Last week I was back in my kitchen to try a new recipe, but this time there was no baking involved. I made these no-bake almond butter and cacao balls which were absolutely delicious! Almond and Cacao balls are protein-packed bites that you can prepare in bulk and keep in your fridge or freezer for whenever you want an energy boost or a chocolate craving hits.
I love snacks that taste good, but are also easy to make. These chocolate balls require no baking and just five whole, healthy ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder, almond butter and a pinch of salt.
Always choose almond butter that is made 100% from almonds (no added salt, palm oil or artificial additives). I know, the good stuff can be expensive, especially if you buy it in small jars in the supermarket. What I try to do is to buy my favourite nut butter in bulk, either at a health store like Holland & Barrett or online. My favourite is Meridian nut butter which comes in 1kg buckets.
Naturally, this recipe works well with any nut butter: cashew, hazelnut, peanut*… pick your favourite!
*remember that peanuts are not paleo
Almond butter and cacao balls are delicious snacks. They are packed with proteins and made without refined sugar, so it’s a healthy energy boost (perfect to eat after a run or gym workout).
This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo…. you know where I’m going with this, right? It’s all very “clean”…
Yes, energy bites and raw balls have become super popular with the “clean eating” trend of the last few years. I never really bought into this trend, although I like to experiment with different ingredients, so I have often used coconut oil and maple syrup as substitutes for butter and sugar in my recipes. I love how these ingredients taste!
Recently I came across Melissa Hemsley’s Happiness Balls and I was sold into the whole energy ball thing. Say energy bites and I’m like…meh; tell me it’s a gooey chocolatey dessert and I’m all over it!
I followed Melissa’s recipe with a few small changes. I doubled the doses and made them as a dessert to bring to a party at the weekend.
I also kept some of the balls at home and stored them in the freezer. Now I can eat it one of these yummy cacao balls anytime I want (those after dinner sweet cravings…). As they are so easy to make, I am sure I will keep stocking my freezer with them.
If you plan to make these almond butter and cacao balls for a special occasion, like a party, make sure they don’t remain outside of the fridge for too long. The coconut oil will soften quickly turning the balls melt into an unflattering blob. Don’t ever try to bring them to an outdoor picnic…
The almond butter and cacao balls are at their best when they are firm and chilled from the fridge.
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 8 tbsp smooth almond butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- cocoa powder
- desiccated coconut
- chopped roasted hazelnuts
- chopped pistachios
- freeze-dried raspberries
- crushed biscuits
In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder, almond butter and salt. Fold with a spatula until well incorporated. Place the bowl in the fridge to set for about 1-2 hours.
Line a tray with baking paper. Take the mixture out of the fridge, then use a tablespoon or a cookie batter scoop to form small round balls.
Prepare your chosen toppings on separate flat plates. Roll the balls in the dry toppings until covered on all sides. Place on the prepared tray and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.