Chocolate Spice Indulgence Balls
August 11, 2017Categories: Sweets - Cookies
These chocolaty balls are naturally sweet, with a bit of spice.
Prep time: 10 to 30 minutes Cook time: 0 to 10 minutes Makes: 4 servings Difficulty: Medium• Gluten free • Dairy free • Egg free • Grain free • Soy free • Vegan •
These are easy to make and don't even require baking. You can really turn up the decadence by dusting them in one or more coatings, such as shredded coconut, or even "mock" icing sugar, made from ground coconut.
Use organic ingredients. This can be made with all raw ingredients, for those who are raw vegans.
Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:
All dried fruit should be organic, labeled gluten free, unsweetened, unsulfured and contain no other ingredients or additives.
Coconut - You can make your own shredded coconut from a fresh organic coconut.
Alternatively, you want to look for organic, labeled gluten free, unsweetened shredded coconut, without sulfur, and no other additives.
Dates - You want to purchase organic, unsweetened dates, without sulfur, and no other additives.
If they don't contain sulfur it will actually need to state that, as sulfur is not always required to be on the label. It should only contain the dried fruit. These are readily available in stores that carry organic products. There are even some labeled as gluten free.
Buying organic reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.
Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.
Check out this article on the benefits of organic:
You want to purchase organic, non Dutch processed, not processed with alkali, and labeled gluten free. It should only contain cocoa / cacao, and no other ingredients.
This is sometimes called baking cocoa. Do not confuse this for hot chocolate, or hot cocoa, as those are sweet, sugary drinks, and is not suitable.
The addition of alkali (also often called Dutch processed) removes the flavanoids from cocoa. That removes one of the best reasons to eat cocoa (beyond it's yummy taste).
Both cocoa and raw cacao are suitable. Both have similar health benefits. If you prefer raw, then by all means, get that kind.
Since cocoa / cacao is sometimes processed in facilities that also process gluten containing items, you want to look for the gluten free label.
Some dishes may be able to use some cacao that is available that is less processed, in the sense that it is not ground into powder. For many recipes this is completely suitable.
Check out this article about chocolate:
You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.
100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.
Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.
Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.
To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:
Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:
You want to purchase only organic nuts and seeds.
This greatly reduces the pesticide residues on them. Non organic nuts and seeds are also often treated with radiation, which is not done to organic nuts and seeds.
It is more difficult to find truly raw nuts and seeds in the US, unless you are buying directly from the grower. Several US laws require varying levels of heat treatment for nuts and seeds, both traditionally grown and organic. However, nuts and seeds can still be something good for most people.
To read more about almonds, check out this article on our site:
Check out this article to learn a bit more about nuts and seeds:
• 14 Medjool Dates, pitted • 2 1/2 tablespoons Raw cacao powder • 1 to 2 tablespoons Cinnamon • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Note: These amounts are if you choose to make this whole batch with one coating. Reduce the amounts if you're going to use more than one.Shredded Coconut Coating:
• 1/4 cup Shredded coconut, packaged or freshToasted Coconut Coating: • 1/4 cup Shredded coconut, packaged or freshCoconut Dust Coating: • 1/4 cup Shredded coconut, packaged or freshGround Nut Coating: • 1/4 cup Nuts of your choiceRoasted Nut Coating: • 1/4 cup Nuts of your choiceCacao Dust Coating: • 1/8 to 1/4 cup Raw cacao powder • 1/8 to 1/4 cup Shredded coconut, packaged or fresh (optional)
- If dates are hard, cover with water and heat on the stove until almost boiling. Remove from heat, and let stand until soft. Remove from water and let cool to room temperature.
- Place the cookie ingredients into a bowl and mix until a paste forms. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can blend this in a food processor, but note that this is very sticky, and a regular blender will not work.
- While chilling, prepare one or more coatings of your choice. See below.
- Once the date mixture is chilled, roll the mixture into 1/2" balls and roll in your coating of choice. See below for coating instructions.
Indulge and enjoy!
Coating Directions:Shredded Coconut Coating:
Toasted Coconut Coating:Toasted coconut it one of my ultimate favorite flavors!
- You can use packaged shredded coconut. Or, if you have access to fresh ripe coconut, then grate fresh coconut meat to roll the chocolate balls in.
Coconut Dust Coating:
- Use packaged shredded coconut. Or, if you have access to fresh ripe coconut, then grate fresh coconut meat.
- Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, and toast under the broiler. Watch it carefully, and stir to toss every minute, to get evenly toasted coconut.
Ground Nut Coating:
- This gives the illusion of powdered sugar with none of the excess sugar.
- Use packaged shredded coconut. Or, if you have access to fresh ripe coconut, then grate fresh coconut meat
- If it is not already very dry, then lay on a cookie sheet and dry out more in a 250 F oven for a few minutes. You don't want to let it brown, you just want to get it as dry as possible.
- Let cool. Once cool, place it in a blender or food processor, and pulse to shred finely. Be sure to use the pulse setting, as you don't want it to glob together. You want it to be loose and fluffy. If it clumps together, then lay it out on a cookie sheet or plate and press and separate with a paper towel.
Roasted Nut Coating:
- Finely grind the nuts of your choice.
- If using almonds, and they have skins, boil them for 2 minutes, drain and let cool slightly, and the skins will just peel off easily. Dry well, and grind.
Cacao Dust Coating:
- If you want the lovely taste of roasted nuts, you can coarsely grind nuts of your choice, to the size desired.
- Lay the ground nuts on a cookie sheet and toast under the broiler. Watch carefully and stir and toss the nuts every minute or so, to get nice evenly toasted nut pieces.
- You can use straight powdered cacao if you want a dark dusting.
- If you want a lighter dusting, then blend equal amounts of finely ground pale colored nuts or coconut with the cacao.