Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate Chia & Almond Bites

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What's an ingredient that you've used for the first time recently and how did it go? For me, it's chia seeds. Go ahead... you know you want to say it. "Ch-ch-ch-chia!", as in the ever popular Chia Pets. Well, those same seeds grown on terracotta figures are the same seeds I used to make these Chocolate Chia & Almond Bites. I would have never thought the seeds were edible! But with raw, vegan and other alternative diets gaining widespread appeal, ingredients like chia seeds are now becoming more accessible and hitting the mainstream markets. These Chocolate Chia & Almond Bites are a sweet, chocolatey, crunchy and nutty mouthful that's easy to make with only 5 ingredients and good for you!...

I first tried these when my friend Dawn prepared them for me early this year. I was skeptical at first but if you know me, I'll try anything at least once. When I popped one of these bites in my mouth, I was really surprised how sweet they were and they had such a nice chocolate flavor with the crunchy textures from the nuts and chia seeds. Then while in Seattle a week or so ago, I met with the folks of Bob's Red Mill and they kindly gave me a sample of chia seeds to take home. That's when I immediately thought of Dawn and made her recipe. They were easy to make and having these bites were a lot guiltless than stuffing my face with traditional chocolate truffles. So if you're new to working with chia seeds, give these a try... it's a sweet and delicious introduction to use them! Did I mention that these Chocolate Chia & Almond Bites are raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free?!


Chocolate Chia & Almond Bites
recipe from  Dawn Jackson Blatner

12 medjool dates, pitted
4-5 Tablespoons water
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw almonds and 2 Tablespoons finely chopped raw almonds
3 Tablespoons chia seeds, split

In food processor or blender puree dates and water until a sticky paste/ball forms.

Pulse in cocoa powder, 1/2 cup almonds and 2 tablespoons chia seeds until solid dough forms.


W
ith small scoop, form mixture into 16 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to set.

Mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of finely chopped almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Roll each ball into mixture to lightly coat.

Serve or refrigerate for up to 7 days.

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