Whether detoxing from the holiday festivities, fighting crowds on boxing day, cleaning up after the celebration, or heaven-forbid, heading right back to work for the daily grind … odds are, you could use a little pick me up!
Last week, when the holidays began kicking in, I found myself reaching for handfuls of chocolate chips before 10am. I was running on empty, and my subconscious was taking over, reaching for sugar. When I started paying attention, rather than stop the deviant behavior (it is the holidays after all!), I thought, why not just work with the craving by adding a little nutrition? Some nuts, some dates, and oh … how about a little caffeine (good for circulation, right?), and these rich little mocha-inspired, fudgy snacks were born.
I used to think that date-based truffles were out of reach, only for those who had food processors or high powered blenders. But then I started wondering, what did all of the women do before these modern conveniences came along and they wanted to make a date paste? And wouldn’t you know it, once softened in some hot water, dates are almost as easy to mash as bananas – nothing but a fork required!
The recipe below can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes since it is such a simple no bake recipe. You can increase or decrease the coffee for a more or less intense mocha hit, add some extra sweetener if desired, or even use dark or unsweetened chocolate if you are fortunate enough to not have a sweet tooth.
Special Diet Notes: Mocha Fudge Vegan Energy Bites
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 40 grams dates (about 2 large, pitted medjool dates)
- ¼ cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ounce raw cashews (scant ¼ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon instant coffee (I used Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Instant Coffee)
- 5 drops vanilla stevia (I used NuNaturals Alcohol-Free Liquid Vanilla Stevia)
- Shredded coconut, ground nuts, or coarse sugar for coating.
- Soak the dates in boiling water to soften.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl (I use the microwave in 2 to 3 30-second intervals, whisking vigorously between each interval)
- Grind the cashews into a powder in a spice grinder.
- Drain the dates and mash them like you would a banana.
- Add the cashew powder, mashed dates, coffee, and stevia to the melted chocolate and stir until everything is well combined.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and then roll them in coconut, ground nuts, or coarse sugar to coat.
- Chill in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (15 mintes).
- Pop out for an energy boost when you need it!
For the variation pictured, I patted the mixture into a small, greased dish, chilling them for just 10 minutes. I then cut into squares and coated them in coconut, pressing a few coarsely chopped pistachios for a seasonal touch.
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Wheat free, optionally Soy free (depending on your chocolate chips)