DifficultyBeginner

These balls are a wonderful, healthy snack or even breakfast. Whether you want to call them “bites” or “balls” really depends on the size you want to make them. They are loaded with protein and dietary fibre from the nuts and dates, as well as immune strengthening properties from the chaga mushroom powder. The feedback from my taste testers is that they not only taste wonderful, but they hold them over to lunch when enjoyed for breakfast. If you prefer you can substitute unsweetened cranberries or other dried fruit for the dark cherries. If it is difficult to find coconut butter (I use this to create a silky texture) you can leave it out. When it comes to zesting citrus the best method is using a Microplane citrus grater. To create the perfect zest from citrus hold your citrus zester at about a 45 degree angle with one hand while you gently move the fruit in a downward motion on the grating surface with the other hand. Rotate the citrus so as to grate the entire surface of the fruit being careful not to grate the pith (the white part beneath the zest) as it is bitter. These bites/balls will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Prep time includes the time it takes to gently toast the hazelnuts and remove most of the hazelnuts skins.
If you do not own a food processor these can me made by hand by just chopping the nuts and dates finely and adding them to a large bowl and mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

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Yields16 Servings
Prep Time25 minsTotal Time25 mins
 1 cup heaping cup raw hazelnuts
 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
 12 -14 whole dates (preferably Medjool dates), pitted If using another date variety such as “Deglet Noir” you may need to use more dates
 3 tbsp coconut butter
 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
 zest of one large orange
 3 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 pinch sea salt
 ¾ cup dried unsweetened dark cherries, cranberries or blueberries
1

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place hazelnuts in an even layer on sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are very lightly toasted. You will know they are ready when you can start to smell the aroma of toasted nuts. Watch them carefully as nuts burn very easily. Pulse dates in food processor very briefly until they are broken down into large pieces.

2

Add the nuts and the rest of the ingredients (except the dried fruit) to your blender and pulse briefly until the mixture comes together into a dense dough. Add the dried cherries and pulse briefly to incorporate. If it is too dry to form into balls add a little water or more orange juice and pulse until the mixture comes together. Roll into 16 large balls (about golf ball size) and store them in the fridge or at room temperature. In the fridge they will stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks in a sealed container. At room temp they will stay fresh about a week or so.

Ingredients

 1 cup heaping cup raw hazelnuts
 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
 12 -14 whole dates (preferably Medjool dates), pitted If using another date variety such as “Deglet Noir” you may need to use more dates
 3 tbsp coconut butter
 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
 zest of one large orange
 3 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 pinch sea salt
 ¾ cup dried unsweetened dark cherries, cranberries or blueberries

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place hazelnuts in an even layer on sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are very lightly toasted. You will know they are ready when you can start to smell the aroma of toasted nuts. Watch them carefully as nuts burn very easily. Pulse dates in food processor very briefly until they are broken down into large pieces.

2

Add the nuts and the rest of the ingredients (except the dried fruit) to your blender and pulse briefly until the mixture comes together into a dense dough. Add the dried cherries and pulse briefly to incorporate. If it is too dry to form into balls add a little water or more orange juice and pulse until the mixture comes together. Roll into 16 large balls (about golf ball size) and store them in the fridge or at room temperature. In the fridge they will stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks in a sealed container. At room temp they will stay fresh about a week or so.

Hazelnut & Dark Cherry Energy Balls (Paleo & Whole30)