These mini chocolate energy balls that feature raw cacao powder, cashew and coconut oil are the perfect healthy treat you deserve on a Valentine’s Day! Not to mention they are raw vegan, dairy-free and sugar-free – and they take up maximum 5 minutes of your time.
Before anything else, I’d like to tell you a few words about the source. Those amazing mini chocolate energy balls are inspired from the book Eat & Run written by the famous American ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek.
Have you heard of him? Noooooo? Ok, then you might wonder what’s so special about this book.
You see Scott Jurek’s book is one of those few books that have changed my life – teaching me to press on through anything. Among a few things, I also realized after reading his book that limits are all in our heads.
His remarkable story is a reminder that, no matter how far you go, every day’s run is a journey of discovery and the chance to explore what’s possible in both sport and life.
Incredible stories of endurance, as well as practical advice for runners including his own favorite vegan recipes, Eat & Run will motivate most of you to “go the distance” whether that means getting out for your first run, expanding your food horizons, or simply put exploring the limits of your own potential.
In this book, you will be able to find over twenty vegan recipes covering a wide range from pre-workout smoothies to sweeter desserts.
Although I am not vegan, I found most of his recipes very inspiring. And I must say that reading Scott’s journey was highly inspiring, and being an aspiring endurance runner, reading of people having the same trouble at mile 50 that I have at mile 10 is for me encouraging.
What Scott Jurek says about those mini chocolate energy balls:
“A good meal – like a good story – deserves a satisfying ending. The natural caffeine in the raw cacao nibs delivers a jolt and the subtle blend of chili flakes and cinnamon will gratify the most demanding dessert lover.”
In his recipe, Scott Jurek uses raw cacao nibs, mesquite, and vanilla powder, but I couldn’t find them in the natural food store, so I had to slightly adapt it. Instead of raw cacao nibs, I chose cacao powder. I hope you are not one of those people who crave chocolate and avoid all of it because they think it’s fattening and unhealthy. Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 81-85% contains a lot less sugar than plain or milk chocolate.
The problem is not the cacao itself, again it’s the damn SUGAR!
In fact, cacao powder, which comes from the cacao bean, is highly nutritious, and it can provide numerous health benefits like helping to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, lower high blood pressure and boost memory performance. It also provides essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.
These mini chocolate energy balls are both a delicious dessert and an energy booster, perfect for a fit and healthy Valentine’s Day, after-dinner relaxation or even for going on a long run.
Talking about long runs, you can imagine that first I had to try it myself. So yesterday, before my usual long run, I ate one of those magic booster chocolate balls. How did I do? Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind.
This is all you need:
- - ½ cup raw cacao powder nibs
- - ½ cup raw cashew
- - 8 medium dates
- - 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- - ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- - 2 tsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid consistency)
- Combine all the ingredients except the coconut oil in a food processor and process for a few minutes until chopped to a fine texture.
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the melted coconut oil and stir until well combined.
- Form into 1-inch round balls and place them on waxed paper ideally (baking paper will do just fine too) and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer them to an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from the book Eat & Run by Scott Jurek