I’ve tried every vegan chocolate energy ball recipe going – this is the best one
Raise your hand if you’ve been drinking your body weight in tea this past month.
Working from home has its ups and downs but one novelty that hasn’t yet worn off for me is taking a tea break in my living room twelve times a day. It’s a key part of my new routine but also calls for something sweet to have with it, so I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of healthy treats.
The internet is awash with recipes and I’ve tried dozens. I wanted something tasty and filling but not too indulgent or expensive. After experimenting a lot, I’ve come up with this chocolate energy ball recipe of my own.
These lads are gluten-free, vegan and only contain natural sugar from the dates and the maple syrup, but are still rich and chocolatey thanks to the cocoa powder. I’m not going to tell you these are insanely healthy but they’re probably a little better than going for the biscuit tin every time I make tea.
My methods of measurement might take some fiddling with. I don't have a weighing scales right now so you won’t find quantities in pounds or grams here. I’ve had to become very adept at measuring using spoons, a mug and, well, my own judgement. The great thing about these is that you’re not baking them so the end result won’t be vastly different from your mixture. This allows you play around with them and taste as you go before you roll them up to get the flavour and consistency you want.
This recipe makes around 16 balls and should keep for a week when stored in the fridge.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – 3 heaped tablespoons
- Sunflower seeds – 1 small handful
- Shredded coconut – 1 small handful
- Pitted dates – Around 15 (feel free to splash out on medjool dates but I just went with ones in a packet from the baking section in the supermarket)
- Peanut butter – 2 heaped tablespoons
- Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
- Maple syrup – 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
- Add your sunflower seeds to a food processor and mix until the seeds are blended but not completely ground down. Take out and set aside.
- Roughly chop your dates to break them down slightly and add to the food processor. Add a spoonful of coconut oil if they prove difficult to blend. They don’t need to be completely smooth, just mashed up. Remove and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together your peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla essence using a wooden spoon. Slowly add in your blended dates, mixing as you go.
- In a separate bowl, sift your cocoa powder. Mix in your blended sunflower seeds and half of your shredded coconut with a wooden spoon.
- Slowly add your dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. You may need to use your hands the more you add.
- Your finished mixture should feel like wet play-dough or clay. Taste it and gauge whether you’d like it to be sweeter (add maple syrup) or more moist (more coconut oil).
- Put the other half of the shredded coconut in a small bowl.
- Roll the mixture out into balls in your hands, roll them in the shredded coconut and then place on a baking tray lined or inside a lunchbox lined with baking parchment. Place in the fridge and chill for at least an hour before eating.