Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has made quite a stir in the health world, and for good reason. Its benefits range from anxiety and depression relief to an increase in strength and endurance. These date balls are the perfect way to have your dessert and your ashwagandha too!
What is Ashwagandha
This small shrub natively grows in Indian and Southeast Asia and is a member of the same family as tomatoes, Solanaceae. That being said, if you have a known allergy to nightshades, you might want to skip this one. Ashwagandha may be a relatively “new” thing here in the western world, but it has been a revered herb in Ayurveda (the traditional system of medicine in India) for millennia. It’s primarily used as an adaptogen or to improve mental heath and overall happiness, but its medicinal boasts including being a: diuretic, aphrodisiac, stimulant, nervine, anti-inflammatory, contains laxative properties, insomnia relief, and it’s even prescribed for snake venom and scorpion stings!
Now that you’re convinced how powerful this herb is, you should just make up a cup of tea right? Well… it really doesn’t taste that great. The name Ashwagandha refers to “Ashwa” (Horse) because it smells like a horse, but also gives you the stamina of a horse, but none the less, smells like a horse.
When using ashwagandha I typically just make it into a tincture so the benefits are concentrated and I can quickly take a few drops and go about my day. My favorite way to consume it, however, is to mix it into sweet dishes which cleverly conceals the flavor and satisfies my sweet tooth!
The recipe below is an example of mixing it into a sweet dish! These date balls cleverly hide Ashwagandha behind sweet, chocolatey goodness. These literally take 10 minutes tops to create and don’t require heating up an oven. Recently, I made these for someone who doesn’t really eat “healthy” and they were pleasantly surprised and even said they tasted like brownies!
To get started, because I know that’s what you’re really here for, grab some ashwagandha powder and cacao from our website! While we do carry aswagandha root whole and cut and sorted, you’ll want the powder for this recipe.
Ashwagandha Date Balls
- 1 1/2 cup nuts of choice (as a Texan I’m partial to pecans but walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds would work well too)
- 1 cup Medjool dates (pits removed)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1 tbsp ashwagandha powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
In a full size food processor or blender, add all of your ingredients and mix until everything has come together and the dates and nuts are indistinguishable. This takes at least 30 seconds or more depending on how powerful your food processor is. Your goal is to be able to pinch a clump of the date mixture and it all stick together. Once it’s at that point, roll portions into 1 inch size balls and store in a resealable container. This recipe makes approximately 18 date balls, give or take, depending on the size of ball you create. These can be left out on the counter, but I would stick them into the refrigerator during those hot summer days. Like I said before, easy! This is a great recipe for sneaking in superfoods all while satisfying that sweet tooth. I especially enjoy creating these as a summertime treat as they do not require the oven to be heated up… and my house along with it! Let us know if you try this recipe and what you think or if you made any adjustments. Using this same recipe, I’ve also added in some of our mushroom powders for additional nutritional benefits. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!