Cardamom Chocolate Energy Balls

Toddler, Kid, Adult

This past rainy weekend brought with it an intense chocolate craving and my stash was out. In a moment of desperation, I whipped up these 'laddoos' or energy balls with the only chocolate I had on hand - raw cacao . I wasn't expecting fireworks but boy oh boy were these AMAZING. Packed with protein, iron, calcium, fiber, anti-oxidants and a host of other nutrients, these cardamom chocolate energy balls have become toddler's favorite snack and the best part - he hasn't asked for 'real' chocolate since! 

Science Corner
As discussed in a previous post, cardamom has a range of scientifically proven health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, digestion-promoting, detoxifying and anti-nausea effects. In one study, the effect of a blend of essential oils from ginger, peppermint, spearmint and cardamom was assessed on post-operative nausea in 300 patients. Both nausea levels and the need for anti-nausea medications were reduced in a statistically significant manner in the aromatherapy treated group versus controls! Raw cacao is minimally processed cacao to preserve all the magic of the cacao bean, including anti-oxidants and polyphenols. Tahini is a wonderful non-dairy source of calcium and protein and oats have heart-healthy fiber. All of these beautiful ingredients join forces to make these ultra delicious superfood delights you can feel amazing about feeding your family. 

About 15 balls

1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves cardamom, seeds removed and ground
1/4 cup oats
4 dates pitted
1 tablespoon cacao powder (preferably raw for a nutritional punch)
2 tablespoons honey

Blend all the ingredients in a good processor until smooth. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 1 inch diameter balls. Allow them to set in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. They should last for 5-7 days in the fridge if you can wait that long to finish them! They are perfect as an energizing mid-morning snack, in the lunchbox or whenever a chocolate craving strikes. 

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