Whether you're looking for a healthy snack to send with your kids in their summer camp or school lunch boxes, or a satisfying treat to satiate your craving for something sweet and chocolaty, these little energy balls are just the thing. Gluten-, corn-, and dairy-free, they're my go-to snack for nearly any hour of the day. They're easy to make (and don't require me turning on the stove) and delicious when cold (I keep them in my freezer to prevent the oils in the nuts from going rancid in the summer heat).
If you don't like figs and almonds, you can substitute in nearly any other larger-sized dried fruit and nut butter. Dates and prunes work, as would apricots. I used a pretty chunky, freshly-ground almond butter in this recipe that required me to add some extra liquids (oil and agave) to create the paste. If you want to try peanut or cashew butters, you might need to add in some roasted nuts if it's very creamy so it creates a paste that you can roll into balls.
- 20 Calimyrna figs (about 2 cups), preferably soft, stems trimmed
- 1 cup freshly-ground almond butter, at room temperature or slightly warmed
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil, if needed
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup, if needed
In a Cuisinart, chop figs until in fine pieces. Add the almond butter and continue to process until the paste is homogenous.
Add the cocoa powder and sea salt and process again until homogenous. If your mixture is too dry (or not sweet enough), add the oil and agave syrup if needed. You want a paste that collects into a ball.
Chill the dough in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, until cool. Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and roll between your palms. Place on a parchment-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.