A Mood Boosting Cacao Balls Recipe
Here’s a quick and nutritious snack to have on hand for you and the kiddos when a burst of energy & a mood boost are needed pronto. They’re tasty, portable, easy to make and packed full of nutrient-rich ingredients linked to longevity.
Why is cacao is good for you?
Cacao stimulates the brain to release endorphins which promotes a sense of positivity. I have to say that I was definitely needed it last night after a double school run followed by a swimming lesson that ended in tears after incident involving a small human and their shoes. I don’t need to say anymore to all the mums out there… you know!
Cocao is bursting with antioxidants – hello happy skin - and magnesium, which we could all do with a good dose of given it’s getting harder and harder to get it through our diet alone.
Fun fact; magnesium activates over 300 different enzyme reactions in the body so if you get your levels right, a lot of things can start to feel better; anxiety, mood, fatigue, muscle pain, migraines, digestion, sleep quality & insomnia. It’s a wonder nutrient and we should all ideally be lying in an Epsom Salt bath every night but when that’s not possible, a good choccy ball will give you a good boost too.
Give this a try and let me know how you get on. These chocolate balls are great after a workout because of the combination of good fats and protein in the nuts and my kids love them as a snack after school too.
Other Health Boosting ingredients in these Chocolate Balls
Dates are high in fibre which in turn can help your body detoxify, ease constipation and lower cholesterol naturally. They are rich in calcium and phosphorus which in combination with calcium helps to optimise bone-strengthening benefits. Phosphorus is also requested to help balance and use other vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, iodine, magnesium & zinc.
2. Nut and Seeds
A powerhouse of nutrients… nuts and seeds have so much to offer. I like to put a combo in my chocolate balls for that reason and I tend to mix it up each batch so I get more more variety week by week. Here are a couple of headliners from some of my faves:
- Almonds; high in fibre, protein & vitamin E
- Brazil Nuts; one of the healthiest nuts on the planet being especially high in selenium. It was one of the nuts I was advised to eat pre-conception for it’s antioxidant effects in preventing cell damage.
- Cashews; so creamy and yummy. Along with being a great source of healthy fat in the diet, they are high in anti-oxidants, copper, manganese, magnesium & phosphorus.
- Chia Seeds; omega-3 fatty acids (20%), fibre (37%), protein (20%), manganese, calcium & antioxidants
- Pumpkin Seeds; high in disease fighting antioxidants, high in zinc, Vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
- Sunflower Seeds; high in essential fatty acids which are needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, K & E. Including a source of health fat like sesame seeds with a nutrient dense meal can help you absorb and use the nutrients more efficiently. Research suggests they may be beneficial to peri-menopausal women to balance hormones in the body too.
It isn’t the worlds No. 1 spice by chance. Packed with nutrients including fibre, manganese and calcium, cinnamon comes with a long list of health benefits including being high in antioxidants, having anti-inflammatory properties, helps maintain better blood sugar control, improved oral hygiene, enhanced heart health and reduced inflammation. As an added bonus, it sweetens recipes without the need for additional sugar and is a natural food preservative.
4. Himalayan Salt
Contains over 84 minerals & trace elements
5. Orange Zest
Concentrated dose of antioxidants, polyphenols (beneficial plant compounds) vitamin C & fibre.
* top tip.. squeeze the orange after using the zest for a mini-shot of fresh orange juice goodness with your afternoon snack.
1 cup of dates
1 cup of nuts and seeds
2 tablespoons of raw cacao
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Zest of one organic unwaxed orange (avoiding the bitter white pith)
Blend on high until the mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls. Alternatively you can press into a glass pirex dish and cut into bite sized pieces.
Keep in the fridge for up to two weeks (if they last that long). We like to make a little fresh orange juice with the left overs.