Date Pecan Coffee Balls

Datey-Nutty Balls seem all the rage right now. I'm happy to roll with it ;) They are incredibly delicious...

I made these delicious, fudgy delights for the looooooong walk Ben and I did back in November 2010 (see details here). Well, I didn’t quite make these balls, per say. The day before the walk I was really just fumbling around with high energy, nutritious ingredients, as I knew I wanted something delicious, healthy and light as a snack for the walk. So I whipped up some date balls that were similar to these but not as good. They were quite sticky and a little NQR. The recipe certainly needed tweaking.

Well here it is, my improved recipe. I made these for a Healthy Snacking Demonstration I did a few months ago (where I also made these Healthy-No Bake Cookies). These balls are super easy and rather yummy, if I do say so myself. Along with a bundle of good nutrition, they provide you with a beautiful burst of rich fudgy flavour. They taste like an indulgent truffle, but are completely and unabashedly nutritious.

You can really go to town with the flavour additions, everyone has their own preference. There are many similar recipes flying around the internet these days, so you can have a search for ones that play to your tastes. I have my eyes on Hannah's recipe next (link).

I have made these date balls plain, with ground coffee and with desiccated coconut. I have also used almonds in place of pecans. I personally love the coffee flavoured ones best, as does Ben. So that is the recipe I have put up. If you dislike coffee, then omit this ingredient and either leave them plain or get creative! Play to your preferences... You may like to roll the balls in flaked almonds, or perhaps add a dash of coconut oil to the mix. Try a touch of cocoa for a chocolate flavoured ball. Yum.

If you roll them in desiccated coconut, they start to resemble a rum ball. Maybe adding a little rum to the mix would cement this fact... Yes, I think I may make coconut flavoured rum date balls for Christmas presents this year. How very festive.

Nutritionally, they come in at around 250kJ per ball (that's for a small ball), and they provide you with some natural sugar and fibre. The chia seeds give you a little more fibre, as well as some protein and healthy fats - albeit in very small amounts (to increase the serve simple add more chia seeds).

Did I mention they are incredibly easy to make? Well, they are. Easy, healthy and delicious. How fabulous is that?

Date Pecan Coffee Balls

Makes 10 balls

110g (~6) Fresh Medjool Dates (not dried)
1/3 cup (~43g) Pecans
2 teaspoons Almond Meal
1/3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Chia Seeds
1/3 teaspoon Ground Coffee
*optional - Desiccated Coconut, for coating

1. Cut along the dates and remove the pit.
2. Place the pitted dates, pecans, almond meal and vanilla extract in a hand blender and whizz until the nuts are very finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump together.
3. Add the chia seeds and the ground coffee and pulse a couple more times to incorporate the seeds and coffee.

4. Moisten the palms of your hands with water, grab a small portion of the mixture (~1 heaped teaspoon) and roll it into a ball. Place on a plate and repeat until all the mixture is gone.
5. If using coconut, roll the balls in the coconut, lightly coating them.
6. Enjoy as a snack, or with a cup of tea or coffee following a meal. Store in an airtight container.

Heidi xo