This past Saturday – at precisely 4 PM – marked the end of a 15-day cooking marathon, of which I was the only runner. For 2 weeks and one day when I wasn’t cooking I was shopping and when I wasn’t shopping I was cooking. The 15th day of this self-induced marathon was catering for the Happy Sex Mama yoga retreat in Mougins. (Note to self – when running the last stretch of a cooking marathon it is not a brilliant idea to surround yourself by blissfully relaxed women perfecting zen yoga and meditation techniques. A zumba retreat might have been a better idea!) Anyway….
The energy throughout the day was lovely and relaxing and while, at times, I longed to be stretched out on a mat on the floor along with the participants it did make me realize how much I love cooking. At one point I glanced at the women perfecting their downward facing dog and realized I was just as happy chopping my avocado as I would have been practicing yoga. Perhaps not as rested but as happy.
Fortunately, I got to chat throughout the day with the yoga bunnies which was lovely because I love meeting new people and the much-needed conversation prevented me from falling asleep in my chia pudding. One very nice question I heard throughout the day was “Is this recipe on your website?” which made me realize 2 things:
1) People actually read my blog – yay!!!!
2) I have been so busy cooking that I have completely neglected my poor little blog and people want more recipes – hooray!!!
So, last Saturday, when I finally walked in the door to my house at 4 pm, weak with exhaustion and smelling of garlic and cumin, I collapsed onto my bed thinking about which recipe I would next post. And 30 seconds later I fell into a vegetative state – which is why this post wasn’t actually written until now!
One of the mid-morning snacks I served at the retreat were these chocolate coconut balls and everyone asked for the recipe so here it is! They are gluten-free and refined sugar free and they even pass the taste test with my little ones – ages 3 and 4 – by far my toughest critics! I usually make a double batch because they are so yummy and healthy and – believe it or not – they freeze well! I indulge in them as a quick on-the-go breakfast, post-workout snack and not-so-guilty dessert. They also travel well so they are a great after-school snack for the kiddies.
- 250 g/ 8 oz pitted dates
- ½ cup/50g raw cacao powder
- 3 Tablespoons/25g almonds
- 2½ cups/ 200g dried coconut flakes
- 2½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 2½ tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C
- Place the dates, cacao and almonds in a food processor and process until it starts to become sticky. This will take probably about a full minute in the food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process until binding together and sticking enough when squeezed into a ball..
- Form the mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes.