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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chocolate Orange Nut Balls

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For some reason the chocolate-orange combination reminds me of Christmas. Maybe it's because of those chocolate oranges wrapped in foil, or maybe it's because of  these orange cookies dipped in chocolate one of my mom's friends used to make at Christmastime. Either way, just because I think of Christmas when eating these nut balls doesn't mean they are just for eating at Christmastime. That is definitely not the case! Chocolate is for eating at any time of the day or year! ;)

These little fruit and nut balls have just the right amount of sweetener and the perfect amount of orange zest. They're perfect for a small dessert, a  midday snack, or any other time of the day, for that matter.

Originally I set out to make some sort of protein bar with peanut butter and dates in it, but obviously that didn't happen. Maybe next time! Sometimes, when I'm playing around in the kitchen, what I plan to make doesn't always turn out to be what I actually do make. My creativity gets the best of me and that's not always a bad thing.  Such as the case with these.

While making the nut balls, I also found out a way to cut back on the fruit part of the fruit and nut balls, so they aren't as high in sugar. It's super easy and makes the nut balls a lot stickier. All you have to do is cut the dates in half and soak them in water for five minutes or so. Now my fruit to nut ratio is .25:1! The soaked dates are sweeter and lend a bit of caramel-like flavor to things, though it's not to noticeable in these nut balls.

However, I encourage you to play around with the amount of dates you use. Some people like things sweeter than others so just use how ever much tastes good to you.

1/2-1 c. dates, pitted
1 c. walnuts, raw
1 c. almonds, raw
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. orange zest

1. Soak the dates in a bowl with hot water for about five minutes.
2. Meanwhile, chop your nuts into a fine meal using your food processor.
3. Add the dates and pulse until well combined.
4. Add the cocoa powder and orange zest. Pulse until combined.
5. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the fruit and nut mixture, then roll into balls and place on a sheet of wax paper. You can also make them into bars.
6. Freeze for at least an hour, or enjoy straight from the food processor!

Inquiry of the Day:

What flavors remind you of Christmas?

Naturally ginger and peppermint do, but orange, molasses, and cinnamon and brown sugar Pop-Tarts do as well.  


  1. Mmmm these sound good! Chocolate & orange doesn't remind me of Christmas as I never really had those Terry's things. I think mint-flavoured things remind me of Christmas.

    1. Thanks!
      Sometimes things register very strangely in my mind.And for some reason my brain thinks chocolate and orange=Christmas. I gave up trying to figure it out. ;)


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