These Four Ingredient Cocoa Dusted Pecan Date Balls are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Made with pecans, dates, sea salt and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder they are also Whole30 approved!
January is the most popular time of the year for diets and resets. It’s the beginning of a new year where you want to be starting out fresh and healthy and it’s right after the holidays, which you probably spent overindulging. This January I cut out alcohol and coffee and I cut way back on sugar. The sugar thing is definitely the hardest for me to control. I love sugar in all forms and near the end of the year my sugar routine (this seems like the most fitting word for what was going on) was getting WAY out of control! Think ice cream and Christmas cookies… every day… Needless to say, I really needed this reset and after about a weeks worth of fighting off intense sugar cravings and headaches, I am no longer craving dessert after every meal – #win!
I know a lot of people are participating in Whole30s in January as well. I’ve done a Whole30 in the past, it wasn’t my favorite thing ever, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again. I know a lot of hard-core Whole30-ers would not think of touching these Four Ingredient Cocoa Dusted Pecan Date Balls, but they are technically approved. There are 2 main reasons people could take issue with them on Whole30. First, dates are high in sugar – natural sugar, but still… people think dates can derail a Whole30 and interfere with breaking a “sugar habit”. And the second, they mimic a “treat” or “dessert” which are not allowed on Whole30.
Whole30 is all about changing your mindset around food and not just finding compliant substitutes for things in your normal diet that are not allowed on Whole30. But there are many different reasons to do a Whole30 and the experience differs from person to person. Some people do it to target food sensitivities while others do it to discover new foods and to find healthier recipes that they can incorporate into their diets long after their Whole30 is over. For example – dates. I discovered how much I like dates on Whole30. They are packed with fiber and antioxidants and can make a great addition to your regular diet.
I totally respect both sides and all schools of thought and I also know that the Whole30 program isn’t for everyone. If you have struggled with disordered eating in the past or issues with your relationship with food, Whole30 can be very limiting and all-consuming and can trigger some to fall back into old, unhealthy habits.
So basically what I’m saying is, after much debate, I’m labeling these Four Ingredient Cocoa Dusted Pecan Date Balls as “Whole30”, but I get it if you don’t want to. I think of them as a breakfast food or a snack on-the-run, not a dessert. And if I were doing a Whole30, they would fall into the “approved” category for me.
Whole30 or not, they are a great snack to have on hand. They are packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants and they taste great! I love the way the unsweetened dark cocoa powder compliments the sweetness of the dates. I recommend only eating 1-2 at a time, as they are rich and very satisfying.
They are made with only 4 ingredients – pecans, dates, sea salt and unsweetened, 100% dark cocoa powder. You will process the dates, pecans and sea salt in a food processor, then form them into balls and roll in the cocoa powder – so easy! You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks to enjoy as you wish!
These Four Ingredient Cocoa Dusted Pecan Date Balls are a perfect grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Made with pecans, dates, sea salt and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder they are also Whole30 approved!
16 dates, pitted
1 cup raw, unsalted pecans
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened, 100% dark chocolate cocoa powder
To a food processor, add dates and pecans
Turn on high and process until they just start to form a ball*
Add sea salt, pulse to incorporate
Refrigerate 10 minutes
Measure out the cocoa powder and place it on a plate or in a shallow bowl
Using clean hands, form pecan date mixture into 1-inch balls
Roll the balls in cocoa until completely coated (2-3 times)
Store balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks
*Do not over process the dates and pecans, the pecans release a lot of oil and the mixture will become too greasy if over processed.
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