Alicia Silverstone’s Raw Balls

21 May

These things – omg omg omg – are the tastiest little morsels ever. Friends who’ve tried them have said

“That’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted”

and

“Those cannot possibly be sugar-free”

and other things that were unintelligible.

Lately I’ve been making them to control my sugar cravings in the post-lunch lull at work. Dates and pure maple syrup provide benefits such as fiber, potassium, manganese, zinc, and other nutrients, and the fat and protein in the almond butter, walnuts, and almonds counteract their natural sugars, meaning I don’t have the spike (and crash) that I would with something like a cupcake. These are also very rich, so I’m satisfied with one or two. Win!

My only critique of this recipe is that it needs a better name. I had to put Alicia’s name in front of it to give it some credibility. As it is, whenever I say it out loud, I have to say it in a silly voice – because inside, I am a prepubescent. Raw balls. I digress.

I have made these two different ways. Originally, I used carob chips and processed them into a powder, because my closest health food store didn’t sell carob powder. These are sweetened with malted corn and barley. I also used toasted almond butter, which is sweetened with organic unrefined cane sugar. And, I suppose, not technically raw.

Then I wanted to make a truly refined-sugar-free version, so I processed a bar of unsweetened chocolate (100% pure cacao) and used raw almond butter, which is truly made from nothing but almonds.

Because of the fat and/or moisture content (?) in the chocolate, I wasn’t able to get a true powder consistency – it looked more like instant coffee that’s been hanging around too long – but it did the job.

The chocolate lent a bit more richness to this recipe than the carob, but I enjoy both. Of course, you could also sub unsweetened cocoa powder here. And you could use peanut butter or hazelnut butter instead of the almond… feel free to experiment!

Once all the ingredients are processed into a dough, roll it into 1″-2″ balls, then roll in a topping of your choice. I did half in unsweetened shredded coconut and half in a mixture of cocoa powder, cinnamon, and walnuts.

These get pretty mushy at room temperature, so I’d recommend eating them straight out of the fridge. And if transporting, be sure to do so in a hard, sealed container and not a Ziploc bag… not that you or I would ever make such a mushy mistake…

To your health!

RECIPE – Alicia Silverstone’s Raw Balls

Adapted from The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone
Makes 10 to 12 balls.

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raw carob powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup almond butter
Optional: shredded unsweetened coconut, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, spices, nuts – for rolling

Place the walnuts in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add the dates, and pulse until well combined with the nuts. Add the carob powder, syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Process until mixture is thick and smooth. Add the almonds, and pulse a few times until combined; you want them to remain in crunchy chunks. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in almond butter with a sturdy spoon.

Form the mixture into golf-ball-size balls with your hands. Roll the balls in the topping of your choice. Place in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.

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10 Responses to “Alicia Silverstone’s Raw Balls”

  1. Anita P. May 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I am going to have to try these!!! I will have to substitute for a different nut other than almonds..maybe cashews.

    • Jen May 22, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      That sounds yummy… let me know how it goes!

  2. cbandj May 22, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    these look so yummy! can’t wait to try them :)

  3. Patti Lessels May 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    heeheehee. raw balls. I must be prepubescent too. but still want to try them!!

  4. R Taylor October 1, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Interesting name for a dessert. But it really does look yummy and delicious. I will definitely try this out!

  5. Paden Janney July 18, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    They are absolutely delicious!! My best friend and I made them and took them with us on vacation. They are best straight out of the freezer in my opinion. She’s not a vegan (I am) but she eats these delicious treats as a breakfast energy ball. Before she didn’t typically have breakfast.

    We made them a bit smaller because they are VERY rich. If being used as a dessert, I’d recommend a smaller size or to cut them in half if you’re looking for a sweet fix. Enjoy!!

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