Great Balls of Power! (Chocolate Lara Bar wannabe)

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I love pinterest and am constantly searching for new things to try. I came across Lara Bar inspired goodies. Most are gluten, dairy, and soy free. They also do not contain any added refined sugars. But these allergen free tags can change depending on what you add in.

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The recipe I found first contained dates. I can’t stand the look of dates. The first time I saw one, my mother-in-law had brought over a huge container filled with these creepy looking things. As she was eating them, she offered me one and I just made a face and told her I couldn’t eat anything that reminded me of a cockroach. I ruined her snack right then and there. But look at them. They look like a big, fat roach. My immediate reaction is to step on it.

I’ve put these thoughts aside, since they are going to be puréed anyway and because of all the nutritional value these little critters have. They are high in fiber, contain iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and essential vitamins, such as, A and K. They are a source of energy (hence the name, PowerBalls), low on the glycemic index and easy to digest. One of the most interesting facts I found about dates were that they contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties. They are also composed of antioxidants such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants have the ability to protect cells in the body from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Eating dates offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. …impressive little guys, aren’t they?

So, now you know. Dates ROCK, even though they look like a roach…

Power-balls recipe

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Ingredients:

– 1 1/3 c. Pitted dates, halved (always check for seeds. You don’t want to lose a tooth)

– 1 c. Almonds, raw

– 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1/4 c. Unsweetened coconut flakes, optional

– 2-4 tbsp. water ( I used espresso! Coffee works well, too)

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– pinch of salt

Hardware: 

Food processor

Method:

1. Using a food processor (this will not work in a blender!), add all ingredients EXCEPT water or liquid of choice.

2. Set on high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until a grainy-like crumble.

3. Using a spatula, scrape sides during the pulsing period.

4. Add water or liquid one tbsp at a time until you reach the right consistency. It will begin to form like a ball. The texture should be thick and not sticky. If it is sticky, you may have added too much liquid and may need to add more almonds and pulse again. Should look similar to this consistency.

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5. Roll into balls, or shape into bars, or pull our your cookie cutters and go to town.

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6. Eat and refrigerate.

The taste: To be perfectly honest, they are chewy and chocolatey like a brownie. You will think you are being bad… Who knew being bad could feel this good? … A Breakfast Club movie line. (:

I have been making these “Powerballs” like crazy. Sometimes 2-3 times a week. I’ve taken them to meetings, family gatherings, and to several of the schools that I work for. Everyone who tries them hesitate when I tell them what’s in it, but are madly in LOVE with them once they try them. I’ve had several of my friends make them. Here’s my pal, Daryle, making balls. (:

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I’m hoping I can get more of my friends to send pics of them and their balls to post. … I know you just laughed. I know I did.

Hope you enjoy!

Want more variations of these balls? Click here.

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