raw cacao pumpkin balls

gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo, nut free, no bake How fun was making this video!!!! My beyond talented friend, Christina Hodnet, shot this one afternoon in my kitchen. My bumble bee loves creating these healthy, protein packed treats. Great for school snacks, beating those afternoon energy crashes or post exercise. Recipe below…

I am big on rotation diet, having had my kids and myself tested for food sensitivities over the years. I’ve learned there are different reasons for food sensitivities. Some you are born with – it’s just a food that does not agree with you. Other food sensitivities are because you regularly eat too much of a food, never giving your system a break (it takes 3 days for a food to clear from your system). So, one of the reasons I love this recipe is because it works well with seed butter (having said that feel free to substitute your favorite nut butter!). Pumpkin seed butter is slightly bitter and nutty, however the cacao (or cocoa whichever you prefer) and sweetness from the dates balance it out. (You can buy pumpkin seed butter with sea salt which is nice.)
Did you know seeds have as much protein as nuts? Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) are nutrient-rich, loaded with goodness – from high protein & fibre to magnesium, zinc and iron, and are full of antioxidants and healthy omega-3s. They have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties….and so on and so on… just eat them. 


cacao pumpkin balls
Makes 20, 1” balls
In a high speed blender or food processor add:
  • 1/2 1lb (454g) tub of medjool dates (approx 14)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seed butter*
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
(You want to be sure the consistency is dry, see photo below. I found I had to double the recipe when I used my food processor as it wasn’t enough food to thoroughly mix the ingredients (there were chunks of dates, which you don’t want) and it was too wet to roll into balls. In a vitamix this single recipe was fine.)
Roll into balls. 
Roll balls in:
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Chill in fridge ideally a few hours (if possible); even better the next day. Great for school snacks since everything has to be nut-free these days. 
*1 cup nuts= 1/2 cup nut butter, haven’t tested this ratio with seeds but go for it if you only have the seeds (I’d try a little less than 1cup). I prefer using butter in this recipe, lends to a more chewy texture. You could also use sunflower seed butter, or half and half. If seed butters really don’t fly with you then use the nut butters, which would be amazing, of course. But before you give up try adding 1/2 tsp vanilla (or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder) &/or and extra .5-1 tbsp cocoa. You’ll notice I use a minimum amount of cocoa as I prefer to taste all ingredients.