I love love love sweets. I’m a big cupcake, frosting, and chocolate brownie kind of gal. I’m not much into chewy, fruity candies or ice cream, but put a red velvet cupcake or molten lava cake in front of me and I’m a goner. Luckily, I’ve found a solution: no-bake cacao treats! Enter medjool dates. Medjool dates are so sweet and sticky, they totally satisfy that craving. But, where’s the chocolate? Enter cacao powder. Cacao is a type of tropical tree that produces chocolate in raw form. Unsweetened cacao can be found at grocery stores and is a total God-send. Cacao powder gives you that chocolate taste without the added sweeteners and sugars. I actually feel cheated that I didn’t know about this in college. It would have saved me 15 pounds! After playing around with flours and oats, I thought to myself “what about something spiralized?” Enter plantain rice. Plantain rice is savory and sweet all at the same time. By toasting the plantain slightly, you get rid of that pre-ripe bitterness. Plus, the texture of toasted plantain rice is a bit hearty and sticky, thanks to the starchiness of this fruit. When the plantains, cacao, medjool dates, and coconut flakes are mixed together, the result is the absolute perfect sweet dessert. Then, the salted pepitas really put the cherry on top. Next time you’re craving something sweet, make a few batches of these rice balls. They can be eaten immediately or placed in the refrigerator to harden a bit more. Of course, I couldn’t wait for the chilling process, so I stuffed a few in my mouth and they just really hit the spot. With a little creativity and planning ahead, you can say goodbye to those chocolate-induced comas and say hello to a thin waist and a happy, satisfied tummy.
Cacao-Coconut Plantain Rice Balls [Vegan]
5 - 6 balls
- 1 plantain, peeled, spiralized
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cacao
- 2 teaspoons de-shelled roasted and salted pepitas
- 3 teaspoons coconut flakes
- Place your plantain noodles into a food processor and pulse until like rice. Place into a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 3 minutes, tossing frequently.
- Place the plantain rice, medjools, cacao and coconut flakes into a food processor and pulse until sticky and smooth.
- Place the mash into a bowl and add in the pepitas. Mix with hands to incorporate the pepitas. Then, form 5-6 balls with hands and place each onto a plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and then enjoy or enjoy immediately.