Say hello to my new favorite party favor. These Maca Balls contain Maca Powder, a derivative of an ancient root vegetable that's been part of indigenous Andean cultures for 2,000 years. It's believed to boost energy and reduce fatigue. In powder form, it can be used in baking, and some drink it mixed with hot water, a little raw cacao powder and sugar as a coffee substitute.
Maca has a sweet, vanilla-like quality and mixed with the combination of coconut oil, hazelnuts, almonds, cacao powder and sweetened by organic dates, they're show stoppers. Best of all, you don't have to get too caught up in measuring. These are made in a food processor and can be adjusted to taste. More importantly is that you create a texture that holds together when you form the balls.
I adapted this recipe provided by my friend and lifestyle expert Michele Boyer to also include hemp seeds and dark flax seeds and a little Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (because I love the taste of chocolate with a hint of salt), but you can omit the salt and just as easily use chia seeds and golden flax seeds. You can also add a goji berry for added color and flavor. You can find Maca Powder at Whole Foods in the natural foods and bulk sections.
Raw Maca Balls
Makes 12 one-ounce snacks
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 Tbs. Raw Maca Powder
1/2 Tbs. Raw Cacao Powder
About 10 large soft dates, pitted and chopped
1 Tbs. coconut oil (the solid kind)
1 Tbs. hemp seeds or chia seeds
1 Tbs. flax seeds (dark or golden)
1/2 tsp. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (to taste)
Place the nuts in a high-powered food processor and pulse into a course chop. Add the powders, chopped and pitted dates, seeds and salt and process until a moist blend comes together. Turn off the machine and test the consistency. You'll know you have it right when you can squeeze the mixture together in the palm of your hand and it holds nicely without crumbling. If it crumbles, process a little longer.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and form it into small balls by rolling in your hands, a little smaller than a golf ball (about an ounce each).
Transfer to a cookie sheet or tray and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow them to firm up. After that you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. But trust me they won't last that long!