Vegan, Gluten-Free "Nutella" Balls

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

Ah, good morning. I'm not too thrilled to be going back to work today. Not as much because it means I'll be at work, but more because I don't want to go outside. Brrr! You may notice I didn't title this post with the word DETOX in all caps. However, I'm still on it. Yesterday, in fact, was one of my best days yet! This doesn't mean I'm not eating amazing sweets, though.

Today's recipe happened by mistake. I was trying to figure out how to make my own vegan Nutella (as you'll remember, I'm quite fond of the stuff -- even made Nutella ice cream and brownies with my friend Lindsey recently), and the recipe I followed simply didn't turn out. So, I went with it and created these tasty Nutella balls instead.

They taste pretty amazing. Not exactly like Nutella, of course, but the hazelnuts and cocoa do mix to create a similar, happily familiar flavor. Plus -- without all the added sugar and other crap that's inside those sinful jars of the real spread, they're much healthier to boot.

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Pinch of salt

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place hazelnuts on a rimmed cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, add all ingredients -- including the hazelnuts -- and blend until the nuts are pretty much not nut-like anymore. The mixture should be thick.
  4. Line another cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop onto it heaping tablespoon-sized dollops of the mixture.
  5. Eat warm, but I advise refrigerating beforehand. Will make them turn out more like balls. Keep cold and should last all week (if you don't eat them first).

Now, I've said it before . . . and I'll say it again: If you haven't signed up for this month's Blog Love Fest -- head on over now and add yourself! Deadline is January 10th. Also check out the great list of blogs that's already forming. Speaking of deadlines, the FREEKEND submission deadline has come and gone. Sadly, at this time I have no submissions! So, it'll just be me this month. No worries, though. Doesn't mean I'm canceling the whole thing. Keep an eye out for that post sometime later in the week.

Not too keen on all this detox stuff? Don't worry! I've got some delish cookies, cakes, and other awesome recipes to offer up. And I will. Soon. I'm not apologizing for my blitz of super healthy posts -- I'm just sayin' I changed the game on you all, and I've got a variety of recipes up my sleeve.

And now I must go get ready for work.

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