Chocolate-Hazelnut Buckwheat Bites

LVV MoFo 2014 main

In just a couple days, S and I devoured all the Apricot Buckwheat Bites I made earlier this week. I’m surprised they lasted longer than a day, to be honest!

“Mmm. I really like these,” S said when he tried the first one. And then, a few bites later, “You should make a chocolate version.”

A chocolate version. Once the idea was in my head, it wouldn’t leave. I had to make it happen.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Buckwheat Bites

Chocolate-Hazelnut Buckwheat Bites
Makes 25 balls about 1.25″ in diameter

  • 1 C raw hazelnuts
  • 1/4 C raw buckwheat groats
  • 18-20 raw Medjool dates
  • 2 T raw shelled hemp seeds
  • 1/3 C chocolate chips
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Add the hazelnuts, buckwheat groats, the hemp seeds, and about 15 dates to a food processor and process until well combined. Add the chocolate chips, maple syrup, and sea salt and process for 10-15 seconds. Check the mixture—if it’s not holding together at all, add a few dates, process, and check again. Add more dates if necessary until the mixture is sticky but holds together.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls about 1.25″ in diameter. Store in the refrigerator for best results.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Buckwheat Bites

Between the chocolate chips and the crunchy buckwheat, these little bites taste more like candy than anything else. But five balls give you 20% of your daily value of iron, along with 9 grams of protein, 7% of your daily value of calcium, and a decent dose of fiber. Sweet!

Apricot Buckwheat Bites

LVV MoFo 2014 mainOne of the best parts of MoFo this year has been discovering new and unexpected nutrition sources. The internet is full of top-ten lists, touting the best ways to get various nutrients on a vegetarian/vegan/paleo/gluten-free/whatever diet. But those lists only take you so far—I’ve found plenty of great protein and iron sources simply by rifling through my pantry. Today’s mostly raw recipe combines a few surprising sources of iron into a super satisfying snack.

Apricot Buckwheat Bites

Apricot Buckwheat Bites
Makes 20 balls about 1.5″ in diameter

  • 1/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup raw buckwheat groats, divided
  • 8-10 medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 2/3 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (measure before chopping)
  • 2 T raw shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Dash sea salt

Add the hazelnuts and half the buckwheat groats to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the dates (start with 8), apricots, and vanilla extract and process until all ingredients are combined—the mixture will be a little sticky, but it should hold together. If it’s too dry, add the remaining dates. Add the remaining groats, hemp seeds, and sea salt and pulse a few more times until all new ingredients are incorporated.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls about 1.5″ in diameter. Store in the refrigerator for best results.

Note: Vanilla bean seeds would work great here, but I couldn’t find mine… so, vanilla extract it was.

Apricot Buckwheat BitesThese little bites have a satisfying crunch to them thanks to the raw buckwheat groats. If you’ve never used raw buckwheat, do yourself a favor and try it. Just be careful not to buy toasted buckwheat accidentally—that satisfying crunch will be much less satisfying and a little more unpleasant in that case. (Toasted buckwheat is also called kasha, and it makes a nutty replacement for your favorite cooked grain.) Raw buckwheat is—surprise!—a great source of iron, as are the apricots, dates, and hemp seeds. Four of these bites will give you 13% of your daily value of iron, along with 4 grams of protein and 6.4% of your daily value of calcium. Impressive!

Have you tried raw buckwheat groats? How do you like to use them?

Macros and Medjools

Did you ever read Highlights magazine when you were a kid? I’m pretty sure I had a subscription to it for a few years… and it was almost always included in that ubiquitous stack of dog-eared, food-smeared magazines at the pediatrician’s office. I always loved that section at the end where they included a picture taken with a macro lens and you had to guess what object it was. It was usually something like a pencil or a flower, but the focus on some small part of it always made it seem otherworldly and mysterious, and I thought that was so darn cool.

Anyway, I had a bit of Highlights nostalgia while attempting to photograph my dessert last night. See, the thing is, as delicious as Medjool dates are, they just don’t photograph well. It’s probably because dates are inherently funny looking, but slicing ’em open, filling their cavities with peanut butter and dark chocolate, and then microwaving the heck outta those suckers doesn’t really do anything for their aesthetics. So I present to you a somewhat mind-boggling photo of one of the most delicious and easy desserts known to womankind.

Medjool madness!

Okay, maybe they’re not so freakish looking, but I bet that non-food bloggers would be all, “What the heck is that?!” when presented with this photo. Lucky for us foodie folk, we’re mostly familiar with the wonder that is the candy-like Medjool date. I seriously consider these guys to be Mama Nature’s gift to our tastebuds… they’re just so soft and sweet and gorram delicious. Adding peanut butter and chocolate takes things over the edge, especially if you heat the mess ’til the dates start to smell like they’re caramelizing and the chocolate is gooey and the whole thing is just heavenly.

All I need is a new camera and a macro lens and then I can fill my blog with even more photos of my Medjool lovelies… up close and personal. ;)