Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chocolate Hemp Seed Balls and Cashew Cream Thumbprints

These raw treats are perfect for when you're short on time, but want to make something both eye-catching and delicious.  This recipe is also easily adaptable.  If you don't have hemp seeds, you can use coconut flakes, sesame seeds, chia seeds, etc. Also, any nut butter would work for the filling if you can't find raw cashew butter.  I love these 'anything goes' types of recipes. Totally rawesome.  :)

Makes 8 pieces

8 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon coconut oil (solid)
1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
Additional hemp seeds for rolling (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  1. Blend the dates, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds in a food processor until there are no large chunks of dates left.  You should have a sticky mixture that holds together when squeezed between your fingers.  If it's too moist, add more hemp seeds.  If it's too dry, add more coconut oil a teaspoon at a time.  
  2. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds on a plate or shallow bowl.
  3. Using the palms of your hands, roll bits of the mixture into small 1-inch wide balls.  You should end up with 8 balls.
  4. Roll each ball in the hemp seeds so that they are evenly covered.  
  5. Transfer to a plate and eat immediately or place them in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
To mix it up, I made 4 hemp seed balls and 4 cashew cream thumbprints, as pictured above.

Cashew Cream Filling
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter (or 1 Artisana squeeze pack)
1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. To make the thumbprints, make the same date-hemp mixture above and after rolling the mixture into balls, make a small indentation in the center of each ball.  Mold each piece with your hands so that they resemble thumbprint cookies.  Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cashew butter, water, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Fill each thumbprint with the cashew cream and top with fresh fruit, nuts, or nothing at all.  :)
  4. Eat immediately or place them in the refrigerator to chill.
Super easy, eh?  The sweetness from the dates was just right, at least for my taste buds.  I liked eating them chilled just because they had more of a bite to them that way.  Fresh fruit will definitely add some pizazz to the thumbprints, but they'll still taste wonderful without it.  I don't have a dehydrator, so I love that there's no fancy equipment (other than a food processor!) required to make these raw treats.  There's also no pre-soaking of nuts involved, which is always nice.  I probably should have doubled (or tripled) the recipe because 8 pieces really wasn't enough. Live and learn. :)