I come from a lineage of serious cherry lovers.
As far back as I can remember, every Christmas – my grandpa would pass around boxes of traditional cherry cordials to all of the grandkids, secretly encouraging us to eat as many as we wanted. He loved to see our eyes light up and attempt to stuff our cheeks full of sweets before our parents showed up and shut down the party. While my mother absolutely hated the sugar-stuffing tradition, it’s one of my favorite memories of my grandpa and the holidays growing up.
Fast forward to present day, and wouldn’t you know – I married a man who absolutely loves all things cherry. This past weekend, Mr. Coconuts turned the BIG three-zero. To celebrate the milestone, I decided to surprise him with my own “human food” rendition of the beloved chocolate covered cherry. Since switching to an ancestral way of eating, we both aren’t big on “sweets” anymore, however – these paleo-friendly treats are the perfect balance of sweetness, saltiness, and savoriness wrapped into one ball. Proceed with caution. One you pop, it’s hard to stop.
Note: This recipe can also be used to make homemade “Larabars” or energy balls. Simply skip the chocolate covering step, form into an easily-transportable shape, and store in the refrigerator.
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I highly recommend these organic, soy-free dark chocolate chips)
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp cacao powder (cocoa powder works too!)
Unrefined sea salt to taste (around 1/3 tsp)
Place the dates and dried cherries in a food processor and blend into small pieces. Add the almonds, pecans and cocoa powder and blend until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add melted honey and vanilla extract and blend until mixed. The mixture should become “sticky” and bind together when rolled into a ball. If mixture does not bind – add more honey in small increments until the texture changes. Once you’ve got the right consistency – roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls and place in the freezer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
While balls are freezing, melt all the ingredients for the chocolate. For perfectly (unburned) chocolate, heat on the stove using the “double broiler” method. You can create your own homemade double broiler by placing a heat safe glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (read how to do that here.) Once balls are frozen and chocolate is melted, roll each ball in the melted chocolate using a fork. Use the fork to lift the ball out of the chocolate and lightly tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate before returning to the baking sheet. Place chocolate covered cherry balls in the freezer to set completely before serving. Store in the freezer.
Keepin’ it human,