One of the most popular recipes at my house and on this blog are my No-Bake Brownie Bites. I’ve since discovered that a lot of people have allergies to walnuts, including my own baby. Recently, I experimented with sunflower seeds (they are the new cashews—the stars of plant-based everything!). WOWIE ZINGO! Come to find out, sunflower seed chocolate balls are scrumptious! Where have they been all my life?
- few ingredients
- 10 min prep (INSTANT GRATIFICATION here!)
- Rich and chocolatey
- 100% whole food ingredients
- No nuts!
- the perfect treat for road trips, hikes, picnics, or to make while your kids take a nap
Simply whiz the sunflower seeds in a food processor until they make a sandy flour. Add the remaining ingredients.
The mixture will seem a little loose, but just squish it and it should form a ball. Those sticky dates do their job!
Now you have sunflower chocolate bliss! In a ball! Sunflower seeds are way cheaper than walnuts, less oily, and have more protein (6 g per ounce compared to 4 g) than walnuts! I’m not against walnuts whatsoever, but it’s nice to have alternative healthy options.
It’s ok to grab another…then another. These little balls may taste indulgent, and they are high-calorie, but they are jam-packed with nutrition!
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of selenium. Just one ounce contains 32% of the recommended daily intake. Selenium protects cells from damage and may prevent wrinkles. As I’m pushing 30, wrinkles are starting to to be on my mind….one more reason why I need more sunflower chocolate bliss balls.
Along with selenium, sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and folate. Dates add lots of potassium and fiber.
Seeds are one of the most highly-nutritious foods we can eat, and we should eat some every day. (Joel Fuhrman has done extensive research on the power of seeds, if you’d like to learn more about this.) I’ve added ground flax seeds to this recipe to add even more nutrition and omega 3’s.
So yes, for once I’m not saying to eat your vegetables, but also to eat your chocolate!
A nut-free chocolate treat that is indulgent yet super nutritious!
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 medjool dates (if using smaller dates like deglet noor, use about 12)
In a food processor, run the sunflower seeds for at least 1 minutes, or maybe 2, until the seeds creates a fine flour. It should look like fine sand.
Add the ground flax seeds, cocoa powder, and salt. Run the food processor for a few seconds to mix it well.
Ad the pitted dates and vanilla and pulse until the mixture is very well combined and resembles fine, sticky chocolate sand. The mixture will appear loose, but when you smash some together it should stick to form a ball.
Form about 16 balls and eat! Leftovers store nicely at room temperature or in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for months. A
A drop of peppermint essential oil or extract is a nice touch!
Each ball contains 82 calories, 4 g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 12% DV vitamin E, 4% DV iron, and 10% DV manganese.
When I started my WFPB experience, this was the first healthy treat I made. We were all amazed at how delicious it was without butter or sugar! How could that be? I didn’t realize at that time that nuts and seeds give the fat for deliciousness, but also a whole slew of important nutrients. And the dates and/or raisins give the necessary sweetness, also with important nutrients. Isn’t God amazing?! Sometimes I will buy a dark chocolate bar, melt it, and dip the balls for an extra special treat.