When you’re feeling the need for a little energy enhancing snack or you have craving for a bit of chocolate, these tasty Brain Boosting Chocolate Bites are loaded with nutrients to support brain health and can be ready to enjoy in less than 10 minutes. They’re a great snack and will satisfy a desire for a little something sweet without a lot of sugar. Each bite is sweetened with less than a teaspoon of maple syrup.
The list of ingredients to make these is short. You’ll need:
- Raw cacao (or carob)
- Almond butter, or other nut or seed butter of your choice
- Ground flax
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Almond flour to roll the bites (not necessary for carob bites)
These bites can be made with either raw cacao or carob powder. Most people enjoy “the real thing” when it comes to that chocolate-y taste. For those of you who, like me, have a sensitivity to chocolate (cue the sympathetic empathic grunting…thank you, I appreciate it) these can be made with carob and still taste delicious.
Carob comes from a different tree altogether and has a different nutrient profile than cacao. Since carob has more carbohydrates and less fat than cacao, the texture of the brain boosting energy bites made with carob have a drier consistency, almost cake-like. The bites made with cacao have a higher fat content so are more fudgey tasting. For this reason, I like to roll the cacao bites in almond flour to absorb some of the excess moisture.
What makes these Brain Boosting Chocolate Bites so great for brain health, anyway?
Brain boosting benefits of cacao
- Cacao powder is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids such as epicatechin.
- Flavonols may counteract the decreases in endothelial function that are seen in people as they age, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and decrease the risk of stroke.
- Cacao is a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxer and is an important mineral for brain health including learning and memory.
- A recently published study found that the flavonols in cocoa have a beneficial effect on neuroplasticity and cognitive function in young adults, including better attention, memory and verbal learning.
- Cacao contains tryptophan that converts to serotonin, phenylalanine, and the “bliss chemical” anandamide, inducing positive effects on mood.
Brain boosting benefits of walnuts
- High in omega-3, which are needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Walnuts contain tryptophan, an important precursor to the mood hormone, serotonin.
- Have been found to delay the onset of cognitive impairment
Brain boosting benefits of flax seeds
- Flax seeds are an excellent plant source of omega-3 and a source of magnesium, which is an effective mineral to combat the symptoms of depression
- Flax seeds have a beneficial effect on the central nervous system
Brain boosting benefits of coconut
- Coconuts contain medium-chain saturated fats, which are great brain fuel.
I hope you love these Brain Boosting Chocolate Bites as much as we do. If you make these, or any of the recipes on Lori Moore Holistic Health, I’d love to hear how the recipe turned out for you in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Brain Boosting Chocolate Bites
- food processor
- ¼ cup raw cacao or carob
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons of almond flour (for rolling)
- Add all ingredients except almond flour to a food processor. Process to combine. Roll into 1” balls. Roll balls in almond flour. Store in the fridge.
Add cacao nibs instead of coconut flakes.
Honey can be used instead of maple syrup.
Instead of rolling in almond flour, you can use coconut flakes or ground pecans.