Cacao Maca Energy Bites

March 17, 2016
Cacao Maca Energy Bites - A raw, decadent superfood snack that will satisfy your cravings. These cacao maca superfood bites are a dream come true!

“Health is like money; we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it”   ~ Josh Billings


Photo Credit: Live Below the Line

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Each year in April, we have a dear friend who participates in the Live Below the Line Challenge.  Its members are on a crusade to change the way people perceive poverty, not just with information, but with action.

As I sit down to write another installment in this short series about micronutrients, I think about how truly blessed I am to have access to nutritious food, full cupboards, and a fridge that's replenished after my weekly trip to the grocery.

“Remember to never take any of this for granted.”

I think of her, and her desire to highlight the staggering number of people who simply don't have enough to eat.

Each year during the last week of April each of the Live Below the Line participants are challenged to live on the U.S. equivalent of the International Extreme Poverty Line.  That’s $1.50 of food per day; for five days!  In fact, according to their website, this is the amount 1.4 billion people live below every day  (ps:  that’s over four times the population of the entire United States!)

Then I read statistics like this one: at least half of children worldwide, ages six-months to five-years, suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies.  Globally more than 2 billion kids, alone

Honestly, it's hard to wrap my mind around.

There are so many worthwhile charities working to end hunger.  From the local soup kitchen to global organizations, I'd encourage each of us that are so very blessed to consider donating every chance we're able.

Cacao Maca Energy Bites - A raw, decadent superfood snack that will satisfy your cravings. These cacao maca superfood bites are a dream come true!

Today Part III in a short series about micronutrients

Part I:  What micronutrients are, a brief history of their discovery, and how minerals are categorized

Part II:  How do they interact?  Why we should aim for levels higher than the RDAs, and the beauty of Biochemical Individuality (we're all so different)

Depletors that can reduce the efficiency of micronutrients

There are several factors to keep an eye out for that will have an impact on the efficiency of micronutrients, even if they're present in the foods we're eating.

Stress (both physical and mental) – My goodness, it comes up time and time again just how hard it is on our bodies.  Stress uses up our nutrients. Therefore, the higher our stress level, the more we're going to need.

Toxins (environmental, food, water, etc.)  – The higher the exposure, the greater the need for micronutrients to neutralize and eliminate them

Addictions (caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, etc.)  – Because they damage tissue, our bodies will need micronutrients to remove the toxins and repair themselves.

Poor Diets – (poor quality, insufficient calories, processed foods, etc.) –  For example, sugar can increase the excretion of certain nutrients, and increase the demand for others needed to metabolize the sugar and excrete it from our body

Cacao Maca Energy Bites - A raw, decadent superfood snack that will satisfy your cravings. These cacao maca superfood bites are a dream come true!

Does the way our food is grown really make a difference?

It makes a huge difference(!)

Minerals are found in one of two places: in the ocean and the earth's soil.  From the ocean come fish and sea vegetables.  From the earth, all the rest of our foods: fruits, veggies, and herbs.  Therefore the quality and the health of the soil and ocean are going to determine the health of the foods that come from them.

Take, for instance, soil.  In most cases, the soils our food is grown in are very, very depleted of minerals.  A lot of this has to do with farming practices that don't use crop rotation, or mono-cropping without cover cropping.  (In cover cropping, the crop is grown on a soil that will feed nutrients back in.  These are churned and churned back into the ground before the field is allowed to lay fallow for a season, allowing the nutrients to be absorbed back into it)

In the case of agribusiness, mono-cropping has become standard practice, and only three nutrients are added to the chemical fertilizers: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.  Therefore with commercially grown food, the soil is depleted year after year and replenished with only these three nutrients.

Therefore, we may have beautiful looking produce at the grocery, but it's incredibly depleted of nutrients

The other problem is our bodies need at least fifty (known) nutrients.  They're considered essential, meaning they have to come from our diet, as our bodies can't synthesize or manufacture them

What are the functions of micronutrients in our bodies?  What are some foods we should be eating to maximize our nutrient intakes?

(to be continued .. )

Cacao Maca Energy Bites - A raw, decadent superfood snack that will satisfy your cravings. These cacao maca superfood bites are a dream come true!

These cacao maca energy bites are for anyone who wants a nutrient-packed snack that's sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and power your afternoon chasing kids and furry creatures at the park.

In just 20 minutes you'll have a stash of pick-me-ups; no coffee shop drive-through required

Maca root is an ancient Peruvian superfood that boosts energy, increases stamina, and nourishes our endocrine system.  It's a fiber-rich food and a great source of plant-based protein.  Maca is filled with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (including vitamins B1, B2, B, C, D, E, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous and calcium)

Cacao is one of my favorite superfoods for lots of reasons.  It's an excellent source of iron, magnesium, and fiber; a great substitute for processed cocoa, and one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find.  Cacao also contains the alkaloids (chemicals that make us feel happy)

The rich chocolate taste doesn't hurt in the happiness department, either.

Add a few spices: hemp seeds, unsweetened coconut, almonds, and some heart-healthy coconut oil.  They're sure to make you smile



ps:  You can read more about Micronutrients in Part I Part II  |  Part IV  of the series

References used include: The Micronutrient Miracle by Jayson Calton and Mira Calton .. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon .. Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Nutrition by Carolyn D. Berdanier and Lynnette A. Berdanier .. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch .. .. .. .. The South Coast Insider ..

— — —

~ Adapted from FoodCoachNYC 

Cacao Maca Energy Bites


  • 1 cup Medjool dates, chopped (~ 8-10 dates)
  • 3 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp maca powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 Tbsp natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
  • 1 Tbsp cacao nibs
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil

  • Optional Add-ins
  • 1 Tbsp acai powder
  • 1 tsp raw mesquite powder
  • 1 tsp powdered greens


  • To the bowl of your food processor, add all of the ingredients. Plus 2 or 3 minutes until the mix begins to resemble chocolate cookie dough.
  • Add water, a Tbsp at a time if it's either too thick or isn't sticking together as it should.
  • Roll into small balls and refrigerate for an hour or so until they've firmed up
  • Dust with cacao, cinnamon, and/or sweetened shredded coconut
Serves: 18
Nutrition + Show
Calories 148
Total Fat 9.2g
Saturated Fat 4.8g
Carbohydrates 15.5g
Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 10.8g
Protein 2.8g
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  • Reply Mary Jane February 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

    What a comprehensive post and recipe! These look awesome and so full of energy. Can’t wait to try these out…they’ll be perfect for a quick snack and to send to work with hubby 🙂

  • Reply Denisse February 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I literally made something so similar recently, I topped mine with flaky sea salt- but I love all your superfood add-in options, brilliant!

  • Reply Sarah Althouse February 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Most people don’t know that about our soil so I’m glad you wrote about it in this post! And thanks for the delicious recipe 🙂

  • Reply Sarah February 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I’m glad you wrote about the state of our in this post because most people don’t know they aren’t getting nutrients. And thanks for the delicious recipe 🙂

  • Reply Krysten February 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know any of that about nutrients. Thank you for sharing something new with me. I really want to make these little bites too! They sound delicious!

  • Reply Sirri February 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    5 stars
    I always have Cacao and Maca powder on hand, I definitely want to try these!

  • Reply Cori February 15, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    5 stars
    YUM! I have got to give these a try – I am sure I will love them.

  • Reply Rachel February 15, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    These look so good! I love energy bites!

  • Reply Stephanie Bills February 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Yum! This looks absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

  • Reply Kimberly February 16, 2017 at 5:14 am

    I definitely want to give these a try. I’ve never used maca before but have always wanted to. These sound great.

  • Reply Danik June 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

    3 stars
    The sound of these bites really does sound interesting as they got added spices (well, Cinnamon is a spice isn’t, so as well as gaining energy, it tastes great as well. Might give this a try 🙂

  • Reply Pam Wattenbarger June 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I had no idea that so many children live below the international poverty line. That is just so heartbreaking.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose June 13, 2017 at 11:41 am

    This makes me miss the caca o sweet balls that my Mom used to make. I miss eating that one. Looks so good.

  • Reply Sharon Koenig November 9, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    5 stars
    This article was such a breath of fresh air to me. Not many people understand how toxic our life is because of the environment, the soil and our food supply. Being a bit of a health nut myself, I’m working on eliminating toxins from our home including cosmetics and anything that either goes in or on our bodies. The best part is eating the most nutritious foods we can! I love that nutrition CAN be absolutely yummy! This recipe is the BOMB! I make a recipe very similar to this for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a tradition. I never thought to add the acai powder. I’ll have to add that to a few to see what the family thinks.

  • Reply Chris Ellis February 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    4 stars
    The energy bites look appealing but I have to admit the information about the global poverty line was more shocking. I’m with you that it’s very hard to wrap your head around. The statistic makes sense but relating it to what we see around us… it’s difficult.

  • Reply Wendy Doerksen March 4, 2018 at 10:37 am

    these are so delicous – thank you!

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