Homemade Chocolate Covered Date Balls/Larabars

Since the afternoon classes at my yoga studio are closed due to the Dream Cruise, I had the pleasure of practicing at noon today with one of my favorite teachers. The energy in the room was strong, the flow was invigorating, and the temperature was hot hot hot—just how I like it.

Today’s practice was especially challenging because we did mountain climbers at the end. (I know, I know, mountain climber’s aren’t “yoga,” but they way you have to breathe through the sensation definitely IS.) I groan every time I have to do them, which is exactly why I love when a teacher calls them out (well, I love them AFTER they’re done…but during? Notsomuch.) I practice hot vinyasa every day, so my body has built up endurance. Accordingly, it’s hard for me to reach my “edge,” even with the extra pushups and intensifications I add.  However, mountain climbers definitely give me a chance to rub up against my edge!

After class as I talked with one of my yoga friends, my yoga teacher snuck up behind me and gave me a little hug and kiss on the cheek. Before I could even say anything, she was gone. I love little random acts of kindness and love like that! Ever since my beautiful yoga practice I just can’t wipe the smile off my face. Never underestimate the power of a kind word, friendly touch, or thoughful gesture, my friends!

Once I was showered, dressed, and ready to go, I walked to Starbucks for a hot vanilla rooibos tea. (Side note: have you ever sprinkled cinnamon on your tea? Every time I’m at Starbucks, I grab the little cinnamon shaker and go crazy. Even iced tea. Trrryyyyy it!) Yes, I am, in fact, one of those people who gets a hot drink on a crazy humid day.

Starbucks within walking distance from my yoga studio? Dangerous.

And for the record, I proceeded to spill popping hot tea all over myself after I took this photo. It wasn’t much (once I looked inside), but it was enough to burn me and wet my dress. Cool. But you know what? The smile is still on my face.

***

Seeing all of Starbucks’ new mini desserts inspired me to post the recipes for the treats I made last Sunday for Jera of Adventuresof Vegirl. I think it’s a great idea that Starbucks is trying to make more portion controlled snacks, but I wish they were a bit more wholesome. At least with my coconut balls and chocolate cherry almond bites you can count the number of good-for-you ingredients on one hand (and pronounce them!). Also, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Oh, and did I mention they’re covered in chocolate?

So next time you’re getting your pick-me-up drink at Starbucks, why not pull a homemade mini “dessert” out of your purse or pocket? Heck, why not two or three (or more)? Since they’re good for you (and lower in cals, etc. than Starbucks’ choices), you can have a few extra and feel good about it. Instead of a sugar crash, you’ll feel energized and ready to go on with your day.

Chocolate Coconut Date Bites (Homemade Coconut Cream Pie Larbars—Nut Free!)

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (60g)
  • 1-1/3 cup dates (160g)
  • optional ingredients: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I’m a cinnamon FIEND), chocolate chips to mix in
  • chocolate, melted (+ coconut oil to thin, if needed)
  1. Combine coconut and dates (and vanilla extract and cinnamon, if using) in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until well combined (or until a ball forms). Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
  2. Form mixture into desired shape. Make balls for a raw truffle effect, or make bars for a homemade Larabar (bonus: no packaging!).
  3. Roll in melted chocolate.
  4. Place in the fridge or freezer to set the chocolate.
***

Chocolate Cherry Almond Balls 

  • 1/2 cup almonds (60g)
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries (80g) 
  • 1/3 cup dates (80g) 
  • optional ingredients: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 TBS cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon (it really brings out the chocolate flavor!), chocolate chips
  • chocolate, melted (+ coconut oil to thin, if needed) 
  1. Combine almonds, dried cherries, and dates (and vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and cinnamon, if using) in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until well combined (or until a ball forms). Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
  2. Form mixture into desired shape. Make balls for a raw truffle effect, or make bars for a homemade Larabar (bonus: no packaging!).
  3. Roll in melted chocolate.
  4. Place in the fridge or freezer to set the chocolate.
So next time you’re craving something a little sweet, all you have to do is grab one of these. They take just a few minutes to make, freeze/refrigerate well, cost less than Larabars and other snacks on-the-go, and are filled with healthy ingredients to satisfy your appetite and sweet tooth. Your body (and wallet!) will thank you. 
What snack do you reach for when you’re on-the-go? Do you have a Starbucks favorite? 
*I challenge every one of you to perform a random act of kindness today. It can be anything! (Need ideas? Why not make a batch of these homemade Larabars for someone you love? Hehe.)
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee
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6 responses to “Homemade Chocolate Covered Date Balls/Larabars

  1. buttonss - Cherie

    Yes! I sprinkle cinnamon on my tea 😀
    We have star bucks in Australia, but its really not that popular.
    I work at one of the popular chain coffee stores in australia, its called zarraffas coffee, and everyone prefers our coffees over starbucks.
    In fact, there use to be quite alot of starbucks stores over here, but they got no business so more than half of them had to close down.

    • You work at a coffee shop? I’m so jealous :P. I would be drinking tea all the time if I worked there hehe. I’ve heard the coffee at Starbucks is not actually all that amazing so I think it’s kind of a brand obsession. However, their vanilla rooibos tea is AMAZING! You can tell because they use “fancy” tea bags with actual “stuff” in them, whereas their other teas use the “cheap-y” ones haha. It’s always sad when a business closes down, but the customers’ will prevails!

  2. Maxwell@FreedomRunning

    I don’t go to Starbucks that often but I love the smell of the place when you walk past it or step inside. Mmmm… which reminds me. Those morsels look pretty tasty. 😛 I don’t like coconut that much but I think I will have to try the others when I have the time. 🙂

  3. you just tapped into my secret obsession – hitting up starbucks after yoga and after anything really 🙂 haha.

    either those are the most delicious and tiniest balls or that is one huge cherry haha ❤ ❤

  4. My on-the-go snack is usually either soy crisps, a baggie of dry cereal, or an apple! (Sometimes all three get thrown in my bag, and then I eat them throughout the day! haha) I’m a huge snacker! I love larabars, but they don’t always fill me up!

  5. Lenna (veganlenna)

    Thanks for those recipes, they sound awesome! Hmm..vanilla rooibos tea sounds delicious, I love vanilla rooibos, but I have never had it in Starbucks. Well, to be honest, I have never been to Starbucks at all! I know, I am strnage 🙂 But if I want coffee or tea, I´d rather go to some nice cosy small coffee house than to the always overcrowded Starbucks.

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