Goodness gracious great balls of chocolate!

For health reasons, Marty and I recently adopted a plant-based diet, a personal story I share in this post. No more animal protein (meat, dairy, eggs) or processed oils. Suddenly the cookbooks I’d consulted for 40 years were no longer my kitchen buddies. In darkness however, I found light: Chocolate is plant-based! Here is my new, favorite recipe for Chocolate Chews, a fantastic diary-free and gluten-free treat. Jerry Lee Lewis would have said, “Goodness gracious great balls of chocolate!”

chocolate, vegan, plant-based, dessert, balls, sesame seeds, cocao


1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup tahini or almond butter
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon hemp hearts (raw, shelled hemp seeds)–optional
1/4 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon orange zest or 7-10 drops orange essential oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds (or unsweetened shredded coconut)

Put almonds and cashews in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Transfer them into a bowl. Then add tahini and raisins to the food processor and blend until well mashed. Follow with the processed almonds and cashews and the remaining ingredients, except the sesame seeds. Pulse until well combined. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl and using a small ice cream-cookie scoop or tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop out the mixture and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sesame seeds, place them on baking sheet and chill for at least an hour. For long-term storage, freeze them first and then transfer the chews into a reusable container or Ziploc bag. Makes 24-30 chews.

When I first made these treats, I brought them to a Christmas potluck. In no time, they were all gone…

I’d love to know what you think. Thanks for visiting. Cheers,

Marion Owen, photographer, organic gardener, Kodiak Island, Alaska



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6 Responses to Goodness gracious great balls of chocolate!

  1. Velda says:

    Looks good! Think I have everything to try making them. Thanks

  2. Ren says:

    Dear Ms. Marion, you always see a challenge as an opportunity. You are amazing and the chocolate balls are most yummy.

  3. Kay Culp says:

    Marion, Thank you for sharing your recipe for Chocolate Chews! I enjoy all of your posts about Kodiak, including your beautiful photos. I will look forward to more plant based recipes you might discover!
    A friend of Candy F.

    • marionowen says:

      Hi Kay… greetings from Alaska! Are you following a plant-based diet, too? If so, I’d love to learn about your recipe resources. I’, a newbie at this (not to cooking, though). Happy New Year!

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