Good Food: Chocolate Cinnamon Maca Balls / by emily penn


the good
Ever since I came up with this recipe, I've been making it weekly. I love it so much. It's the perfect sweet treat that will take me through the afternoon until dinner. I even enjoy it as a dessert occasionally!

the medicine
Healthy fats from the walnuts, seeds and coconut fill you up & help keep blood sugar stable so you're not crashing a few hours later. 

These also include one awesome ingredient - maca. Maca is a root from South America & was used medicinally for thousands of years by the Peruvians. At one point it "was considered such a potent and valuable herb, its use was restricted to the royal court and the imperial family". Maca supports energy, balances hormones, supports fertility, supports immunity, & has positive effects on mood. It also has a slightly sweet, malty flavor so it's perfect to pair with dessert or throw in smoothies. I love it - I add it to smoothies & morning bevvies all the time. If you don't have maca - don't worry this recipe will still work & is still awesome.

You can make these keto-friendly by omitting the dates & sweetening with stevia instead. They won't be as "sticky" but can still be rolled into balls. Alternatively you can press them into a pan, let them harden and then cut into bars.



Chocolate Cinnamon Maca Balls

total time 10 min/makes 20ish balls

1 cup walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut butter, soft
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
1 tbsp maca (optional)
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1. If your dates aren't already super soft, soak them in warm water for a few minutes while you put everything else in a food processor. 
2. Process all ingredients for a couple minutes until dates, nuts & seeds are broken down & it's a mostly smooth mixture.
3. Form the mixture into bite-sized balls. This is best done by kind of squeezing the dough into a ball shape & tossing it from hand to hand, gently squeezing & shaping. It doesn't roll between your palms like most energy balls (because it has much fewer dates - aka that sticky binding agent).
4. Arrange on a plate & stick in the fridge for an hour or so to set. Once set, you can store them in the fridge for a week or so, or in the freezer for much longer.