Chocolate/ Desserts/ Gluten Free/ Quick & Easy/ Snacks - Sweet

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE FRUIT & NUT BALLS

Sticky dates, crunchy roasted almonds, plump raisins and chia seeds all come together to make these little chocolatey treats. Perfect for an after dinner indulgent treat or an afternoon ‘pick me up’.

Bowl of chocolate fruit and nut balls

This weeks recipe, was developed as I was wanting to re create a healthier version of a well known UK fruit and nut chocolate bar that I used to enjoy, but no longer eat since going vegan. This is by no means a copy of that chocolate, it’s more of a ‘inspiration recipe’. These chocolate fruit and nut balls are so simple to make and are a ‘healthier’ chocolate treat, although they certainly don’t “taste healthy”.

These Fruit and nut balls are;

  • Loaded with fruit and crunchy nuts
  • Studded with chia seeds for the ‘crunch factor’ as well as a good source of protein and healthy fats.
  • Coated in dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of the dates
  • Sprinkled with Cornish flaky sea salt – because sea salt and chocolate is a dream combination.
Chocolate fruit and nut balls on a baking tray lined with white parchment paper

Tips & recipe notes:

The key to these chocolatey treats is to not over mix the mixture, this is why I have not used a food processor, which may be quicker, but you run the risk of over processing it and it loosing the chunky, nutty texture.

I have added a small amount of odourless coconut oil to the melted chocolate, to make it more of a silky and shiny mixture. You can opt out of using this, and they will still turn out just as nice.

Make sure you use roasted almonds! they add a lovely roasted nutty flavour which mixes so well with the sweetness of the dates and the dark chocolate.

Feel free to swap out the almonds for another nut of your choice, I used almonds as this is what was in the original chocolate I used to eat. Hazelnuts would work brilliantly, and I am planning on using hazelnuts in my next batch.

They will keep in a air-tight container for up to a month IF they last that long! (They don’t last much past a few days in our house with two boys around) Evidence below…..

Bowl of fruit and nut balls with a hand stealing one
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Healthy fruit and nut balls

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes + setting time
  • Yield: 1216 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Sticky dates, crunchy roasted almonds, plump raisins and chia seeds all come together to make these little chocolatey treats. Perfect for an after dinner indulgent treat or an afternoon ‘pick me up’.


Ingredients

Scale

Fruit and nut balls:

  • 3/4 cup or 60g Oats
  • 1/4 cup or 30g Chia Seeds
  • 3/4 cup or 60g Roasted and roughly chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup or 60g roughly chopped raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup or 200g pitted dates 

Chocolate coating:

  • 1 cup or 150g dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil

Instructions

  1. If your almonds are not already roasted –  Pre heat the oven to 180°C  spread the almonds out in a even layer on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, checking halfway to ensure they don’t burn! once roasted transfer to a cold plate and set aside to cool (I leave mine on the windowsill with the window open)
  2. Whilst the almonds are cooling, prepare the other ingredients;
  3. Roughly chop the raisins, add to a mixing bowl with: Oats, chia seeds, vanilla extract and dates.
  4. Once cooled – roughly chop the almonds and add to the oat mixture.
  5. Mix together and ‘squish’ the dates between your fingers until the mixture begins to come together.*
  6. Use a TBSP spoon to scoop 1tbsp sized balls of the mixture and roll them between your palms to form them into balls – don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly smooth! It adds to the character and texture!
  7. Place onto a tray and pop in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.
  8. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate along with the coconut oil over a low heat in a bain-marie, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl containing the chocolate.
  9. Once melted add the remaining chocolate and remove the bowl from the heat, then stir until the remaining chocolate has melted.
  10. Take the balls out of the freezer, and coat in the chocolate. **
  11. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt, then pop the coated balls into the fridge to set for a few hours / overnight.
  12. Store in a airtight container

 


Notes

if the mixture is a bit dry / not sticking together, add a few extra dates to bind it together.

** To reduce mess – I use a cocktail stick or skewer to dip the balls into the melted chocolate

 (If GF – swap for gluten free oats)

Keywords: Chocolate, Vegan, Gluten free, Healthy

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