‘A thought popped into my head. Why aren’t we just frying the bees in coconut oil and be done with it? Sprinkle with some toasted popped quinoa, a dash of maple syrup infused with chili? That way we would be receiving a full dose of bee gut into our digestive systems.’
What on earth inspired that thought to enter my head? It was a discussion on the benefits of eating bee pollen compared to normal run-of-the-mill pollen, that bee pollen involved the digestive juices of bees, which was actually the benefit. Of course when I got home I had to find out what bee pollen actually was.
Deemed a super food by many, bee pollen is an integral part of beehive life. Bee pollen is a combination of pollen, nectar, enzymes, fungi and bacterial organisms, the primary source of protein for the hive. Maybe eating whole bees wasn’t the solution. Bee pollen also goes by the name ambrosia.
What’s all that to do with chocolate chip balls? The discussion was one of many at an intimate cooking demonstration by Luke Hines and Scott Gooding. The recipe for these balls comes from their second cook book and guide to better eating “Clean Living Cookbook”.
Even though I may think purchasing bee pollen to ingest on the extreme side of being healthy, I can’t deny that these boys are super fit, healthy and whatever they are doing is working. Sure, they may both also be personal trainers, but this just drives home the fact that diet alone does not a healthy human make.
Their cookbook is based on the paleo diet, which I am sure many of you have heard of. The ‘cave man’ diet, a diet that is rich in meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Wheat and rice are out, as well as processed foods, sugar, dairy, most types of oils and legumes. You probably should lay off the alcohol as well.
The book is filled with easy and tasty recipes, which even if you weren’t hard-core paleo, would work well for family meals. At the cooking demonstration the boys whip up their spicy pork tacos with salsa. The use of lean pork fillet, with tangy salsa and creamy guacamole make these tacos not only good for you, but also really quite delicious.
It is the desserts that fascinate me in this book. The use of dates, coconut oil, having to freeze the dish so it stays together, all styles of cooking I don’t normally adhere too. Originally I was going to make the raw carrot cake, really do something out of the norm. Three nights in a row of continuously forgetting to soak the cashews lead me dump that idea and move on.
Instead I thought the chocolate chip balls would be perfect. Snack sized balls, which you keep in the fridge. Just open the container, grab one and go. They are super healthy, made from dates and cashews. Unlike a lot of the other desserts the amount of coconut oil used is minimal. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you could leave it out if you wanted. I am a big fan of cacao nibs, their addition to these balls adds an addictive crunch.
- 10 pitted dates
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
- In a food processor, combine the dates, cashews and raw cacao powder. Process until a paste if formed and the ingredients are completely combined. Add the coconut oil to soften the mixture and process to combine.
- Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to combine them into the mixture.
- Roll your mixture into small snack size balls, using about one tablespoon of the mixture for each one. Just smaller than a golf ball is a good size.
- Store them in the fridge to keep them firm and fresh for up to two weeks.
Cooking Note: When I processed the dates, cashews and cacao powder I didn’t achieve a paste, no matter how hard I tried. Instead I ended up with a crumbled mixture, and paste wasn’t formed even with the addition of the coconut oil. This didn’t affect the final result as the ‘crumbs’ pressed together easily to form balls.
These are perfect to have in the fridge if you want to the kids to have a healthy snack, which they think is a chocolate ball. The sweetness comes from the dates, there is no added sugar. You could even roll them in cacao powder to make them look like decadent truffles.
I will be making the balls again, I been slowly munching my way through them with the help of Josh, who also thinks they are fantastic. They are dense and chewy, not overly sweet (which I like). I dare you to stop at just one.
Chocolate Chip Ball Recipe is from the Clean Living Cookbook by Scott Gooding and Luke Hines, RRP $29.95. Belly Rumbles received a copy of the cookbook with thanks much to the boys.