It’s been a long, long time since I’ve made any sort of raw dessert. So long that last night, in preparation for making something sweet today, I had to put my food processor in the dishwasher because it had accumulated a layer of dust. Not joking. Considering all the delicious treats a food processor is necessary for, nobody should go that long without using one! Being on a vegan diet is bringing out my creative side, just like it did when I was a freshman in college. Back then, vegan cookbooks were like bibles to me. I loved trying new ingredients and getting experimental in the kitchen. This is not to say that omnivores are not creative–because that isn’t even remotely true. But my personal experiences have proven to me that my most creative culinary side comes out when I’m eating vegan. I don’t know why, but it does! Today I made a truly amazing treat. I think might’ve died a little bit when I took my first bite. Of happiness, of course.
These superfood balls are seriously something else. They’re like milk chocolate fudge. Creamy from the cashews, rich from the raw cacao, and naturally sweet from the dried fruit. Not to mention the antioxidant boost they provide, thanks to some of nature’s most nutritional power tools.
One of those nutritional power tools is maca, an ingredient I’ve tried before but have never actually used in my own kitchen. I’ve had a bottle of it in my pantry for a long time (though not as long as my absitence from the food processor) and, until now, it had just been sitting there, feeling sad and rejected every time I reached over it for goji berries or bag of Earl Grey.
Maca is an incredible superfood. It’s actually an Incan root vegetable, very high in various vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s known to increase energy, stamina, and libido (always an exciting perk). It’s also said to help balance hormones. I recently came off the birth control pill, so maca is a valuable ingredient for me right now.
Maca is also available in capsules, but I really like this easy-to-use powder form. It even comes with a little scooper! I recommend Navitas brand, because their maca powder is organic and fair trade. It’s also dried at a low temperature to preserve maximum nutrients. Now that I’ve finally opened my bottle, I’m excited to start using it in more recipes! In these balls, it lends a pleasant I-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it flavor. Nobody (except maybe your fellow superfoodie friends) will be able to tell what it is.
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates, packed
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
2 teaspoons maca powder
In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, place the cashews and almonds. Process until they reach a rough, powdery consistency. Don’t make nut butter out of them!
Add the dates, raisins, and goji berries. You might have to use a long spoon to mix them up with the nuts and allow them to reach the blade. Process until everything is well-combined.
Add the cacao powder, cacao nibs, and maca powder. Process again. Like before, you might have to pause a few times and use a spoon to incorporate everything evenly. Process until all ingredients are well-combined.
Roll the dough into about golfball size balls, and place them in an airtight container. Put the container in the freezer to allow the balls to firm up, about twenty minutes to an hour.
Makes around 20 balls, give or take. You should store them in the freezer, though I guarantee you won’t be storing them for long! They’re addicting little things.
I hope you have a wonderful Friday night, whatever that may entail. Stay tuned for a festive pudding recipe I’ll be posting later this weekend!