I’m going granola in my cooking. First, my friend Trisha talked about this Coconut Hemp Earth Balls recipe. Then the BBC Ouch! podcast interviewed a lady who writes about cooking and dealing with chronic illnesses (EDS and POTS), conditions that cause, for example, fatigue and digestive issues, certain foods sicken the body rather than nourish it. She mentioned energy snacks similar to Trisha’s recipe. Motivation to create a snack found, I sought variations of these energizing treats.

I combined recipes to assemble my ingredient line-up: 1/2 cup almond butter, 8 pitted medjool dates, 1 T cacao powder, 2 T flax seeds, sea salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

I experimented at my kitchen counter. Prepping the dates created a satisfying peeling noise as I separated the pit from the fruit, the color reminiscent of New Mexican chilies. Dates won’t bother my eyes though so I could stay glove-free unlike my Carne Adovada cooking days. Into the food processor they went, joining the almond butter.


I glanced across my counter, surveying its population. It’s like a Whole Foods Organic City in here, but at Wegmans prices. (I’m not ready to brave the TJs parking lot yet this month.) My nerdy self felt energized just breathing in the mixture’s pleasant scent.I selected the next item to add: flax seeds. Almost dumped them onto the still-covered-with-the-transparent-lid food processor. Low Visionista froze her hand at the last moment though, saved.

I savored the chocolate goodness that is a freshly opened bag of cacao powder, heaven, I’m in Hershey PA riding the Chocolate World ride, dreaming of candy bars…ok, focus. Cacao powder into the food processor, followed by a pinch of sea salt, a dusting of cinnamon, a drop of vanilla E. The aromatics were intense.


I cookie-scooped portions out, rolled the globs in a plate of cacao powder until they looked like cinnamon munchkins. Lined ’em up on parchment, popped ’em in the freezer to firm up.

Hmm. What to do with the leftover plate of cacao powder? Park Avenue ovaltine! Except I learn it doesn’t blend so nice with milk. I gulped the chalky liquid down anyway, can’t waste cacao. I’ll use coconut flakes to finish the globs next time. Or chia seeds for more crunch.

When my dad tried a batch, he told me, “they taste like Bonbons.” So a name was born: Nonbons. They are delicious. With my latest batch of snacks, I’m ready for Austin, Brooklyn, Portland. Maybe.

Have you made a recipe like these Nonbons before? What do you think of them? What have you been cooking lately? Tell me about it.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    Oooh, I never thought of rolling them in the cacao powder. That is a fabulous idea! I might just have to try that soon. Maybe tomorrow even! I love the name too – Nonbons. It’s a great name to use for the people who might be turned off something as granola sounding as Coconut Hemp Earth Balls. Me, I love granola cooking. My family, not so much!

    1. It’s all in the presentation, ha. There’s so many variations for this recipe, too, it seems like everyone could find one to like.

      1. Trisha says:

        I agree! It seems like these recipes would be pretty versatile too, with ingredient swapping being pretty easy. I’m supposed to be eating sesame seeds so I’m thinking of trying out tahini as a base ingredient. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything good. 🙂

      2. Yes, definitely tell me!

  2. Trisha says:

    I just posted a recipe for a tahini-based ball: I wasn’t very adventurous and used a recipe I already had but they were very delicious!

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