I think the name for these should probably be “Chocolate Nut and Fruit Balls”, but a friend of mine referred to them as “Chocolate turds” in college once, and the name stuck! (It’s much more interesting to offer people a chocolate turd anyways – my 6-year-old boy sense of humor never fails to laugh at the look on their faces.) Chocolate turds are my home-made version of energy bars. I used to eat quite a lot of energy bars – Clif Bars, Lara Bars, Luna Bars (they’re all so tasty!!) – but realized that I was throwing a wrapper in the trash for every single bar that I ate. That adds up to quite a bit of trash. So, when I decided to be more eco-friendly and reduce the amount of trash that I send to the landfill to sit there for who-knows-how-long, I knew I had to make my own energy bars. Lara Bars were definitely my favorite due to the minimal amount of ingredients, so I decided to try for something like that. After hunting around on the Internet for home-made energy bar recipes, I came up with my Chocolate Turd recipe by combining a few ideas. I wanted something as easy as possible, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy any energy bars because I didn’t feel like making (or didn’t have time to make) my home-made ones!! The dried fruit and nuts can usually be found in the bulk section at your local co-op, or bought in recyclable plastic containers, so there is much less waste involved than store-bought energy bars.
2 cups mixed nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc.)
1 cup mixed dried fruit (i.e. prunes, apricots, cranberries, dates…feel free to explore!)
2 Tbsp. water (or more if the mixture isn’t coming together)
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder (optional if you are one of those strange people who doesn’t like chocolate)
cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or coconut for rolling
1. Bring out the Ferrari. (This is how I refer to my food processor. I figure I will never actually have a Ferrari, and since my food processor is sleek, red, and has a powerful motor, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get!)
2. Put nuts in the food processor, and pulse until they’re finely chopped. Add the dried fruit, and pulse again until all of that is finely chopped.
3. Add the water and optional cocoa powder. Pulse again until you have a delicious-looking brown paste 🙂
4. Take the treachorously sharp blade out of the food processor bowl (believe me, this thing can slice a huge chunk out of your skin without you even noticing it – I figured that out the hard way). Put the cocoa powder/chopped nuts/coconut into a small bowl. Reach into the brown paste mixture (now that the blade is safely out of the way) and scoop out about a tablespoon or two (depending on how large you would like them to be). Roll this between your palms until you have a ball and then roll the ball around in your coating of choice. Do this with all of the paste until you have a nice pile of chocolate-y turds.
And there you have it – chocolate turds packed full of nuts, dried fruit, and a bit of chocolate that makes a perfect pre or post-workout snack. I find that one or two is great right before a workout, because it will give you just the right amount of energy without making you really full.
P.S. If you don’t have a Ferrari, you can also make these by chopping the nuts and dried fruit very finely (this will be a lot of work, but at least you can feel good about the fact that you actually do your own work instead of those lazy people who use Ferraris to do it for them).
I’m a person that requires frequent feedings. Close friends and family know that…