I’ve always been a bit wary of faddy eating, and I had thought that raw food diets were just such a thing. I quite like cooking my food, thank you very much. However I also believe everything in moderation, so when I heard about raw balls (apart from wincing and giggling) I thought I’d give them a go. Anything to cut down sugar intake and make sweet-tooth indulgence a little healthier, right?
Apparently a raw food diet can help your skin and hair, give you energy, aid weight loss, improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease. Not to mention giving you x-ray vision and a sense of humour, so I suppose adopting a few raw food habits can’t be bad…
I was going to call this “easiest ever raw balls” but I doubt you can really quantify just how easy a recipe like this is (In fact the hardest part of this recipe was obtaining dates and dessicated coconut) so I settled for raw balls that are still enjoyable despite the obscene lack of sugar.
As you might have read in my most recent Two Month Triathlon post I’ve been enjoying these as a replenishing post-run snack to boost energy and give a little sweetness kick. They’re also great for curbing sweet cravings after meals too – just take it easy on them. They’re healthy but they’re no less calorific than chocolates, but as far as I’m concerned, if I’ve just run a few kilometers I deserve a treat. I want it to taste like a treat.
Each balls is approx 90 calories but they’re completely natural so they’re 90 guilt free calories.
You can change the ingredients in these as long as you stick to the dates because they’re basically the glue.
200g pitted dates
handful walnut pieces
handful dried cranberries
2 tbsp sultanas or raisins
1tbsp cocoa powder (I don’t know if Bourneville is strictly raw, but you can be as hardcore as you like)
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
Now are you ready for the instructions? It’s super simple.
Put everything except for the coconut into a blender and blitz it up until it forms a massive clump. You’ll know what I mean when it happens because it’ll look like this.
Remove it all from the blender and pinch off bits, roll them into balls and roll the balls through the dessicated coconut.
Bung them in the freezer – they never set solid so the best way to enjoy is right from the freezer because that stops them going soggy.
You can adjust the amount of cocoa to make it more or less chocolatey, and you can add or change different nuts or fruits – dark cherries instead of cranberries make the balls taste a bit boozy, like rum truffles. I’ve also tried a batch adding natural peppermint extract which is quite lovely, and plan to make my next batch with fresh grated ginger.
I left 12 of these in the fridge when I left for my Mum’s this Saturday, and I returned home on Monday to find just 2 left. They’re obviously that good.