformly minced and starts sticking together. If your dates are on the drier side (mine were), you may need to add anywhere from a teaspoon to a couple of tablespoons of hot water to get them to break down. (You can also soak them in hot water before beginning, but if you haven't planned ahead, this is a great way to problem-solve.) At this point, the mixture should hold together if you pinch it between your fingers. Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds, chocolate chips, and coconut and continue to pulse until well-incorporated.

Scoop out the dough into about 2-tablespoon-sized balls and roll between your palms. For added fancy-ness (or to fool yourself into thinking you're eating truffles), roll the balls in cocoa powder.

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