I intensely regret making these delicious, decadent raw brownie bites – they were so fudgey and fabulous that I’ve had to hide some in the freezer so Kam and I don’t eat them all at once! I’m a sucker for anything ‘chocolate’ and these cacao snack balls are a rich-yet-healthier option for those pesky 3pm cravings. High in nutrients? Tick. Vegan, raw and paleo? Tick. Freaking delicious? Triple Tick.
Not everyone feels this way about chocolate and cacao however; as I found out recently that there is a health food store in south-east Melbourne that has banned anything cacao related from it’s shelves. I’ve been told the words “drug”, “toxin” and “dangerous” were mentioned in their reasoning. I’m no stranger to the hype, controversy, or scientific debates related to the raw cacao or cocoa industries though I wonder then if this store is also banning other foods that contain theobromine (Yerba Mate, acai, carob), caffeine (green and black tea) and other alkaloid ‘drugs’ (nightshade foods)?
I choose to view chocolate, in all it’s delicious forms, as an indulgence food. This approach is very similar to my intake of other stimulant foods (such as coffee) and I’m not going to start totally avoiding cacao or cocoa anytime soon. There’s different levels of health benefits when it comes to this mood-enhancing, stimulating food (candy bars being the least healthy of all, dark and raw chocolate being a bona fide superfood) and by making your own chocolate treats you can avoid all manner of added nasties – refined sugar, oils, artificial sweeteners (or less desirable natural ones like xylitol). If I had my way I would ban all those aforementioned ingredients from shelves.
As well as bitter, indulgent cacao, these raw brownie bites have the nutritional goodness of omega-3-rich walnuts and chia seeds, highly antioxidant goji berries and flavourful dates, maca and cinnamon. Indulge in this flavonoid and antioxidant rich treat with a little nibble as you share with friends and family, or throw your head back and cackle as you plan on how to keep them all to yourself.
- 1½ cups walnut kernels
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- ½ cup goji berries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp spring or filtered water
- Add walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and process for a few seconds until walnuts form a coarse meal.
- Add rest of ingredients (except water) to food processor and run until a crumbly dough has been formed. Using fingers to 'pinch' dough together, checking it if will stick together. If mixture is too dry then add water, a little at a time and process again for a few seconds, until it holds together
- Take tablespoon amounts of dough and use hands to roll into balls. Enjoy, or store in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week.