Chocolate Bean Balls. Those are three words that I never thought I’d use in a sentence, never mind in a recipe. I think this must have been the delicious dish that caused all the fuss in that Saturday Night Live skit. You know the one – with Alec Baldwin (a.k.a Pete Schweddy) and his irresistible…..spheres. If you could make it past the innuendo and the double entendres, you remember that the ladies really were quite taken with the delicious, though rather unfortunately shaped, treats. The skit ran out of time before they were able to discuss the real merits of the delightful little orbs, which is a pity, because I think these are just about as perfect as it gets for a hiking snack.
I find that they give me some instant energy, thanks to the sweet dates and small amount of caffeine in the espresso powder, but also have some staying power from the fat (<2g / ball), slow digesting fiber and protein (3g/ball).
It may seem a little strange to put beans, chocolate and coffee into one treat, but it’s time to move on from three beans being relegated to the old salad stand-by. Why not a three bean dessert? Or hiking snack? Just don’t eat these near any moose nuggets, or the tourists may get the wrong idea….
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10 medjool dates, pitted (about 5.5 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats (about 3 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pulse the rolled oats in a food processor fitted with an S-blade until they become an oat flour. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Process remaining ingredients in the now empty food processor bowl until smooth. Add reserved oat flour and process until fully incorporated. Roll into balls and serve.