These easy to make no-bake balls are delicious and nutrient dense; made with ingredients high in vitamins and minerals and with flavours to please your tastebuds.
Especially noteworthy is the tart cherry flavour, which balances the sweetness of the dates and pairs beautifully with the dark chocolate coating, if you choose to go that route.
Make a double batch and store them in the fridge to have on hand as a snack or after dinner dessert. Packaged thoughtfully they make a great hostess gift.
I used raw cashews but you could use roasted ones.
Make sure you use sour dried cherries. These are Montmorency cherries.
If your dates are dried out soak them for 10 minutes in warm water. Drain well before blending.
I was out of the much preferred finely shredded coconut and made do with dried coconut chips. To avoid a longer processing time, I coarsely blended the coconut chips first before adding the cashews.
Melt the dark chocolate gently. I used a metal bowl sitting on a pot of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not sit in the water and that only the steam is melting the chocolate.
Dark chocolate-covered cashew cherry balls
Makes 20 to 24 balls
12 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 1/2 cup cashews, raw or roasted
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted (optional)
Add dates to food processor and blend until broken up into little bits.
Add coconut, cashews, cherries, extract and salt.
Pulse and combine until a sticky dough is formed. Be careful not to over-process or the mixture will become oily.
Using a spoon, scoop out the mixture and carefully roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls using the warmth of your hands to mold them. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Pop the cookie sheet of balls in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes or until firm.
Roughly chop the dark chocolate. Place in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally.
When the chocolate is half way melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until the remaining chocolate melts.
Dip each ball into the melted chocolate and roll around until completely covered (I use a spoon). Lift out and return to the parchment lined sheet.
Return to fridge and allow the chocolate to harden.
Store balls in an air-tight container or large zip lock bag for up to two weeks. Place in the freezer for longer storage time.
Remove from fridge five minutes before eating, or longer if stored in the freezer.