Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recipe: Raw Energy Balls - Koh Chang, Thailand

Last winter, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Thailand. We spent New Year's Eve in Bangkok (wild!) and on the first day of the new year, we headed down south to amazing island called Koh Chang. There was only one yoga studio on the island and it was a 90 minute drive by motorbike each way. The studio is located at The Spa Resort Koh Chang - a super secluded Health and Wellness Sanctuary, where people from all over the world go to participate in their famous 7 day cleanses.

We took a lovely and much-needed (after the 18 hour flight!) Hatha yoga class and then went to lunch at the The Spa Restaurant, which is mostly raw and voted one of the "50 Best Restaurants in the World" by UK Magazine.

Their raw energy balls are not only delicious and full of protein, but also adorable, which makes them a fun dessert to bring to a dinner party. This recipe is a must-try! Take some time this weekend to whip these babies up - you will have a new favorite healthy snack :)

Raw Energy Balls Recipe

Ten dates
One cup of raw pecans
Heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder
Dried coconut shreds (optional)
Raw cashews (optional)
Goji berries (optional)

1. Soak the dates in water. If you think to do this an hour or more in advance, it's fine to use room temperature water. If you're pressed for time and only have a few minutes for soaking, use hot water. The idea is to soften the dates so that they are easily blended into a soft paste.
2. Measure out a cup of raw pecans and put them in a food processor. A strong blender might also work, but for this recipe, a food processor works best.
3. Process pecans on low or using a pulse setting until they're nicely ground. You don't want to make pecan butter here - you're looking for nicely ground pecans.
4. Add a heaping teaspoon of quality cocoa powder. If you don't enjoy chocolate, it's fine to skip this step.
5. Blend or pulse for another few seconds to bring ground nuts and cocoa powder together.
6. Add six soaked and mildly crushed dates to the mix. It's best to add a little water to this recipe to create proper texture. A good way to add just enough, but not too much water is to lightly shake the dates as you get them out of their bowl of water, give them a gentle mush with your fingers, and add them slightly wet to the ground pecans.
7. Process on low or use the pulse setting until the dates and pecans become together into one mass.

You want the texture to be such that you can pinch off teaspoon-size chunks and roll them up with your palms into bite-size balls. If need be, add another mushed up date or two, but always be conservative in adding extra dates, as once the mixture gets too moist, it's very difficult to fix by adding more nuts.
* For some variety, roll balls in dried coconut, cocoa powder, and consider adding raw nuts and dried berries on top before serving.

Koh Chang (Elephant Island) will always have a special place in our hearts.
Here we are enjoying a magical Thai sunset on the island - January 2012.

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