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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 19, 2010

Cocoa and Coconut Snacks

By Worker Bee
125 Comments

Cocoa and Coconut SnacksProfessional endurance athlete Jonas Colting knows a little bit about tapping into his own power and energy. Most of us don’t push our bodies to the limit in the same way an endurance athlete does. For some of us, just getting through a regular day at the office is a test of endurance. Still, power and energy are attractive qualities. Which is probably why a marketing genius attached these terms to almost every product in the constantly expanding protein bar aisle at the grocery store. Energy Bar. Power Bar. Whatever you call it, they often aren’t very healthy and won’t supply you with any enduring power or energy.

Jonas’ solution was to make his own protein-packed snack using whole, healthy ingredients. He doesn’t provide exact measurements for Colting’s Cocoa and Coconut Snacks – this is one of those “throw everything together” recipes that make cooking easy and fun. In fact, we think Jonas’ advice for this recipe is a good motto for all cooking endeavors: “Experiment to find your perfect mix of taste and texture. It really doesn’t matter, it’s all good and healthy!”

Seriously, you can’t get this one wrong. Any way you make them, Colting’s Cocoa and Coconut Snacks are better, in terms of both taste and nutrients, than most store bought energy bars out there. The texture is rich and crumbly, not unnaturally gooey and chewy. The flavor is intensely nutty and a little savory with a hint of sweetness. Each one of these little balls packs in loads of protein and fats. Unlike store bought energy bars, the ingredient list is short and simple, and can be modified to your own taste. Use more ground coffee or none at all. Try dark chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder. Cut back on one type of nut and add more of another. Use more shredded coconut, or less. Part of the fun is coming up with your own perfect blend.

As a general guideline for your first batch, using a 1/2 cup of each nut will yield more than a dozen little balls. Dates add the sweetness but also help hold the balls together so if you can’t get the paste to hold its shape, try adding a few more. Coconut oil also helps with this. If you don’t have the patience to roll a dozen or more little balls, simply spread the paste out evenly in a baking pan and sprinkle with coconut. Whether you eat them as balls or bars, Colting’s Cocoa and Coconut Snacks are a good solution to afternoon hunger pangs. They can even satisfy a craving for dessert – Jonas sometimes enjoys them with an espresso, which sounds quite civilized and delicious.

Try out his recipe for Colting’s Cocoa and Coconut Snacks this week and check back next week for more on how Jonas lives Primal while training as a triathlete.

Ingredients:

Cocoa and Coconut Snack Ingredients

We’ve included measurements to get you started, but as mentioned above, these ingredients can be used in any amounts.

1/2 cup each:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Hazel nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • 3-6 dates
  • 2-4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

To taste:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Freshly ground coffee
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions:

Run the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until ground into a fine flour.

Nuts in Food Processor

Remove the nut flour and grind the dates and shredded coconut in the food processor until smooth.

Processed Nuts and Dates

Mix these ingredients together with coffee and cocoa powder according to taste.

Cocoa and Coconut Powder

Finally, add the coconut oil and mix it all together by hand. Roll the paste into small nibbly balls and sprinkle them in shredded coconut.

Cocoa and Coconut Snack

These snacks should be refrigerated to become firm.

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125 Comments on "Cocoa and Coconut Snacks"

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Grok of Ages
Grok of Ages
6 years 7 months ago

Will definitely have to try these. Yet another example that primal eating isn’t boring and bland.

Thanks for the great post!

misathemeb
6 years 7 months ago

oh i make variations of these all the time! i call them “healthy truffles” 🙂 i make them with 3-4 ingredients: nut, medjool date & spices.

for example:
-pumpkin pie (use canned pumpkin/apple pie spice/nutmeg + almond, dates)
-tiramisu (use instant coffee/full fat cream cheese + cashew, dates)
-keylime (almond butter + lime zest + hazlenut + dates)
-carrot cake (shredded carrot, dates, almond, cloves, cinnamon)

the opportunities are endless!

AlyieCat
AlyieCat
6 years 7 months ago

Oooh, your carrot cake one sounds really good.

I am excited to read more from Jonas. I am a triathlete too.

CeaCea
CeaCea
6 years 7 months ago

Love to add some fine powder spiralina to the basic recipe – love to see that green
thanks for your spice suggestions

Angelo
Angelo
6 years 5 months ago

Oh yum, I was already missing my mum’s tiramisu – the best in the world – and just the idea of substituting those cookie things with nuts is great! Don’t like dates though, are they prominent in the overall taste?

stacey
6 years 4 months ago

dates usually just add sweetness unless it’s a date bar or something..use less dates and sub raisins if the taste is too overpowering.

Geoff
Geoff
6 years 7 months ago

Nice recipe – a riff on Phil Maffetone’s classic “Phil’s Bars.” Though I must say that I prefer Jonas’ use of dates rather than Dr. Phil’s reliance on honey.

Thanks for posting.

Johnny
6 years 7 months ago

Talk about something of Phil’s…

There’s this great coffee bar down the street called Philz Coffee (in Palo Alto, Ca), where they specialize in Turkish coffee (a brewing process that’s naturally low in acidity). But the best part is that they use all-real HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM.

It is life-changing!

Now, I’ll have to make these cocoa and coconut snack balls and have them with a cup of Philz coffee.

I am now afraid, very afraid…

Judy
6 years 7 months ago

I’m a BIG fan of Philz!
I discovered the store last time I was in Palo Alto (there’s also one in SF right near the train and the stadium too). Freshly made by the cup with REAL heavy cream? can’t beat that!
I wish they had one in NYC 😉

These snacks look delicious, I might have to whip up a batch with coconut oil NOW!

Analisa
Analisa
6 years 5 months ago

We love PHILZ (hmmmm John).
Tesora and Aromatic Aerobic are among our weekly favorites – –
And both Jacobs and Ether have made their way into our variations of these balls.

PA store/team is solid and always fun!
The folks in the city on 4th (by CalTrain) and on VanNess (cross is Turk i think) are also awesome!

Enjoy and keep the variations coming.
And…then there’s that beautiful fridge in the back full of cream!……

Jared Anderson
4 years 5 months ago

Geoff, that was a hilarious comment made me crack up. I am now afraid, very afraid. lol I know that feeling.

secret agent girl
secret agent girl
4 years 3 months ago

If you like low acidity coffee, you might check out “cold soak coffee” aka “cold drip”.

Randy
6 years 7 months ago

yummy! looks like a quick recipe too.

Melinda Neely
6 years 7 months ago

Thanks so much for sharing. This sounds a lot like a home-made energy bar Martina Navratilova was advocating a while back, and I was never able to find her recipe.

Suzan
Suzan
6 years 7 months ago

Sounds great, thanks!

EarthBeauty
6 years 7 months ago

Wow, this is one of the best yet! Thanks so much.

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[…] Original post by Worker Bee […]

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[…] Original post by Worker Bee […]

Ryan Denner
6 years 7 months ago

My eyes blew up when I read this!

Well, first, that an endurance athlete could be held in positive regard on this site … 😉

but seriously, these look amazing. I have made my “own” energy bars in the past, using marks primal bar recipe as the base. I am totally making these today for my “I dont want to tell Mark how many hours CV has me riding this weekend” bike rides haha!

Johnny
6 years 7 months ago

Ryan, I believe that by eating a paleo-style diet, you are a healthier person despite competing in an endurance sport.

Best,
Johnny

Grok
6 years 6 months ago

Hi, my name is Grok & endurance training is my vice.

Others drink alcohol, smoke, smoke/shoot drugs, eat junk food… I exercise for long periods 😉

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 7 months ago

I make a modified version of this:
Soak raw cashews and walnuts overnight.
Grind the nuts, add it to eggs and then add coconut, vanilla extract, cardamom, ghee, cocoa to taste and some stevia. Throw in the oven at 200F until texture is dry (usually takes 2 hrs). The low heat keeps all the nutrients intact. You can also blend a banana with the eggs.

Adam Kayce
6 years 7 months ago

Oh, yum… dates are on my shopping list for this weekend!

JStrick
JStrick
6 years 7 months ago

Do we have an estimate on the nutrional value? I hate to be a carb-counter but i like to have a basic idea of my intake for the day. These look awesome though!

Brock
Brock
6 years 7 months ago

They are between 4 and 5 grams of carbs each ball
(I doubled the recipe and got 30 tablespoonish balls)

Cajsa
Cajsa
6 years 7 months ago

Ooooh Colting balls! (I’m sorry if that came out wrong in English, it works perfectly fine in Swedish, and Jonas being Swedish would probably understand….) These snacks are wonders of energy and goodness – glad to see them included here on MDA. 🙂

paleo_piper
6 years 7 months ago

I’ve used butter, ghee, and coconut butter in my own recipe. I’ve also used dried cherries. Pretty much whatever I have on hand. I also have a silicone ice cube tray cut in seashell molds that I press the balls into. Why go for balls when I can be a little more exciting?? 😀

misathemeb
6 years 7 months ago

medjool dates are quite carby. if you are trying to stay below 50g carbs then i’d only eat 1! but they are too hard to resist so i try not to have more than 3-4 a day haha

Primal Buckeye
Primal Buckeye
6 years 7 months ago

These look great! Anyone have an idea how long these would last in the fridge? Based on the ingredients, I imagine they would last for quite so time. It sounds like you could make up a pretty large batch and snack on them over the course of a few weeks.

Jen
Jen
6 years 7 months ago

I’ve been making wannabe larabars and it’s pretty close these snacks. I had to order dates online because I cannot find them anywhere local. Still waiting for them to get here.

I’ve been using other dried fruit in place of dates. Dried raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries all work really well.

gilliebean
6 years 7 months ago

Awesome! I’ve made a version of these before from Girl Gone Primal’s recipe. This one’s got more stuff in it which I’m sure would add to the flavour. I love the encouragement to make our own variety!! Thanks!

Kristy A.
6 years 7 months ago

Great mix of ingredients! Perhaps some roasting of the nuts and coconut will add a toasty flavor depth. I also made Girl Gone Primal’s recipe and tinkered with it to come up with Pecan Fudge Truffles posted on my health and fitness blog here:
http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.com/2009/11/make-date-with-delicious.html

I wonder if protein powder or powdered egg whites would work to add more complete protein to these little energy balls? Anyone have any success with that?

Eric
Eric
6 years 7 months ago

Posted this the other day, but didn’t get a response from anybody…

Found 2 coconut milk ice creams at my local Fred Meyer. Turtle Mountain vanilla & Coconut Bliss. Both use agave sweetener (low-glycemic index). Coconut Bliss is all organic. Both taste fantastic–the vanilla was the best vanilla ice cream in recent memory & I absolutely loved the coconut bliss wiht its coconut flavor & coconut flakes.

So, does this fit into the Primal lifestyle? I sure hope so!

Erin
Erin
6 years 7 months ago

I adore Coconut Bliss but I don’t eat it anymore because agave, being predominantly fructose, is metabolized the same way high-fructose corn syrup (also technically “low-glycemic”.) is metabolized, i.e. more easily stored as fat than sucrose and glucose and also more glycating than other sugars. Boo on that!!

I want to figure out how to make my own version sweetened with a mix of stevia and coconut palm sugar (truly low-glycemic and yummy!)

Matt
6 years 7 months ago
Thats easy – I do it all the time. We’ve got one of those Cuisinart automatic ice cream makers (from Amazon for $50 or so), then take a can of good quality coconut milk, and add 1 tablespoon of real sugar, and 2 of the little mini scoops of stevia (from the trader joes fair trade stevia). It should be equivalent to 3 tablespoons of real sugar, but doing all stevia gives it a little too much of that stevia flavor. You can either just do that straight, or I especially love adding 1/3 cup cocoa powder and a little… Read more »
Kelly A.
Kelly A.
6 years 6 months ago

I’ve made this for the kids with the cocoa powder and it tastes amazing. I used 4 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar though. Thanks for the tip on the stevia. I’ll try half stevia/half sugar and see if the kids object.

pecanmike
6 years 7 months ago

Yum. Great Primal snack. We are going to give this recipe out in our store.

Brandon
6 years 7 months ago

that looks amazing. I’ve made some dark chocolate truffles before but these look much better. I’m totally planning on making these and re-posting the results.

Melody
Melody
6 years 7 months ago

These food recipes I see here are making me hungry…
Should I be worried that I dreamt last night of finding very high quality primal baconnaise at the grocery store? I woke up laughing. 🙂

I’m having a dinner party next weekend and thinking about making these. Funny – my guests never complain that I don’t serve bread or pasta…

John
John
6 years 7 months ago

Does anybody have a recommendation on how much unsweetened cocoa powder and freshly ground coffee to use?

sewingmama
sewingmama
6 years 7 months ago

I made these in my vitamix today. I put a couple heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder and about 1.5 tablespoons of ground coffee. Half a cup each of pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, handful of shredded coconut and a few tablespoons of coconut milk.
holy moly are they ever good!

sewingmama
sewingmama
6 years 7 months ago

oops, I put in a handful of dates too.

Todd
6 years 7 months ago

Those look delicious! I will be trying them out soon and will repost my results as well if I remember! Can’t wait!

Trainerpack
6 years 7 months ago

Um I love dates, this is a great recipe

Mog
Mog
6 years 7 months ago

Hi – I posted a smilar recipe a few days ago to ask if it was primal. (No response yet, interested in your views, thanks). It uses Tahini for stickiness

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup LSA
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped almonds (or nuts of choice)
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I prefer organic dates)

Mix together and roll into plum sized balls, coating with desiccated coconut.

I have been eating one for morning tea each day, but I am new to primal and I thought I should check if they are primal.thanks

Emily
Emily
6 years 7 months ago

what is LSA?

JennyF
JennyF
6 years 7 months ago
Frank
Frank
6 years 7 months ago

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. So, are we supposed to heat it up before mixing it in? If so, how are we supposed to mix it in by hand?

Or, am I just using the wrong coconut oil?

Thanks

Ross Bagley
Ross Bagley
6 years 7 months ago

No, you’re using the right stuff. Just take some hot tap water in a bigger bowl and the coconut oil in a smaller bowl. It will melt almost instantly. If the other ingredients are even slightly warmer than room temperature, the coconut oil will stay liquid until you chill the mixture.

Frank
Frank
6 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to give these a try.

Harlan
Harlan
6 years 7 months ago

Does sound good. Does anyone have any information on the nutritional breakout?

dthalman
dthalman
6 years 7 months ago

gonna make these. along with some jerky and a few tangerines in the pack, that’s gonna power me down some trails and up some mountains this season, YEAH!

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[…] Cocoa and Coconut Snacks […]

luke mdavies
6 years 7 months ago

I love this recipe and the fact that it is endorsed by Jonas is even better! I’m currently in training for the London Marathon, so cannot wait to read about Jonas and primal living as an endurance athlete!

Ross Bagley
Ross Bagley
6 years 7 months ago

The dates are the sweetener here. Dates are about 80% sugar by weight, and about 50% of the sugar is fructose either as simple fructose or in sucrose.

Just like “white grape juice” and “apple juice” in “100% fruit juice” drinks, you should be very cautious with the carbs in dates, aka “the candy that grows on trees”.

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[…] Delicious workout fuel. Nutty coconut snacks. I’ll take these over a PowerBar any […]

Lydia
Lydia
6 years 7 months ago

these are essentially Lara Bars…if you look at their ingredients, they are the same…If you’re looking for nutritional info, you can get a rough estimate. But ay 1.50 a pop, homemade is always better!

Brock
Brock
6 years 7 months ago

I just made these from nuts and seeds I had in the pantry…almonds, cashews, walnuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and afew sunflower seeds.

I used prunes instead of dates and added a touch of honey.

Effing deliscious!!!

MichaelA
6 years 7 months ago

cashews and honey not exactly recommended… right?

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[…] Jonas Coltings ”kakao och kokossnacks” (via Mark’s Daily Apple) […]

Grok
6 years 7 months ago

Jonas is “The Man”.

I’ve been playing with primal nutrition for endurance for a while now too, but I don’t want to write anything until I’ve tested for a few thousand more miles. Super excited to see what Sir Colting has to say. I can’t wait until next week!

karl macphee
6 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the tips, I went to the ‘grokery’ store to get the last two items and quickly put them together…put them in the fridge and made dinner while they cooled. My wife and I just had a couple each and they are great. I will be making them again for sure. I have to admit though, I used sweetened coconut because my wife prefers the sugary taste. I didn’t use coffee, but I would add cinnamin next time.

Sara Atkins
6 years 7 months ago

Hey Mark, this is great! I posted a very similar recipe not too long ago. You can see it here: http://saraatkinsphotography.com/blog/2010/02/goodbye-new-years-resolution-hello-health.html

I also explain how I got started living Paleo. One month, eight days and going strong! Thank you for the inspiration and education!

noisyninja
noisyninja
6 years 7 months ago

Made these tonight, very tasty. They will make nice snacks at work.

noisyninja
noisyninja
6 years 7 months ago

Derrrr…. accidentally clicked Submit.

Made these tonight, very tasty. They will make nice snacks at work.

I altered the recipe slightly. I dropped the shaved coconut (not a big fan) and the coffee (REALLY not a big fan). Instead of cocoa powder I used chocolate chips, some very dark high cocoa ones I found at a local grocery. They’re fantastic, and I’ll be taking some to work to share with my team.

Laura
Laura
6 years 7 months ago

Made these last night and LOVE them! Buuut, holy cow, I didn’t realize how expensive coconut oil is, I’m hoping to find it somewhere a little cheaper.

brian7972
brian7972
6 years 7 months ago

I skipped the dates, upped the coffee/cocoa and they came out great. I also melted the coconut oil to make mixing easier.

Craig
6 years 7 months ago

My girlfriend loved these! The nuts nearly killed my blender, used mainly ground almonds in the end with a few chopped nuts for added crunch. I also added whey protein powder, almond extract, two whole eggs, melted butter instead of coconut oil and some broken up 90/ cocoa chocolate. Works great! This may actually convince the missus finally to go primal! Wa hey!

Keri
Keri
6 years 7 months ago

You should get a vitamix….it works brilliantly!

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 7 months ago

orrrr, you could sub with almond meal, hazelnut meal, etc. a little more $$, but I have those laying around already.

I’m lovin all the variations – y’all are so creative! Has anyone tried a variation with figs? I love dried figs. It could be like a primal newton…

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[…] Cocoa and Coconut Snacks […]

Gina
6 years 7 months ago

Made these today – they’re fantastic! I used prunes instead of dates and added about a teaspoon of honey as the prunes were a bit more dry than I expected. Can’t wait to make some variations of this recipe. Thank you!

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Judy
Judy
6 years 7 months ago

Pretty much the standard RAW food recipe for fudge balls that has been around for years then…

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