I don’t usually put all those health terms in a recipe title, since I fear that it may scare some people off. Although on the other hand, I worry that if I skip out on adding them, sometimes people looking for healthy recipes, may just pass over something called “Chocolate Cherry Fudge Bites”, assuming that it is loaded with fats and sugars. These little fudge balls are super simple to make and they are so tasty. It is hard to believe there is no sugar in these. They have such an amazing chocolatey fudge flavor with a little bit a chewy tartness from the bing cherries and a little crispy crunch from the chia seeds.
You could use this same recipe and instead of the dried bing cherries add in peanut butter and/or chocolate chips for a peanut butter fudge bite. You could add in candy cane pieces and peppermint extract. You could also leave out the cocoa use oats instead of the nuts and add in raisins for little oatmeal raisin cookie bites (which I have made before and I love). The possibilities are endless. Once you make these once you will know what the consistency of the dough needs to be for the next time you are experimenting. I love having these on hand to satisfy my sweet craving without the guilt. Not only do you not have to feel guilty about eating these, you can feel like you are doing yourself a favor – we all know the many benefits of chocolate, more specifically cocoa in it raw state, such as decreased blood pressure, improvement in blood vessel health and cholesterol levels, plus it is believed that the phenylethylamine in cocoa has mood boosting effects. The dates used to sweeten these fudge bites are a great source of dietary fiber and they are an energy powerhouse. Dates are low in calories and they are fat and cholesterol free, they are a great source of B-complex vitamins and they are one of the best natural sources of potassium.
So come on, don’t you just wanna reach for dessert when you hear all of that? Trust me, make these and you will always want to have them on hand to satisfy your sweets cravings. They do the job and then some.
Are you getting ready for the holiday? What do you have to make this week still? In addition to working all week, I am hoping to have time to finish up all of my craft projects that I took on for gifts, plus finish all of my shopping and then I have to get started on my wrapping – one of my favorite parts. I am hoping that I can squeeze a little cooking and baking in there too, somewhere.
Makes approximately 16 balls
3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted
4-5 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw organic almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dried organic bing cherries (other dried cherries will also work here)
In food processor puree the dates, water and vanilla until a sticky paste/ball forms. Pulse in cocoa powder, almonds, chia seeds and salt until solid dough forms. Stir in the dried cherries. With small scoop, form mixture into 16 tablespoon-sized balls.
Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to set.
You can dip the balls in melted chocolate, roll them in seeds, nuts, coconut or cocoa, etc. – if you wish. See above for other fudge and cookie bite ideas. Have fun.