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Chocolate Orange Bites

These are inspired by a hybrid of Terry's Chocolate Orange and Nakd Cocoa Orange bars. Need I say more?
Chocolate Orange Bites

I prefer treats less sweet so intentionally use a lower ratio of dried fruit than typical store bought Nakd or Lara type bars.

The addition of maca powder adds a hint of butterscotch richness but is entirely optional. Maca, a superfood powder derived from a Peruvian root, is purported to provide a little oomph of energy and aids in hormonal balance, as well as containing essential amino acids, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Raw cacao may be substituted for unsweetened cocoa powder but raw cacao has a more intense flavour and is higher in antioxidants, which are partially destroyed by the higher temperatures used to treat cocoa powder.

Chocolate Orange Bites

Makes 20 balls

Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

1 cup raw unsalted cashew nuts
3/4 cup large soft pitted dates (approx 12 depending on size!)
1/3 cup raw cacao powder, or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1-2 large oranges
1 tbsp fresh orange juice, if needed
pinch of salt
Optional: 1 tbsp maca powder
Optional for rolling: cacao powder or unsweetened dessicated coconut

1. In a food processor, process cashew nuts until fine and just starting to clump (preferably not reaching nut butter stage).
2. Add dates and process until mixture starts to come together.
3. Add cacao powder, vanilla, orange zest, salt and maca, if using and continue to process until mixture forms a crumbly dough.
4. If mixture is too crumbly, add the orange juice and blitz.
5. Roll approx heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and roll in cacao powder or dessicated coconut if using. They should resemble the size of Lindt chocolate balls.
6. Store in airtight container in fridge or freeze for better portion control! Defrost for five or so minutes at room temperature prior to eating if freezing.
Chocolate Orange Bites - whole bowl not to be eaten in one sitting