Mayan Raw Cacao Chia Energy Balls

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Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe
Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe

Raw Vegan Energy Balls

Loaded with superfoods like raw cacao, chia seeds, dates, and cinnamon, this recipe reflects my love for travel. The inspiration for these raw, vegan energy balls came from a trip I took to Guatemala in March 2018. Part of the trip was a yoga retreat in Lake Atitlan, which is said to be a mystical vortex.

The retreat started with a Mayan Cacao Ceremony. Our small yoga family gathered in a circle. Infused with warm cacao and chia seeds, we shared our intentions for the week and our thoughts on the journey.

Deciding to go on this trip had been uncomfortable for me. I had come out of a relationship where much of the emphasis had been on travel. Solo again, I felt lost.  On top of that, my heart had been broken. I was shaken to the core. 

Unsure of what I needed, I heeded a friends’ simple advice “You should come”.  She was leading a week-long yoga retreat in beautiful Lake Atitlan.  I was nervous about a week of yoga and living with strangers. But I decided to go. 

The trip ended up being an incredibly healing and cathartic experience. Not only did I get to see the history, food, and landscape of a beautiful country, but I was also able to share it with people who surprised me with their honesty and shared life experiences.

It was in the act of going that I was able to start letting go.

Heart Opening Dancer's Pose at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala March 2018
Heart Opening Dancer’s Pose at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala March 2018

Food as Memory

I created this recipe to honor that trip.  I love how food can connect me to a time and place in a way that pictures often can’t. The ingredients remind me of the rich history in Mayan culture: chia seeds, dates, almonds, cacao. The simple directions echo the simplicity of nourishing. 

Let go of the extra, complicated thoughts. 
Breathe in joy, exhale waste.
Look for gratitude.  
Savor life.

1 Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe
1 Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe

Easy  |  Servings: 12  |  Ready In: 10 minutes  |  Yield: about 24 balls

These Mayan Raw Cacao energy balls were inspired by a yoga retreat to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.  Ingredients from the region like chia seeds, dates, cinnamon, and vanilla quickly come together.  This makes a healthy, plant-based vegan snack.  Pack a few in your lunchbox or your gym bag.

If you like these, you’ll also love PB and J Chewy Oat Bites, 5-Ingredient Cocoa Peanut Butter Energy Bites, and 4-Ingredient Raw Chocolate Walnut Brownies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200g) pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup (56 g) sliced or whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (18 g) raw cacao powder
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon brown rice flour or almond flour + 1 tablespoon cacao powder, for coating the balls

How It’s Done

To make the Mayan Raw Cacao Chia Energy Balls: Place the dates and almonds in a food processor. Pulse 20-30 times, until well-chopped.  Add the remaining ingredients except the water: chia seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.  Puree 20-30 seconds, until combined.  With the food processor running, stream in the 1/2 cup of water.  Remove the lid and check the consistency of the ball mixture.  You want it to be wet enough to hold together, but dry enough not to stick.  Add more water or cacao powder to adjust.

In a small bowl, combine the brown rice flour (or almond flour) and cacao powder.  Portion about 2 teaspoons per ball.  Roll between your hands.  Place the ball in the rice flour mixture.  Roll around to lightly coat the ball.  Repeat with the remaining Cacao ball mixture.

You can roll and dust a few balls at once (about 8 usually works for me).  You should get about 24 balls total.

Keep refrigerated for up to 10 days or freeze for longer storage.

1 Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe
1 Mayan Raw Cacoa Chia Energy Balls – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Dessert Snack Recipe

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Raw Concerns:  Almond are technically not raw. In the US, they are pasteurized for food safety reasons.  You can substitute with raw macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts.

Play with Spices:  Cinnamon is an easy go-to spice, but experiment with other sweet spices.  Cardamom, nutmeg, ginger and even a Pumpkin Pie spice mix would all taste great!


See how it’s done:


Watch to Learn More:


Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving (1/12 recipe, about 2 balls)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 129
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g 8 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 2 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 3 mg 0 %
Potassium 180 mg 5 %
Total Carbohydrate 19 g 6 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 21 %
Sugars 11 g  
Protein 3 g 7 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 6 %
Iron 6 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping List

  • Navitas Organics Cacao Powder, 8oz. Pouch
  • Organic Chia Seeds, Viva Naturals, 2 lb
  • Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Deglet Noor Dates (Pitted), 2 Pounds
    • BUY NOW
  • Frontier Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon, Ground, 1.31 Ounce

Mayan Raw Cacao Chia Energy Balls

These Mayan Raw Cacao energy balls were inspired by a yoga retreat to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Ingredients from the region like chia seeds, dates, cinnamon, and vanilla quickly come together. This makes a healthy, plant-based vegan snack. Pack a few in your lunchbox or your gym bag.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Central American, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Guatemalan, Mayan, Mexican, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 10 minutes or less, chocolate, cocoa, easy, energy, healthy, kid-friendly, oil-free, raw, travel-friendly, workout fuel
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 129kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup (56 sliced or whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup (96 chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (18 raw cacao powder
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon brown rice flour or almond flour + 1 tablespoon cacao powder for coating the balls

Instructions

  • To make the Mayan Raw Cacao Chia Energy Balls: Place the dates and almonds in a food processor. Pulse 20-30 times, until well-chopped. Add the remaining ingredients except the water: chia seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Puree 20-30 seconds, until combined. With the food processor running, stream in the 1/2 cup of water. Remove the lid and check the consistency of the ball mixture. You want it to be wet enough to hold together, but dry enough not to stick. Add more water or cacao powder to adjust.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown rice flour (or almond flouand cacao powder. Portion about 2 teaspoons per ball. Roll between your hands. Place the ball in the rice flour mixture. Roll around to lightly coat the ball. Repeat with the remaining Cacao ball mixture.
  • You can roll and dust a few balls at once (about 8 usually works for me). You should get about 24 balls total.
  • Keep refrigerated for up to 10 days or freeze for longer storage.
  • Yields: About 24 balls
  • If you like these, you’ll also love PB and J Chewy Oat Bites, 5-Ingredient Cocoa Peanut Butter Energy Bites, and 4-Ingredient Raw Chocolate Walnut Brownies.

Notes

Chef Katie’s Tips:
Raw Concerns: Almond are technically not raw. In the US, they are pasteurized for food safety reasons. You can substitute with raw macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts.
Play with Spices: Cinnamon is an easy go-to spice, but experiment with other sweet spices. Cardamom, nutmeg, ginger and even a Pumpkin Pie spice mix would all taste great!
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