Craving something sweet? How about something chocolaty? What about something rich and decadent? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’ve got you covered! These cacao and hemp seed energy balls contain just five ingredients, can be made in less than 15 minutes, and will satisfy any sweet and chocolaty craving without undermining your health. In fact, they are loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats, and wholesome energy. Enjoy them as a healthy dessert, quick snack while hiking, or pop a few for some clean pre-workout energy.
- Dates are an extremely sweet fruit. Although rich in sugar, they result in a lower glycemic response compared to processed sweeteners, likely due to their fiber content. They are also a good source of potassium and magnesium, both of which promote good vascular health.
- Cacao powder is a raw power extracted from the cacao bean. It is filled with antioxidants and flavanols, and contains many essential minerals, such as potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. For more info, check out my post How to Choose the Healthiest Chocolate.
- Hemp seeds are a good source of healthy fat. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fat—both of which are essential in our diet—in a ratio that appears ideal for human health. They are a good source of iron, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.
- 1 cup (tightly packed) medjool dates, pits removed (even if you buy them pitted, check them for pits before using)
- ½ cup cacao powder (you can sub cocoa powder, but cacao is healthier)
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp warm water
- About ⅓ cup of hulled hemp seeds
- Add the dates to a food processor and pulse until a ball forms.
- Add the cacao powder, vanilla, salt, and warm water. Blend until smooth (less than a minute). A soft paste should form. If it's too dry, add a little more water. If it's too wet and sticky, add a little more cacao powder.
- Scoop out one tbsp of the date batter, roll it into a ball, then roll it in hemp seeds. Do this until all the batter is gone.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate and enjoy over the next few days.