If you like chocolate and a crunchy bite, you will love these crunchy chocolate bites.
I got totally obsessed with them lately and we just can’t get enough of these.
They’re easy and quick to make, although you need to patiently wait for about one hour until they set in the fridge. Or you can speed up this painful step by freezing the chocolate bites for 30 minutes.
So what makes these little chocolate bites so exceptional?
- High protein
- High fat (only the good ones!)
- Easy to make
- No bake
- Low carb
- Refined sugar-free
- Addictive ;-)
The only downside is they "melt" pretty quickly, so you can’t take them on the go or put them in your kids’ school bags. Always store them chilled and have them straight out of the fridge.
We love having them for a pick-me-up snack or dessert. But honestly, we could have them for breakfast as well ;-).
A few words about the ingredients
Unlike what many think, these chocolate balls are not made with melted chocolate. In fact, you start by making your own homemade (dairy-free) chocolate by melting the following ingredients:
- Coconut oil: a true superfood with many proven health benefits such as improving cholesterol levels, protecting hair and skin, and promoting weight loss. What makes coconut particularly unique is its high content of the medium-chained fatty acid called lauric acid. This health-promoting fat – which is only equally abundant in human breast milk – has potent antiviral and antibacterial benefits
- Almond butter: an excellent source of protein and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It’s also high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. And in antioxidants and vitamin E.
- Raw cacao powder: bursting with flavonoids which are extremely powerful antioxidants. It also contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur.
- Pure maple syrup: Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese which is important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Two tablespoons of maple syrup provide almost 40% of our daily needs of this important trace mineral. It is also high in zinc, which is great to keep your immune system in shape and can benefit skin problems such as acne. Be aware that maple syrup is high in sugar, mostly glucose, containing about 12g per tablespoon. So just like any sweetener, use sparingly. In this recipe I use only 4 tablespoons of maple syrup for about 20 bites, so no need to worry about the amount of sugar in each bite.
- Vanilla extract: natural vanilla extract is high in antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin, protecting us from harmful free radicals. Vanillin is also good for our liver, is believed to have cholesterol-lowering benefits, and has anti-inflammatory effects
Then you simply add chopped nuts and seeds for an extra nutrient and protein boost (and for a delicious crunch of course), and stir everything together.
You don’t even need a food processor for this recipe. Just one little pan and a cutting board will do.
Although these chocolate bites are made with whole healthy ingredients only and just a hint of sugar (maple syrup) per bite, they should still be considered a “treat”. Well as a matter of fact you’ll notice it’s hard to overeat these power balls, because you’ll feel naturally satiated after a few bites due to the high amount of fat and protein. Exactly the way nature has intended it to be ;-).
- 90 ml (3 oz.) maple syrup
- 120 g (4.2 oz.) almond butter
- 4 tbsp. raw cacao powder
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- Optional: a pinch of high quality salt
- 1 cup mixed nuts (I always use 1/3 cashews*, 1/3 almonds, 1/3 pecan), chopped
- ½ cup sunflower seeds (about 80 g, 2.8 oz.)
*Note: I like to use oven-roasted cashews for a stronger flavor and crunchier texture. Just bake them for about 15 minutes at 180° C (356° F) or until golden brown.
1. Chop the nuts (not the seeds) using a chef’s knife or a food processor.
2. In a pan, combine maple syrup, almond butter, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt if using. Heat gently over low heat, stirring regularly, until you obtain a smooth texture.
3. Away from the heat, add the chopped nuts and seeds and stir until well combined.
4. Using a spoon (I use a round measuring tablespoon), form bites and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. The mixture is pretty sticky and it helps to slightly wet your spoon every 3-4 balls.
5. Allow the bites to set in the fridge for about 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes if you’re very impatient.
6. Store the chocolate bites in the fridge/freezer otherwise they’ll melt.
Recipe sightly adapted from Delicious Meets Healthy.