These plant-based protein balls are great for a snack, small dessert or after a work out!! With bourbon, nibs and toasted pecans creating a “super ball” favorite that will give a healthy kick!
Yield: about 30 balls
10 large Dates (about 3/4 cup), pitted
2 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup Cacao Nibs (organic – no sugar)
1 cup Organic Almond Butter
1/2 cup (60 g) Organic Natural Flavored Whey Protein Powder
3 TBL Bourbon
1 TBL Hazelnut Extract (or Almond Extract)
Pinch of Salt
Cut the dates in half, pit and soak in water for about 15 minutes or until soft. You may use hot water to speed up the process if desired.
Chop 1/2 cup of the nibs up into even finer pieces, set aside 1/4 cup nibs for dough. Toast the pecans to your liking, chop them up finely and add 1 cup to the food processor. Reserve the remaining 1 cup of pecans add to the nibs, set aside for covering the balls later.
Using a food processor, combine the almond butter (make sure almond butter is thin and drippy), dates, 1 cup pecans, hazelnut extract, protein powder, 1/4 cup of the Nibs, bourbon and salt. Run on high until the dates and well broken down and the entire thing has a dough like consistency. Depending on the wetness of the dates and almond butter, the dough may not form a ball, but if you squeeze ingredients together in your hand it should hold its shape. If not, add a teaspoon of water.
About a tablespoon at a time, roll the dough into small bit sized balls in your hand. Then roll in the reserved pecans/nibs mixture to coat outer cover. If the pecan/nib mixture does not stick, lightly wet balls with your fingers.
Place each ball on a small tray which will be placed in the freezer until hardened. Leave them there for a minimum of 30 minutes. We like to put them in a container after that and just keep them in the freezer, although they can be kept in the refrigerator just as well.