Oof, don't they look scrumptious? These are the Infamous Raw Date Balls, little powerpacked snacks with the potential to get you hooked forever. On the good stuff. And guess what, I'm about to show you exactly how to make them.
So, without further ado...
A little side note: I don't weigh or measure anything when I cook. Ever. Nevertheless, I've used cups in the list of ingredients to indicate the quantities you'll need.
If you are a meticulous weigher-of-things, don't panic! There really isn't much that can go wrong when making date balls and I give you tips to correct course if the batter doesn't work out as planned.
Right-o, let's start! First, soak the cashews and the dates in water for about 15 minutes. I'm making two batches, so I'm soaking four dates and about 1.5 cups of cashews.
Whilst they're soaking, get your ingredients organized.
You can get really creative with date balls, which is why I love to make (and eat) them. For example, you can mix a fig in the batter, hide a little blueberry in the middle of each ball, coat them with chia or sesame seeds, sneak in a goji berry. Pretty much anything goes.
I've experimented a lot when I make these balls and I've never tasted a bad one, ever. Let your imagination take the lead and allow yourself to get creative. Be fearless!
When the cashews and dates have soaked long enough, drain them and put the cashews into the blender. Start blending at a low speed and slowly increase it over the course of a minute or two. The cashews should end up looking like large breadcrumbs.
Once that's done, take the stones out of the soaked dates and add them to the mixture. This is where things get a little technical. Start with blending at a low speed and slowly increase it, as per the nuts. Continue blending until the mixture matches the consistency of the picture below.
It should be a thick and sticky mixture. If your batter seems too dry, add a drop of water and continue blending. It'll get there eventually. If on the other hand, your mixture is too moist and doesn't quite come together, try adding one or two dry cashew nuts. Keep blending until it's thick, dense and sticky.
Because I'm making two batches, I'm going to divide my mixture in half. One half can be stored in a jar, the other half is kept in the blender. Add about two heaped teaspoons of cacao powder to the mixture in the blender. You can add more cacao if you want a darker ball. Once that's mixed in, add another two teaspoons of dessicated coconut and blend again.
You now have two separate mixtures, one chocolate/coconut and one cashew/date. To make life easy, get two small plastic containers and cover the base of one with dessicated coconut, and the other with ground hazelnuts and a tablespoon of chia seeds (optional).
Start with the lighter mixture. Take a small amount of batter and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a little ball. Roll the ball in the ground hazelnut & chia seeds until it's completely covered. Then, place it on a small plate in the fridge and repeat until all the batter's used up.
It's pretty much the same procedure for the chocolate/coconut mixture. If you want to put a little cranberry inside, roll the batter into a ball, flatten it, push the cranberry in the middle and roll it back into a ball.
Raw date balls are a healthy, vegan, soulcandy snack best enjoyed with a delicious cup of tea. Do store the balls inside the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, so that they're not too soft. They should keep a good few days in the fridge, but in my experience, they're usually gone within 48 hours.
Invent your own variation and leave a comment below to share the results. Happy rolling!
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