These Chocolate Orange Coconut Balls are not your mother’s sugar-free cookies. Yes, they’re free of white refined sugar, but they’re not free of taste. And now that I think of it, why is it always bad to be something of your mom’s? Poor moms.
As you may (or may not) know, I’m on a Cleanse Diet. And I’m completely cool with it. Really.
OK. Not really. There is one part that has gotten my goat. Poor goat.
Why is it so hard to “just say no” to sugar?
Maybe because it’s just so…sweet!
Although I’m still eschewing white, refined sugar, I have found my way to some sweet treats. Ah sweetness, they can’t keep me away from you for long!
And this recipe includes something I’ve been pining over for awhile, orange peel. I’ve used orange zest in a recipe before, but now I’m including the whole peel. A little squeamish about putting orange peel in a recipe? Don’t be. O Magazine recently featured an article on the benefits of using the whole peel. I had a sneaky suspicion that orange peel had its benefits. Come to find out it packs 4 times the amount of fiber. And even more flavonoids, those cancer-fighting goodies!
So this recipe is sugar free. Gluten-free. Vegan. And packing lots of nutrients. But don’t think of it that way.
Imagine Chocolate Orange Coconut Bliss…in a bite-size ball!
Chocolate Orange Coconut Balls
(A source of inspiration for this recipe was provided by Chocolate Macaroons in Raw Food: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow)
- 3 cups sugar-free coconut flakes (See #2 below)
- ¾ cup cocoa
- ½ cup agave nectar, (or maple syrup)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, (found in most health food sections)
- Orange Peel (I used about 1/4 the peel from a large orange)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- First of all, heat your oven to 300
- Second, I want to share with you a tip. I found buying unsweetened coconut flakes to be expensive. But I found a bag of raw coconut chips in the produce section of our grocery store for less than $2! I simply buy these coconut chips and put them in the food processor for several seconds. Voila! Inexpensive, unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Place unsweetened coconut flakes and 1/4 of the peel of an orange in the food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the orange peel is roughly minced. This will lend a mild orange flavor to the recipe. If you’d like to make the orange flavor punch, go ahead and try adding a little bit more.
- Next add the cocoa, agave nectar, and vanilla. Pulse a few more seconds until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Now comes the hard part. Somehow you have to coax the coconut oil from it’s container. It’s not easy. It’s especially difficult for me because I store my coconut oil in the fridge. That stuff is expensive and I don’t want it to go bad! So you can place your jar of coconut oil in a bowl of hot water to help it loosen up a little bit. Once it’s softened a bit, measure it out and place that in the food processor and pulse until the coconut oil is well distributed throughout.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or your hands to spoon out rounded balls of the coconut mixture onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. I like the combination of low temperature and longer cooking time for these cookies.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating.
Enjoy them while they last!