Let’s have some chocolate, shall we?
This Thursday was National Brownie Day, and in the spirit of that celebration, plus the holiday season, I figured a little good-for-you sweet treat was in order. As I’ve said in the past, baking is not really my wheelhouse and as a result, I tend to stick to cooking instead. No-bake bites and protein balls however, are something I can totally manage without messing up, and if I can, that means pretty much anyone can!
Fun fact: Did you know chocolate is one of the best foods you can enjoy to boost mood?
You probably didn’t need an excuse to eat more of it, but let’s geek out anyway! The magic is thanks to chocolate’s naturally-occurring chemicals, which trigger the release of specific neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our emotions. One of these chemicals is tryptophan, which triggers the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps to make us feel happier, so if you’re looking to get more of this lovely mood-boosting chemical coursing through your bod, foods like high quality dark chocolate, oats, wild caught salmon, eggs, bananas, pasture-raised poultry, chickpeas, potatoes, cashews, walnuts and sesame seeds.
It just so happens I’ve included several ingredients from that list – chocolate, oats and cashews – in these No-Bake Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites. If you feel a little too much stress coming on, are totally bummed out because it’s freezing outside, or just need a mid-week pick-me-up, these little guys will come in handy!
These vegan, naturally-sweetened No-Bake Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites taste just like a brownie, but have greens and antioxidants hiding inside!
- 3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (or gluten-free oats, ground into flour)
- 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder, such as Navitas Organics Cacao and Greens Essential Superfood Blend or Vega Sport Performance Protein
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup chopped pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for about 5 minutes
- 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp cashew butter or almond butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup dairy-free mini dark chocolate chips
- Combine the oat flour, protein powder, cacao, cinnamon and sea salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place the cashews in a food processor and whirl until they form coarse flour. Pour them into the oat flour mixture.
- Add the dates and warm water to the processor and pulse/process until broken down as much as possible. Add all remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips to the processor and continue blending until evenly incorporated.
- Depending on the size of your food processor, either add the flour mixture gradually to the bowl and blend it into the wet ingredients, or add the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and stir them into the flour. Either way, you’re looking for a dough-like consistency. Once evenly combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough into a ball and store it, wrapped in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Dividing the chilled dough into 12 even pieces, form small balls with your hands.
- Store in the fridge, or freeze leftovers for up to 3 weeks.