Before we get to the Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I want to talk about an article in the Toronto Star this week about veganism. This article focused on the extremely positive environmental effects of a vegan diet which are not realized because of people’s unwillingness to give up animal products, despite the research available. The article states “adopting a plant-based diet is one of the most powerful choices an individual can make in mitigating environmental degradation and depletion of Earth’s natural resources” and goes on to say how this is common knowledge among consumers. Overall saying it’s not people’s lack of knowledge that is preventing them from adopting a vegetarian diet but rather their unwillingness to give up the foods they love.
This is a very fair point especially in urban developed societies, but I do think there is still a lot of education to be done. However, 1. Yay for positive press on vegans! 2. What a perfect excuse to post a delicious vegan recipe to prove that you really don’t have to give up anything as a vegan!
One of my favourite parts of the article is when it says “vegans are often unfairly mocked, and should instead be praised because of their reduced impact on the environment”. To me, the negative connotation vegans have is very understandable. When you learn everything that happens behind the scenes in the slaughter houses, the government and on farms it is hard not to tell everyone you know thus becoming an angry preachy vegan (much like the ones I used to mock myself). It is refreshing to see some positive light shed on the situation, celebrating all the positive effects from a vegan diet (even though sometimes it comes from an earful).
This leads me to my favourite subject (and goal): being a happy and joyful vegan. By this I mean generally trying to be easy going, polite and most of all, not condescending. Even among the most uneducated carnivores who say ‘ the vayguns’ and ‘where do you get your protein’ and especially around those you are closest to (although this is hard, and I am guilty of it myself). I try to go about my everyday life and let people ask questions on their own, never rant. As the questions come up I try to slowly educate based on what I know but more importantly refer them to places where they can get more information. This is a better way for people to learn and make the decision on their own.
It then goes on to explain how eating meat will eventually become the new cigarettes, it ‘won’t be cool’ to eat processed meat. I look forward to this and truly believe it will happen. It is cheese that people will not give up, with the general consensus that cashew cheese just isn’t the same. This is a fair point but, I think this one does a pretty good job. 😉
The article ends with “The vegan argument will succeed, I predict, if it shifts from you’re doing what’s best for planet Earth platitudes to you’re doing what’s best for planet Earth at no real loss to your taste buds.” And that is what this post (and whole) blog is meant to show you! You can do what’s best for the environment, farmers, animals and yourself at no expense of your taste buds! If you want to read the full article find it here.
I apologize if you were just really hangry and wanted a dessert recipe to fix your chocolate craving! So on with it….
The Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls:
These chocolate peanut butter balls have never failed me, I know I say everything is vegan proof but this recipe goes beyond that! If you are bringing a vegan dessert somewhere THIS is what you should make.
In this recipe I use Raw Cacao Powder, which is unrefined cocoa powder meaning it is chocolate in it’s purest form. It is one of the highest sources in anit-oxidants and also very high in magnesium (yes, healthy chocolate)! It can be found in bulk at some bulk food stores or ordered online for a good price. If you do not have this on hand cocoa powder will work just as well. Since it is slightly more processed than cacao it looses some of it’s nutrients in the refining process. However it is still quite good for you! Just ensure you buy plain cocoa without added sugars (i.e. for baking, not hot chocolate mix).
Disclaimer: I have made these as well with 1/2 cup of maple syrup (in stead of 1/3), they turned out very rich and sweet! You can use 1/4 – 1/2 depending on your sweet tooth (mine is quite large). I found 1/3 cup to be a good balance.
- 1 Cup Desiccated Coconut
- ¼ Almonds (or Almond meal for a less chunky more doughy ball)
- ¾ Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 Cup Oats
- ⅓ Cup Maple Syrup
- Crushed peanuts (for topping)
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
- 4 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (Or cocoa powder)
- First make the peanut butter balls. Start by processing almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped (almost a meal). Add the remaining ingredients and process until thick, one giant ball usually forms.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out and roll into equal sized balls. Place in freezer while making the chocolate.
- To make the chocolate melt the coconut oil, maple syrup and peanut butter in a sauce pan or microwave until the coconut oil is melted. Stir in the cacao powder.
- Dip each ball in chocolate until covered, then sprinkle with chopped peanuts. To avoid mess you can place them on a cooling rack over a sheet pan to catch the chocolatey drippings!
- Place the balls in the freezer for 20-30 minutes (or until chocolate has solidified), enjoy!