The next time you feel stressed, head to the kitchen and whip up a batch of these delicious and healthy cacao bites. Cacao is the secret behind chocolate’s health benefits.
Did you know that chocolate may improve memory function, immunity and elevate your mood? The cacao bean is packed with antioxidants – nature’s little defense mechanisms that help the human body fight free radicals, improve heart health and boost our immune system. Its polyphenols, in particular, help combat memory loss and gum disease.
Treating yourself is so much easier now that there’s a scientific reason to indulge! But remember, the darker the chocolate the better, as it means less milk and sugar and more of the healthy cacao. Our cacao bites recipe features raw cacao powder and fresh dates making it a delicious and nutritious snack!
Cacao is loaded with magnesium, iron, and flavonoids, which makes it a perfect addition to your diet. Flavonoids, mainly epicatechin and catechin, found in cacao are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, with mechanisms that are beneficial for brain and heart health. Flavonoid-rich cacao may increase the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood, and lower blood pressure.
Dates are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain the building blocks for a balanced and healthy diet such as calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. Dates are high in fiber which is vital for digestive health. Just one date contains 6% of the recommended daily intake. They contain a high amount of natural sugars with a low glycemic index, making it a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Make these bites in bulk and have them on hand anytime you’re looking for a pick-me up or a healthy alternative to a sweet snack.
Spiced Cacao Date Bites Recipe
Serving size: 20 bites
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour in fridge
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- A pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups pitted dates (about 30 dates)
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Add the coconut and almonds to a food processor. Blend 1-2 minutes, or until finely chopped
3. Add the coconut oil, cacao powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla. Blend until combined into paste. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
4. Measure about a tablespoon for each ball. Roll and shape the mixture until it forms uniform balls. Place the balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and refrigerate until it is more solidified.
CHEF’S NOTE: If you don’t have almonds on hand, substitute your favorite nut or seed like walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, or sesame seeds. For a fun serving idea, before refrigerating, roll each bite in shredded coconut, sesame seeds, cacao powder, or finely chopped nuts!