Nourishing 'Nutella' Balls

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I absolutely adore cacao balls!  During this time of year when everything can become so hectic with holiday shopping, traveling, parties to plan or attend I find that I’m always moving around the city and need a quick bite to give some much needed energy.  This is why I love cacao balls.  They are such a fun and simple recipe to make.  They are so decadent with a gooey, delicious center!  I am completely addicted to these and even my friends request them all the time.  They are just amazing and filled with such healthy ingredients! It is so versatile as you can use whichever nuts or sweetener you have on hand to come up with these delicious chocolaty bites that are filled with flavor and energy!  I’ve made a few energy balls on the blog but this has got to be my favorite!  I was never really into hazelnuts and couldn’t understand the fascination around nutella but recently I can’t stop incorporating them into any meal – they really are delicious and a nice alternative to almonds or pecans.  These little balls are like a healthy nutella treat.  The cacao gives a rich, decadent chocolaty taste, while the dates and cinnamon add a subtle warmth and caramel sweetness.  I love making these in bulk on Sunday nights to have on hand in the refrigerator for the coming week.  Especially if you’re traveling this holiday it makes for a great snack to add to your luggage or purse to enjoy whenever you start to feel a sweet craving.  I always love to pack these and my apricot oat bars when I travel on planes or long distances as they are both so delicious and filling. 

One of my absolute favorite things to snack on are medjool dates.  The beautifully wrinkled purple fruit is what gives these bites a wonderful sticky and caramel sweetness, making them a great natural sweetener for any recipe.  They are high in fiber, which is vital for a healthy digestive system as it helps to release toxins from the body.  They are also filled with many minerals and vitamins, especially iron.  Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body, giving us an increase in energy levels!  I often enjoy a few medjool dates after a work out to give me a little extra boost in energy.  They are also so delicious when stuffed with almond butter!

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Serves: 12

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients for the Nourishing ‘Nutella’ Balls:

- 1 cup pitted medjool dates

- 1 ¼ cup hazelnuts

- 1 ½ tablespoon cacao powder

- 1 generous teaspoon cinnamon

- 1 tablespoon hemp powder (optional)

- 1 tablespoon coconut oil

- 1 tablespoon chia seeds

- 1-2 tablespoons water

- extra cacao powder for topping

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Start by adding the hazelnuts to a food processor and chop until the nuts form a crumble, about 1-2 minutes.  Then simply add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until its all mixed together and forms a sticky ball, about 2 minutes.  Now with your hands, roll the mixture into small balls and dust with the extra cacao powder and store in the freezer or refrigerator for up to a few weeks.  Enjoy!