Dark Chocolate Nut Balls (No Bake, Refined Sugar Free & Vegan)

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17.7.13

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

While I have been making an effort to add all the right food into my diet, I am surely not stopping myself from enjoying little sweet treats. I believe I acquired my sweet tooth from my dear husband who needs something sweet after every meal (even breakfast!). Now that it’s become a habit, it’s very hard for me to not indulge when the craving hits.

While my husband happily eats a little piece of Jaggery to satisfy his post lunch sweet cravings, I find it impossible not to think of chocolate in some form. To me Chocolate is the ultimate dessert fix! There is nothing beyond that. I stock up on dark chocolate and treat myself to a small square of it very often. But after a few days I start wanting something more. Cakes and Bakes are a little too heavy after my hearty meals so small little bites filled with dark cocoa is ideal.

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

I made these little Dark Chocolate Nut Balls the other day and I thought it fits the pregnancy series perfectly well. While it’s absolutely delicious, it’s ingredients are actually very good for you. These soft and crumbly balls are good even as a power packed quick snack. I am not really a fan of nuts as a snack by themselves so this is a great way to add them to my diet. The goodness of multiple nuts in one bite along with dark chocolate is exactly what I need these days.

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

We all know whole nuts are good for us but they are especially beneficial during pregnancy.

I have never been a big fan of Walnuts. It’s not the nut I have grown up eating so the taste is not very familiar to me. I can enjoy walnuts only in brownies!! Walnuts, with 2.6 grams in a 1-ounce serving, serve as the best nut source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats found in just a few foods. Omega-3 fatty acids aid your baby’s brain development and nuts are a great source of them especially for vegetarians and vegans. Walnuts also contain monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Like all nuts, walnuts can help you meet your protein requirements, supplying 4 grams of protein per ounce. The main walnut nutrients are calcium, potassium, vitamin B, fiber and magnesium, all of which can help prevent the blood from clotting too much, and improve your overall blood flow. Walnuts help prevent pregnancy-related hypertension, low birth weight, post-partum depression, and protects your blood vessels.

Peanuts, like many tree nuts, contain healthy unsaturated fats. A 1-ounce serving of peanuts supplies around 10 percent of your daily folate, the B-complex vitamin that can prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida when consumed before you get pregnant and through the first three months of pregnancy. Peanuts also contain around 20 percent of your daily niacin, another B-complex vitamin. An ounce of peanuts also supplies 7 grams of protein.

Almonds, like walnuts, contain healthy unsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol. Unlike walnuts, almonds do not contain omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds contain 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving.

(Source)

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

I also added some flaxseed powder to make them extra nutritious. Jaggery, the traditional unrefined sugar of India is my preferred sweetener for everything these days so that’s what I used in these nut balls. To bind them together use any liquid sweetener of your choice. While just a few of spoons of oil was enough for me to make these balls moist, you can always increase the amount for softer and smoother balls.

Apart from being highly adaptable, these dark chocolate nut balls are also incredibly easy to make! You can’t really taste the nuts individually. As you bite into it, nuts start to melt into your mouth and the little chocolate chip inside leaves behind a lovely dark chocolate taste.

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

Notes:

Use unrefined cane sugar instead of jaggery. You can use good quality dates instead of jaggery too but it’ll result in a different taste like these ‘truffles’ with nuts.

You can use any combination of any nuts you like. Try new nut mixtures every time you make it so that your body gets nutrients from all the different sources.

You can skip the cocoa and flavor the nut balls with cinnamon or vanilla for a different taste.

If you want a triple dose of dark chocolate in each bite, make the chocolate covered nut balls! Simply melt dark chocolate in a double boiler and dip the finished nut balls in it. Let them harden on a lined baking sheet till the coating is firm.

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Balls

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (with or without skin)
  • ½ cup roasted almonds
  • ½ cup roasted walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flax seed powder
  • 1 cup organic jaggery powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup/honey/liquid jaggery
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil/coconut oil/melted butter/ghee
  • About ½ a cup of Dark Chocolate Chips

 

Combine all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and place them in a blender. Slowly pulse it to powder all the nuts. You might need to scrape the sides with a spoon to make sure it all comes together into a thick dough like consistency. This might take some time. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid sweetener or oil too fast.

Once the nut dough is ready, take about a teaspoon full of the mixture in your hand and roll it between your palms to make a ball. Press the ball with your hands to flatten it a bit. Place 1 chocolate chip inside and seal it with the nut dough to cover it up. Now roll it into a smooth ball between your palms. While doing this make sure you are gentle, if you put too much pressure the ball will crumble. If the dough feels too dry, add a few spoons of oil to make it moist.

Repeat till all the nut dough is over.

Store it in an airtight container for up to a week or in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.

 

 

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