"What if a chocolate craving is just the soul's way of trying to sweeten a bitter day?" I'm a firm believer that indulgence is one of the many tools of self care, but let's face it: for some of us the desire to mute stress with sugar is more than an occasional calling. I for one prefer to end most meals on a sweet note. Sometimes it's a two-bite piece of crystallized ginger, others its a few scoops of mint chocolate chunk. I know I can't go full-boar dessert mode three times a day, so it's nice to have naturally sweet treats around to tame my beast of a sweet tooth.
This recipe is a riff on many other date-based energy bites I've found on the interwebs, many of which are akin to the delicious, although pricey Larabars. It's true these bites are inspired by a candy bar (Almond Joy), but here we throw out all the refined sugar business and are left with a naturally sweet, rich, and satisfying two-bite dessert weighing in at just over 70 calories. These bites contain fiber to slow the absorption of the date's natural sugar, giving you a sustained energy boost to fuel all of your breathtakingly beautiful adventures (or your 2 pm cubicle-contained spiral into nihilism). Along with complex sweetness and fiber, dates also provide vitamins A, K, and potassium, while the bites as a whole provide a healthy balance of carb, protein, and satiating fat.
So, friends: let's whip out our food processors and do something good for ourselves. Let's sweeten the bitter with some bittersweet chocolate. Let's close our eyes and indulge for a few moments as we thank the stars and moon for this life. Happy Sunday.
Almond JOY Energy Bites
Makes about 24 chunks o' energy
- 8 large Medjool dates
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Pulse at high speed until the mixture forms a smooth ball or paste-like consistency, adding a small amount of water if needed.
- Using your hands, form into about 24 ball-shaped chunks. For added visual appeal, roll in shredded coconut.
- Enjoy for a quick energy burst any time.
Serving size: 1 energy bite (1/24th of recipe) - 72 calories, 8 g carbs, 4 g fat, 2 g protein, 13 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g naturally occurring sugar from dates