These have become a go-to recipe for me for all types of events. They are quick, delicious and so easy to make. I like to play with different flavors. Last night I added fresh ginger and cayenne pepper for a Christmas party pot-luck winner! And did I mention they are raw*, vegan and gluten-free?

  • 1 1/3 cup cacao powder, divided
  • 1 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 5 dried dates
  • optional: fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, coconut flakes, ground nuts, fresh fruit
  1. Combine 1 cup cacao, sweetener and coconut oil in a food processor until mixed thoroughly. (If using additional fruit, superfood powder, or ginger add as well.)
  2. Transfer to bowl and chill in fridge until chocolate mixture has hardened, at least one hour.
  3. In a small bowl place 1/3 cup cacao powder. (If using sea salt, cayenne, ground nuts, or ground coconut flakes combine here.)
  4. Using a small melon baller create chocolate balls and dust in cacao powder to create a light coating. If you don’t have a melon baller coat your hands with coconut oil and roll them yourself. I promise they will still taste just as good even if they are not perfect balls.

*A note about raw food: Many food bloggers and chefs differ in their opinions of raw chocolate and sweeteners. Generally “raw” chocolate refers to pure unprocessed cacao pods, although if you want to get technical most cacao pods have been roasted, and before roasting they are fermented, which if done traditionally raises the temperature to above 115F. So there is very little real “raw” chocolate. Agave and brown rice syrup are slightly processed and so not considered raw by purists. Maple syrup is unprocessed, but it is heated. So take these raw balls with a grain of salt – preferably pink himalayan.

**Photo credit to Ever Jean under Creative Commons License.