They’re vegan, gluten-free and addictive. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop eating stuff that falls in the sweet, salty and delicious category…consider this your warning.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cacao balls – I’ve previously posted these coconut-heavy energy bites, and this crunchy version with brown rice crisps, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. And while I love both of those recipes, I have to admit – these are my new favorite. If you make anything this week, let it be this! I pretty much always have some sort of quick bite similar to this in the fridge or freezer. This type of thing saves us when it comes to returning from school and work and feeling ravenous. If we need to head out for a soccer game, or spontaneously decide to ride to the beach, we never regret bringing a little food with us. They feel like a treat, but pack a good nutrient punch.
Chocolate-Pistachio Energy Balls
3/4 cup pistachios without shells
1 cup oat flour (1 cup old-fashioned oats, blended)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 TBSP coconut oil
5 – 6 TBSP pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
Put all pistachios in your food processor and pulse until you have some large pieces, some small pieces and a little bit of pistachio powder. Set aside in a bowl.
Add your cup of old-fashioned oats and blend on high until mostly a powder, though it’s fine if some larger pieces of oat remain.
Add the almond flour, coconut, cacao powder, coconut oil (no need to melt), 5 TBSP of the maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt to the food processor. A quick note about the cacao powder – this is different than cocoa powder, and is a more raw form of chocolate that happens to be a good source of magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. However, if you only have cocoa powder, that will work too.
Blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. This will likely all mix together into one giant ball that starts flying around the food processor. If your “batter” seems a bit dry, add the additional TBSP of maple syrup and blend on high again. If not, dump all of the chocolate mix into a slightly larger bowl.
Pour the pistachios in with your mixture, and use your hands to incorporate everything together. I feel like I’m kneading dough when I do this – you want to make sure there are pistachios mixed throughout.
Cover a dinner plate with parchment or wax paper.
Still using your hands, tear off small chunks and roll between your palms to create the energy balls, placing them on the parchment/wax paper as you finish. Put the plate in your freezer for 10 minutes, then pull out and transfer to a glass or plastic container or bowl that has a lid. Store in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to eat.
If you end up storing them in the freezer, be sure to give them a couple of minutes to thaw before eating. Let me know what you think of these!