Chewy Cherry & Almond Energy Balls

Need a satisfying and healthy snack for road trips, vacations, or picnics? These little balls of energy are perfect. I made them for a recent trip to Chicago, and they were perfect for those moments when you need a little pick-me-up. They are tangy, sweet, and nutty with a little heat at the end. The cayenne is enough to give you a lingering warmth in your mouth without being hot, plus it is great for increasing blood circulation. They are easy to make and fun to eat.

makes: about 15-24 balls, depending on how small or large you roll them

from: Raw Energy

1 cup raw almonds
2 cup dried, pitted cherries, sweetened with apple juice or unsweetened (I like Eden Foods dried Montmorency cherries which I get from Whole Foods)
1 cup raw almond butter
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or raw honey (use 3 tablespoons for a sweeter result)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cayenne pepper
pinch of sea salt

Grind the almonds to a medium texture in a food processor or nut and seed grinder. The almonds should look similar to very coarsely ground Parmesan cheese.

Put the almond meal, cherries, almond butter, agave, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a large wooden spoon, thoroughly mix the ingredients until a cohesive dough is formed.

Pinch off pieces of the dough and form into balls about 1 ¼” in diameter and set aside.

For the best flavor and consistency, allow the balls to set for 24 hours before eating. Store the balls in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator and consume within 2 or 3 weeks. they may be individually wrapped with squares of waxed paper or plastic wrap.

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